Friday, May 15, 2009

Durango, Sweet Durango

I've been in Durango now for exactly one week and have been using that time to get acquainted with the town, the people, and the surrounding rivers. I've completed my certification for my Wilderness First Aid and Adult CPR class. I've also started a new job working at 4 Corners Whitewater working reception until I complete a 6-day Guide School program which will hopefully result in me being hired on as a river guide. That madness starts tomorrow morning, with Dave acting as one of my course instructors. Needless to say, its been a busy week!

Dave found a place for us to live before I arrived, contingent of course on Brodie getting along with Clyde, the Alaskan Malamute who already lives there. Luckily, the dogs are perfectly fine together and will be able to spend lots of time outside in the fenced in yard while Dave and I are away. Unfortunately, the room isn't ready yet, and won't be until this Sunday at the earliest. So we've been bouncing back and forth between friend's houses for the last week while we wait for the room to be ready. Surprisingly, its been no problem. I've been really impressed with Durango so far. The people here are friendly, generous and accommodating and the town as a whole is exceedingly dog friendly. Brodie has a ton of new doggie friends and we've got multiple places we could potentially leave him should we decide to go out of town, which is a huge relief.

I've been playing a bit on the river lately, getting to know the Lower Animas (aka "town run"), which is a Class II-III run, and I just got back from a 19 mile trip down the Dolores River, which was an uber-mellow Class II run on the section I ran. People bring their dogs with them on the river, which I find exceedingly humorous. Its not uncommon to see a dog or two in a raft wearing a life jacket. Brodie has one too, though I haven't brought him along with us on any of the rivers yet. Not sure how well he'd take to it seeing that he didn't learn to swim until he was 3 and he didn't learn to jump off the dock at our lake house until he was 5. He's 7 years old now, so maybe he's ready to step it up. I'll wait until the water level comes down a bit before I throw him on a raft. The town run is peaking early because of the warm temperatures lately, so its a bit big for him at the moment. Plus the water is COLD since its all snow run-off. With any raft trip you run the risk of flipping. And if I wouldn't want to swim, I certainly wouldn't want him to either.

In my spare time I've been trying to get to know the town a bit better. I don't find it easy to explain to people what Durango is like to people who haven't been here. Lots of people say its like Boulder in the 80s before all the growth and construction, but since I have no frame of reference, that comparison is worthless to me. Its a young town with two small colleges and an abundance of outdoor activities for all seasons. There are lots of rivers within an hour or two of town, two ski resorts just outside of town, loads of hiking and mountain biking trails, and several rock climbing and bouldering sites. Plus, its really beautiful! Its no wonder that the town attracts a plethora of young active people. The place is super friendly and laid back (very "granola" if you will), there's tons to do and I really like it here. I certainly wouldn't have ended up here without Dave but I'm so glad I'm here. I can think of no better place for us to spend our summer. And maybe longer!

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