We stayed at the fabulous Hilton with a room facing the Animas River. We were greeted with warm chocolate chip cookies and a fabulous view. We were pleased to find out downtown Durango was within walking distance, so we didn't have to drive around town.
Our first day was spent driving through snow covered mountains to Mesa Verde National Park to explore the cliff dwellings. The climb down to the dwellings was steep and narrow. However, once we got up close to the dwellings, we were just in awe. It was amazing to see the homes built into the side of a mountain hundreds of years ago and imagine how the people navigated their way around the rocks. We had another narrow climb up some ladders and we were safely on level ground again. It is a nice national park with beautiful scenery.
The next day was spent on a coal train going from Durango to Cascade Canyon. The views on the ride were just stunning! It takes about 2 hours to go up the mountain, almost an hour for lunch, and then 2 hours back down the mountain. The time went by quickly and it was a great experience!
Durango is a small touristy town not far from the ski resorts in Purgatory. There are plenty of outdoor activities nearby and lots of unique restaurants. We tried Fired Up Pizzeria, Steamworks Brewing, and Grassburger.
So, off to Arizona we went! Talk about a change in weather. We had winter clothes packed for Colorado and summer clothes packed for Arizona. The first evening in the Phoenix area was spent with Craig's grandparents. We don't get to see them often, but we correspond a lot. It was so nice to hear some of their stories and we were able to share our latest news. Times like that are very special and meaningful.
Surprise is a suburb of Phoenix and it is also where the Texas Rangers (among other teams) have their Spring Training. We had been before and we were eager to go again. This time, we found out guests can attend open practice in the morning before the game. It was amazing!!! Rangers were practicing on several different fields, working on drills, walking around, signing autographs...Craig and Preston couldn't get enough. We watched the game where the Rangers beat the Cleveland Indians 12-11 and had such a great time. We stayed at the fields for 7 1/2 hours, got 9 autographs, talked to a few players, and Preston even got a game ball. I'm sure it won't be long until we plan another visit again. It's definitely an experience I highly recommend to any baseball fan.
We finished the trip at Hard Rock Café, a restaurant we like to visit in different cities.
We woke up early the next morning and starting the long journey back home. We were so glad to be in our own comfy beds again. However, we are always so thankful to be able to explore different parts of America. Until next time...
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