Before setting off on this very scenic drive up the mountain from Durango to Silverton, we had to repair the plumbing of the bathroom sink. The pipe we had installed was far too stiff and had worked itself loose. In a hardware shop we found a more flexible hose. After several attempts we finally managed to get it in place without its leaking.

The most touristic way is to take the steam train from Durango to Silverton. This roundtrip takes all day. We also wanted to drive further up the mountain over the Million Dollar highway (to Quray and Telluride) so the train was not an option (even if we could get a ticket). Many mines were once active in these mountains. Everywhere you see tailing dumps and ruins of old villages and mining mills. The road climbs over several passes of 3200+ m. Needles to say that Passepartout with its 100 hp engine takes its time to get up and over these passes. By the time we reached the old mining town of Silverton (now a well-known skiing and summer holiday village) it was time to find a campsite. Just outside of town there is a well established BLM (Bureau of Land Management) campground alongside a small river. Several other campers were already there. At night it cooled down till below freezing and inside it was 2 deg. Frost was on the windows in the morning. What do you expect if you camped at 2800 m in October. In the morning a local told us that severe weather warning with up to 6 inches of snow is expected later in the evening. Good that we were on our way out of the mountains (we have no snow chains). First however we had to drive further up over the Million Dollar highway. It is a very picturesque drive with many switchbacks and sharp drop-offs. At the end of the climb we took a side road and drove through another valley back down to Cortez and then turned South East towards southern Utah and on to Gooseneck NP. When we arrived it was very windy and almost dark. The campsite is on top of the ridge of the San Juan river gorge. Looking over the cliff you see the river deep below snaking through the rocks. During the night the wind picked up even more and it started to rain too. We had installed our steel mosquito grills to get some ventilation because we did not dare to open any other windows. Needless to say the camper was rocking in the wind and we were both rolling back and forth in our beds at every wind gust.