Spent an afternoon browsing through art galleries in Mancos. The Goodnight Trail, Raven House, Painted Turtle Studio, and Mancos Co-op showed a good variety of work including photography, painting, sculpture, pottery, jewelry and other crafts.
Had an excellent ham sandwich with potato salad and slaw at the Absolute Bakery & Café; all local ingredients on homemade bread. And of course, a raspberry brownie to go. Another notable eatery would be Fahrenheit Coffee Roasters, with home ground and roasted brews.
When the rails got old and could no longer handle freight trains, the Rio Grande Southern RR created the Galloping Goose. A gas powered hybrid of an automobile and rail car which carried passengers, light freight, and mail to mining towns and ranchers in-between.
It ran from Ridgway down past Placerville, Telluride, Rico, Delores, and then on to Durango. I drove the San Juan Skyway (CO-145), over Lizard Head Pass and along the Dolores River which followed the same route.
Across the street from the RR museum, I went for lunch at The Depot. They served the best burger I’ve had since a small café in Victor ID, that coincidentally had the same name, but with no connection.
In Cortez, I visited the Notah Dineh Trading Company which displays the largest Navajo Rug ever woven. Hawkins Preserve had several short trails that led to a ruin, and meandered over some slickrock and through juniper and piñon pine, along with typical high desert plants like prickly pear, sage, yucca, and rabbit brush.
Went to the Cortez Cultural Center a couple of nights and saw a cowboy singer, and some native dancers perform. Ate at Tequila’s Mexican restaurant that was quite good. Later, learned that Pepperhead was very good for southwestern fare, and Farm Bistro for a local ingredients menu.
Found a decent boondock camp up in Echo Basin at 8,226ft. Pine trees, good internet, and cool temps made for a convenient spot from which to explore. Before leaving, I re-suppied groceries, got gas and dumped the holding tanks.
Camp: San Juan NF-Echo Basin boondock
Scene: Galleries, trail, railroad, music, dance