After "the incident" and my brief personal vacation in Las Vegas, the site visits continued into the gorgeous state of Utah. Now, this is the rough part. Even though it had been a week, my foot was still severely burned, and I could not walk properly. So I had to do most of my site seeing driving through. Zion National Park was beautiful, and even though I could not walk around, I was so happy to view it.
There is not much around here, but thankfully there are still great hotels. The Holiday Inn Express in Springdale, Utah and brand new Fairfield Inn in Virgin, Utah were terrific. The Holiday Inn Express has this luxury log cabin feel, and I loved watching the sunset from the pool of the Fairfield Inn.
I made the way through Utah, and it was amazing to see the red desserts turn into lush green mountains. I had planned a stop before I got there, but with my foot finally giving me a little relief that day, I decided to drive on through to Durango. Again, what a great town.
I'm so thankful to the folks at Visit Durango, and I feel bad I could not see all they had planned. I drove up and checked out the magnificent Purgatory Resort. There whether it is Summer or Winter, they have unlimited options for groups and families. Just driving around, I saw the beauty and so many options. They have biking, bungee jumping, a scenic chairlift, ropes courses, ziplines, and more.
Just down the road, I stopped at a real sweet spot, Honeyville. It was a honey factory where you could watch the bees do their work.
The main reason I'm considering making Durango as a stop on the Sea to Shining Sea tour is the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad. I love trains, and as the tour organizer, I get to put in little perks for myself, but I also think the students will love this. I did the Cascade Canyon Express so it is a two hour round trip ride and it is a great way to explore. As you can see from the photos, it is one of the most picturesque experiences of the entire trip, and that is saying a lot. I even had a section to myself.
As you drive down the mountain from the railroad station, you see this weird honeycomb structure. It turned out to be a hot spring, but not just any hot spring. It was the Pinkerton Hot Springs. It was discovered by James Pinkerton in the 1800s, and he built a resort around it and made it a travel destination. He included a pool with water from the springs. People came from everywhere to experience the rumored curing nature of the springs. The resort ultimately burned down, but this is still a tourist destination worth stopping at in Durango, but be careful not to slip.