Marathon Rally Review: Colorado Mountain Adventure
Marathon Coach Club’s Fall 2022 event — held September 18-24 in Durango at Alpen Rose RV Park — welcomed 34 buses to a grand, western adventure.
The first night kicked off at the Bar D with a steak/potato/biscuit/beans supper on tin plates, followed by a cowboy music show under the stars by the Bar D Wranglers. Boy oh boy were those wranglers talented and entertaining! The following evening featured a private party at Highway 3 Roadhouse & Oyster Bar. This night proved that Mardi Gras is not limited to New Orleans, with many attendees “costumed up” in colorful hats, masks, boas and beads. Music by the Jeff Solon Jazz Trio — harmonica, saxophone, flute, piano and bass — really set the “N’aw Leans” mood and kept the party going well after the prime rib dinner and bread pudding with whiskey sauce dessert was finished.
Tuesday held back-to-back activities: lunch at Serious Texas Bar-B-Q, which was preceded by a rousing miniature golf tournament, played on a bright sunny day with 67 participants. Everyone had lots of fun with several hole in ones achieved on the challenging course. In the evening, about two dozen attendees took a relaxing soak just up the road at Durango Hot Springs. Those who participated in this optional activity agreed it was the perfect way to end their day!
Wednesday night was spent at River Bend Ranch. This beautiful, private locale had it all —
a large pond and dock, fire pit beside a majestic weeping willow and, unfortunately, some evening rain. But that didn’t dampen attendees’ spirits one bit because the “barn” — where festivities took place — was comfortable as well as pretty. And it didn’t hurt that Durangourmet’s catered dinner was delicious and the bluegrass band amazing. Most of the songs played by “The Badly Bent” were originals — such as “Love Me or Leave Me Alone” and “You’ve Got More Dollars then Sense” — and all were thoroughly enjoyed by the group.
Due to this rally’s location, attendees were able to participate in some unique activities.
A guided horseback trail ride had more than two dozen participants; Rufus the mule also went on the ride, carrying one lucky Club member on his back. A walking tour in downtown Durango, led by Horsefly History Tours’ Owner/Guide Laine Johnson, shared information about the architecture and history of buildings on the route, the bond between the railroad and the town in 1880, as well as stories of Durango’s most notorious outlaws and “ladies.” During the Durango Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad Yard and Museum Tour, a steam locomotive provided unexpected entertainment when it pulled onto the turntable and repositioned to a different bay in the railroad’s working roundhouse.
On Thursday morning in Silverton, mining cars carried attendees 1,500 feet into Galena Mountain for the Old Hundred Gold Mine Tour, an out-of-the-ordinary adventure. Early Friday morning, a caravan of open-air Jeeps departed with attendees for an off-road tour with Mild to Wild Rafting & Jeep Trail Tours. During this four-hour excursion, participants experienced much of Colorado’s beauty as the Jeeps ascended Missionary Ridge. Attendees saw high-mountain peaks, the lush Animas valley, and grove after grove of Aspen, whose leaves were changing into their vibrant fall colors — a spectacular sight to see. When the Jeeps reached tranquil Henderson Lake, it was time to turn around, but not before attendees took lots of photos to help them remember this special rally.
The final meal of the event was lunch in downtown Durango at El Moro Spirits & Tavern. In addition to having a laid-back atmosphere, creative drinks and great food — the scotch eggs here are top-notch — this restaurant claims to be the site of Durango’s strangest shootout, which took place in 1906. Guns were drawn, and after the smoke cleared, Sheriff William Thompson was dead and City Marshal Jesse Stansel was injured.
Thanks to all the attendee volunteers who helped during the rally. And special thanks to the three Club members who tirelessly served as rally photographers: Ed Cheeney, and Murray and Nathalie Sielski.