Our eldest child became a Summer Camper a couple years ago at wonderful Colvig Silver Camp in Durango. We love Durango. It is decidedly Colorado with a western flair, but stretches its internationalist palate with delectable eateries such as Jean Pierre Bakery and The Irish Embassy Pub. And if you are into outdoor sports, Duranglers Fly Shop , GardenSwartz, and Durango Outdoor Exchange will keep you beyond equipped. Not being familiar with the Durango dispersed camping options we paid to camp which is out of character for us, being solitude snobs and all. The campground was far from crowded and turned out much better than expected, so we planned to camp in the same spot when we picked her up in two weeks.
Thankfully the fire ban had been lifted in Durango due to continued rains. Earlier in the summer the whole area had seemingly been ablaze due to extreme drought and high winds. It was so nice to sit by the fire on this trip watching the meteors streak the sky with the girls sleeping soundly. As always, MH and I got deep into the cosmos and agreed that we were the luckiest people on this lonely little planet and that everyone else is just crazy.
We camped along Florida River not far from our new buddy Tim, the summer camp host and his trusted mutt riding around on the front of his 4-wheeler. We stopped at Helen’s general store down the road so many times for provisions we started getting chummy with the folks working there. While shopping one afternoon for lighter fluid and booze, I noticed something strange. In the sparse fishing section hung a tool for injecting worms with air. The graphic on the packaging reminded me of a male enhancement contraption and I said so to the guy at the counter. Laughs were had as the ladies in the store rolled their eyes in unison.
The pools in Florida River were small but the water still ran cold despite the drought. I figured this small creek would hold brook trout and maybe browns. I was extremely surprised to catch rainbows and a cutthroat on top of that. One brown really caught me off guard in its size. I worried my 3 weight wouldn’t land him but he was netted and released without much stress. Not another person was on the river and it was therapeutic.
On the way back to Denver in ridiculous traffic we had to pee on the side of the road and stopped for lunch at Coney Island Boardwalk on 285. It was the break we needed from a horrible traffic jam getting back home.
Directions: From Durango, take Florida Road 240 east towards Lemon Reservoir. Turn left on 243 and drive all the way past the reservoir. The campsite is on the left. You can’t miss it. From Denver, drive to Bayfield and turn right on 501. Stay on it until it splits off to Vallecito Reservoir and turn left onto 240. Turn right towards Lemon Reservoir etc.