Annual Southwest Regional 2015

Airports:       Animas Airpark [ 00C – Lat: 37ᴼ12.19’N /Long: 107ᴼ52.15’W ]: 5 Miles south of DownTowne

Durango – LaPlata Co. [KDRO – Lat: 37ᴼ 09.09’N /Long: 107ᴼ 45.22’W]: 16 Miles southeast of DownTowne

Lodging (H-Q):   TraveLodge, 2970 N. Main Ave, 81301; Ph: 970-247-1741 [Ashlee]

  • Pet-friendly (Restaurants close by)
  • Main Ave (btwn 29th & 30th St) — “Up-Towne” Durango
  • One block west of the Animas River, the NarrowGauge RailWay course, and the RiverSide Trail (bicycles highly recommended)
  • One block north of  DAIRY QUEEN
  • 2 miles north of the downtowne NarrowGauge RailRoad Depot
  • 7 miles north of the nearest airport (Animas AirPark – 00C )
  • 16 miles northwest of the Durango commercial Airport – KDRO
  • right on the city trolley ($1 each way) to downtown
  • ShortWing Piper Club” blocked room rates: Two Queens – $79 (9.9% tax not included)
  • Hot tub & sauna next door at Day’s Inn ($84 +)

Alternates nearby:

  • Knights Inn   Ph: 970-247-4042
  • Travel Lodge        970-247-1741
  • Quality Inn           970-317-2846
  • Econo Lodge Inn & Suites 970-247-4242

Rules: As per the traditional SouthWest Regional Regulations, there are NO RULES. Everybody is to do just what they want to do. If the flock is participating in an excursion, everyone is welcome to join-in,   . . . or not. No hard feelings – no recriminations. Set your own pace – pick your poison.


  1. Durango (to) Silverton Narrow Gauge RR (Durango’s main attraction) A 3½-hour train coach or covered open gondola ride up the Animas River Canyon to the Silverton Mining District (& town — artfully touristized) through the spectacular San Juan branch of the Rocky Mountains. Most schedule options allow time for lunch and exploring the Nineteenth Century “Silverton” mining town. To return you are allowed the option of the 3½-hour return train ride, or return by the furnished highway (historically narrated) 1½-hour bus ride. Saturday, so far has the most available tickets, works well for our late week-end arrivals, and selected by our earliest candidates.  Our Meeting/Banquet is Saturday evening, so that makes a long day.

Our suggestion is to opt for the early bus 1½-hour ride return, since the 3½ hour train ride up-river is plenty of accelerating railroad experience for most folk, half of which sleep most the way back due to the thin-air oxygen deprivation. The bus driver is reportedly very entertaining and tends to keep everyone awake. The highway ride is accelerating in its own rite.

[TIP: select right-side coach seats for the train trip up-river to get the best (acrophobic) view down the steep canyon walls. Butch & SunDance jumped therefrom to elude the pursuing Sheriff’s Posse.]

Schedule (STANDARD Fare, $85 round-trip):

Dates  Departs
August 7 – October 15  early: 8:00am 11:30am 1:45pm 5:15pm
Aug 7 – Oct 15 late train: 8:45am 12:15pm 2:30pm 6:00pm


Bus return option ($17 additional fare):

Dates Train Departs
Train Arrives
Bus Departs Silverton   Bus Arrives
August 7 – October 15     early 8:00am 11:30am 12:00 noon(. . . little time for lunch) 1:30pm
Aug 7 – Oct 15 late train: 8:45 am 12:15 pm 3:00 pm 4:30 pm


Call toll-free 888-884-8338 or  970-385-8875 for more D-S NGRR info, and for reservations/tickets.  Do it by Internet at:

Immediate reservations (by you) are recommended. Tickets are limited and go fast through mid-October.

2. Mesa Verde National Park by private automobile can amaze you for a half, or a whole day (Friday ?)

Senior Passes are honored for Park entry. The no-fee museum is now just outside the entrance just off Highway US-160. Reservations un-necessary.

  1. This year the 7th St & Main Av downtown Strater Hotel has a historical Cowboy Comedy Play, in lieu of their traditional melodrama — 7PM @ $25.50/adult (Friday only). The Strater’s Diamond Bell bar features a live honky-tonk piano player and fishnet stocking-clad floozy barmaids.
  1. Zip-Lining is a popular new way to fly at breakneck speed through the forest without the necessity of wings or propeller. One vendor in Durango combines Zip-Lining Adventure with the Narrow Gauge RR ride:
  1. Downtown Durango is always a fun place to explore and hang-out. Restaurants and gift shops abound.
  1. Animas River rafting traditionally offers not-quite-whiteriver nautical thrills for the bold-of-heart. This week an accidental spill of nasty mining-tailing elixir contaminated the Animas and downstream San Juan Rivers, preventing rafting vendors from plying their services. The rivers may or may not resume their pristine nature by mid-September to allow resumption of un-worrisome river adventure.

The search goes on, and shall be reported as new discoveries of Durango Adventure are found.

A selection for a suitable restaurant is underway to host our Saturday night Meeting & Farewell Banquet.

Make your hotel and Narrow Gauge Railway reservations now.


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