When I was a little girl, I loved bouncing around on my horse Brownster. Brownster was a brown stuffed horse head on a broom stick, but I was definitely the best rider in my house. I had the cowgirl hat, pink cowgirl boots, and a lasso. My pets ran when they saw us but I often lassoed them to my mom’s despair.
Going to Silverton, CO brought out that young cowgirl. We arrived by bus so we could take the Durango-Silverton Train back to Durango. After being on the bus for almost an hour and half, I made a beeline for the restrooms. Of course women have to travel in groups, and my sister was right behind me. The wooden sidewalks were a fun addition to the town. I could imagine wearing cowgirl boots with spurs and I could hear the clank on the wood planks in my head as we rushed to the nearest restroom.
After the fun of using a restroom stall with a curtain instead of a door, I exited to the sight of a stagecoach and a rugged cowboy holding the reins. I watched as he assisted two young ladies into the coach. The ride would take them around the small town for a low cost of $7.00 per person. The thought crossed my mind, but then I heard my stomach growl. The experience would have to be passed up. We set off to find a saloon—I mean a restaurant—for lunch.
We did a little bit of shopping while looking for that perfect spot to refresh ourselves. The shops were in buildings that reminded me of an old western. Mostly wooden façades, wooden walkways, and old windows. Most of the shops seemed to be geared toward the typical tourist: T-shirts, coffee mugs with Colorado scenes, and western wear galore. There were a couple of unique shops, and those are the ones I gravitated toward. I have learned that a souvenir can come in a small package. Recently I bought a bracelet that I can add beads to that represent my travels. I found the perfect one of a small train. My husband likes this trend of the small token, but we often disagree on what the bead should be. I always win that battle—after all, it is my bracelet.
I heard the charming sound of an old piano as we passed a restaurant. We looked at the menu and decided this would be a good place to eat lunch. The bar was amazing—no, not the drinks, but the actual wooden bar. It was a huge piece of wood and it looked like I could just walk up and ask for a shot of whiskey. But I realized I wasn’t in a western movie so I sat down at a table with my traveling partners.
The menu did offer variety and everyone found something they liked. My sister and husband wanted to be daring and ordered Rocky Mountain Oysters. I’d had a bad experience with eating them, so I didn’t partake. (I had been on a date years ago and the gentleman I was with ordered them and told me they were chicken nuggets. Boy, was I surprised to find out they did not come from a chicken. Needless to say, that was our last date.
My sister and I were curious to find out what a marijuana shop looked like so we went into one in Silverton. The smell was noticeable as soon as we walked through the door. A young man approached us with dreadlocks and large gages in his ears. He didn’t seem to fit the old western feel of Silverton; he seemed more like someone from Boulder. He asked for our IDs and I was so excited that this grandma would be carded. He blew that bubble when he said sorry, he had to ask everyone who walks through the door.
The gal behind the counter was very knowledgeable and answered our questions. She told me about a lip balm that was made of hemp and would not get me high. I thought I would be safe and stick with buying that. She put it in a little sealed package and off we went.
When you get to Silverton, make sure to check out the entire town. It is an easy walk and there is something for everyone to see. I think the kids would get a kick out of seeing the old stagecoach and all the fun little buildings. There was even a music park on one of the side streets with all kinds of things they could bang. The merchants in Silverton love their dogs and there were many shops that had a water bowl for the furry customer.
After a wonderful time exploring, we headed to the train station and got settled for the ride back. I would love to come back someday and see the outskirts of the area, which I caught a glimpse of from the bus and train.
I’m off to plan another memorable adventure. And because I feel more like a cowgirl after leaving Silverton, I will tip my hat to you and say, “See ya ‘round, partner.”