Drive to Rheumatologist

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Regular Member

Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 191
   Posted 8/4/2005 10:18 AM (GMT -7)   
Izzie, in another thread, said she had a 4 hour drive to her doctor. I too have a long drive to see my Rheumatologist, nearly 4 hours, but I see it as the price one pays to live in beautiful Durango Colorado. I thought it might be interesting to share this.

My Rheumatologist is in Grand Junction, due North of Durango, but over three 10,500+ passes, some of the most beautiful, yet avalanche prone passes in the world.

The first pass is Coal Bank at 10,600 ft. I can't find any good pictures of it.

The next is Molas Pass at 10,900. It drops you into the town of Silverton, this gentleman has a some nice pics:

Here is Red Mountain Pass on a nice day:

which drops you into the Alps of America, called Ouray

So while it is a long drive, and right now I only do it every few months, it sure is not boring. I've ridden them all on my bicycle and plan on doing it again soon.
What about your drive?


Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2005
Total Posts : 1884
   Posted 8/4/2005 10:36 PM (GMT -7)   
Craig! I'm so glad to hear of someone who lives in CO. I've been wanting some personal feedback about the area.
My husband and I have been visiting Silverton the last few years camping. We take the roads over to Ouray, Telluride,
etc.  Last Sept, we were near the top of Ophir pass (we off-road) and a couple of crazy men were BIKING up it!
Why do I have a feeling that you have been one of those "crazies?"
We've thought about cashing in our California home and thought of Durango as a spot - but the weather, I fear would
wreck havoc on my joints...also, medical care has been a big concern because I'm ill so often. It sounds like maybe
Durango wouldn't be for me. We're also looking in to Colorado Springs (haven't actually been there yet to see if even
like it) or Cedar City, Ut. How bad were you with the winters prior finding medicine that helped?
Great pics of the area - did you take any of them? ...I miss it....we were going to head that way again this year, but
decided to head up to Yellowstone for a change of scenery. My husband rescued our dog up on Ophir Pass our first
year there, Sheriff said the border collies are a dime a dozen and she would probably be put to sleep. So, we took
her home. She is one awesome dog.  I should post the link to my web page about our last trip there (if i can find 
the address) I have some decent photos of our excursions... and some just okay ones.... 
That whole area is just so lovely. . . . . .

Regular Member

Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 191
   Posted 8/5/2005 8:34 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi CaMama,
The weather in Durango is similar to the front range, including Colorado Springs. A little north of town, towards Silverton, you get significantly more snow, further south toward N.M.
you get less. Rarely terribly cold or hot, but you get 4 seasons.

I've only gone through one winter with RA, and that was when I had my first big attack, before the MTX and Enbrel took affect, so I don't have any baseline regarding the weather
and my RA. I haven't reallly thought about it until now, I expect to be able to ride through the winter and do a little skiing, we'll see.

I can't recommend Durango enough, but I think one has to realize that this is still a small town. Some folks come here because they think it is a cheap Aspen, movie stars and such,
it is not. Others expect that they can go to the opera after a nice dinner at some restaurant where everyone is dressed up, you can't (we do have nice restaurants).

Durango loves the outdoors and its cowboy/cowgirl sort of attitude, talking bikes, hikes and wildlife, and casual clothing. People are very friendly except to people who are not.
We do have some very good medical staff in town, I had spine surgery 3 years ago by one of the top surgens in the country, and a new hospital is being built as we speak. We just
don't have a Rheumatologist, but I suspect that will change in not too long. It is just too desirable a place to live.

What is better than a location where you can be in Moab in 3 hours, Sedona in 6, the best mountains of Colorado in 30 minutes, Telluride in 90 minutes ... I can go on and on,
email me if you would like more specific information. Oh yeah, and hot springs in Pagosa Springs, here in town, Ouray ... very nice on the joints!

Coincidently, the Mrs. is a real estate agent, if that interests you I can point you two at each other as well.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jun 2005
Total Posts : 1361
   Posted 8/5/2005 10:00 AM (GMT -7)   
Oh I would love to go there and see those beautiful mountains. Would love to live there also, but city too big. Craig, wow, you ride your bike through there? you must have wonderful endurand. Ha! I couldn't ride to the

Of course I am not a young man either lol. Glad the meds are helping you, and hope you get to ride this winter,

Don't walk in front of me....I may not follow
Don't walk behind me....I may not lead
Walk beside me..and be my friend...
                                    Albert Carnus
and Lord, put your arm around my shoulder and your hand over my mouth

Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2005
Total Posts : 1884
   Posted 8/5/2005 11:52 PM (GMT -7)   

Flopsie, I couldn't even show my daughter what a jumping jack was today! At least not a very pretty

one! redface   Talk about an embarrasing moment!

So, Craig (that's my son's name, by the way :-)  ) - I'm told in Co. Springs the snow is minimal, gone the

next day. Are you saying that Durango is the same way?

You sure are selling me on Durango...we really liked it. I was worried about the small town aspect of it,

but it sounds like it's up and coming and may not be so small for much longer. We're pretty quiet people

and keep to ourself a lot. My husband would drop everything to move there if I gave the 'go ahead.'

Do you have kids? What's the school system like there?



Regular Member

Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 191
   Posted 8/8/2005 11:34 AM (GMT -7)   
Yes, in town the snow typically melts pretty fast, and it is not unusual for the temps to be near 50 sometimes in the winter.
I have a 12 y.o. boy here, we were worried a little about the schools, but are very pleased with them now that we are involved. It is such
a tight and small community that it would be difficult for him to get into any trouble without my wife or I finding out very quickly nono

While Durango is still a very small town, it is the biggest around, and the hub down here in the four corners. That makes if a big, small town.
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