The Durango/Purgatory area of Southern Colorado was the sight of our gathering in June 2001. We arranged to have the Silverpick Lodge for the entire stay. It was not all that it might have been from the standpoint of updating and general repair, and the kitchen facility was seriously deficient. There was ample room, however, and it was generally comfortable.
The mountain scenery is spectacular in the area, and our program of activities put us in the middle of it. We began with a Jeep trip on the first day under Janís direction. The initial trails were interesting, scenic, and quite safe and conservative as mountain trails go. As the day went on, they became higher, steeper, more scenic, and noticeably less safe and conservative.
We rode the narrow gauge steam train over the pass between Durango and Silverton. Along with the smell of coal smoke and soot on our clothes, we came away with memories of one beautiful mountain vista after another. We were all glad we were not riding back down again, but it was an experience none of us will ever forget.
We went to dinner in old Durango and then to the melodrama. It was not Broadway, but we enjoyed it as much or more. The troupe was young, talented, and enthusiastic. The mere mention of "that darned rooster" still brings smiles all around!
Many of us went for a driving tour of the Indian Cliff-dweller area at Mesa Verde south of Durango. The mountain scenery was less overpowering, but the record of the Indian culture preserved there in the stone of the cliffs was very much so. We left profoundly impressed with their evident industry, determination, and adaptability.
It was our first gathering without Mother. One of her fondest expressed wishes was that we should continue these events. Todd and Kim could not be with us, but all the rest of the company was there. We also had the great additional pleasure of having Johnís father, Jerry Staples, with us.