The month of May for most brings warmer weather and flowers. Since Silverton sits 50 miles north of Durango at an elevation of 9,318 feet, the peak of the day may be a time to slip your sweatshirt off but the evenings are down right cold and flowers are not yet making their appearance for the summer. Our venture to Silverton required us to take the scenic drive of US 550 that roams through the mountain range where you never quite see eye level with the snowcapped mountain tops. But not one mile goes by without a majestic view that you hope your memory retains exactly as you seen it.
Miners were exploring the Silverton and Animas River area in 1860 in search of their share of a pot of gold. Although the town didn’t really come alive until the 1880’s due to word being spread of the productive mining taking place. This created a need for a train, hence the development of the Silverton Durango Narrow Gauge Railroad.
Our visit was prior to the tourist season. Therefore, we had the dirt roads to ourselves as we ventured through the walking tour of Silverton, learning mainly about “Blair Street” where all the “action” of the day took place.
Visiting during the off season meant we were limited on dining choices and lodging. Thank goodness, The Coffee Bear and The Alma House was open.
Service at the Coffee Bear was amazing. We were given the opportunity to snap a few photos of the neighboring hotel, The Grand Imperial.
The atmosphere, décor and history of the Alma House was the most enjoyable.
I enjoyed The Alma House to the point that I could write grand details that would make one blog entry simply too long. The Alma House is a 100+ year old boarding house that was built by a woman, Bridget Hughes with the intent of providing a living for herself by providing lodging for the miners of the day. This boarding house has always been an Inn of some sort and never a single family dwelling. The buildings construction is amazing, with a thick stone bottom that catches the eye, multiple rooms suitable for individuals and a huge space for families. The food is amazing along with the company and conversation with the Innkeepers. www.innoftherockies.com
If we are blessed with a return to Silverton we are determined to ride the Narrow Gauge Railroad and stay at The Alma House again, along with another attempt to see moose since we missed out on them this trip.