Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Durango, December 2012

Michele, Frankey, and I enjoyed a long weekend in Durango, Colorado, last week. We left on Thursday morning and arrived in Durango in time for lunch—an easy, scenic 4-hour drive.

The first order of business was to go to Maria's Bookshop, one of our favorite independent bookstores. It's dog-friendly, and Frankey was a little star. She got skritches and cookies. Michele and I picked up . . . um . . . a few things. A stroll around the vibrant downtown completed the day.

We stay at the Doubletree by Hilton because it welcomes doggies and is right on the Animas River. This image is from the hotel's website.

Then it snowed. We had planned to drive to Dove Creek on Friday to buy some yummy beans at Adobe Milling, but the highways were snowpacked. We had all those new books, so we settled in for a peaceful day of reading.

Thursday had taken a lot out of Frankey, and she was one tired Gaucho. Good thing she had her blankie for comfort.

Here is the view of the river from outside our room.

Some gnarly guys were fishing in the river near the bridge on Friday morning, but I didn't get my camera in time.

The mountain was socked in by fog for much of our visit. That's okay: I didn't want to climb it anyway.

We left Durango at 9:00 on Saturday morning. Travel through the snow was slow; it took us two hours to go the 60 miles to Pagosa Springs. For about half that time we followed a snowplow, and the driving was comparatively easy. From Pagosa Springs to Chama, 45 miles, took us about an hour and a half. Heading out of Chama, we traveled on clear roads all the way home.

You have to stop at Bode's in Abiquiu for cookies, lest the Republic fall. Frankey likes the peanut butter cookies best.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

What I've been doing--with pictures!

A Last Hurrah
Before the store closed, I went to the annual conference of the Mountains and Plains Independent Booksellers Association in Denver. As a way of repaying MPIBA in a small measure for everything it had done for the store and for bookselling in general, I volunteered to do anything they needed.

The trade show, featuring publishers, authors, and vendors of sidelines for bookstores, is always a highlight of the conference. You can get a lot of freebies, and nonbooksellers often try to sneak in and grab some swag.

One day's worth of swag from 2008
Hence the need for security to ensure that only registered participants in the event can get in. The guy who promised to do security at the trade show never showed up, and Kathy, the project manager for the association, was beside herself. I said that I would help with security. She said, "You have to be tough." I said, "They don't call me 'Knuckles' Durbin for nothin'." From that moment, everyone at the conference called me "Knuckles." At the cocktail party before the banquet, I introduced myself to a fellow bookseller: "Hi, I'm P-Doobie." "Oh, Knuckles! I'm so glad to meet you," she said. I even made the MPIBA newsletter.

P- "Knuckles" Doobie from Otowi Station Bookstore and Science Museum Shop in Los Alamos, New Mexico, graciously agreed to be our Opening Reception security as well as our registration greeter, and declared she had never had quite so much fun!
Now We're Cookin'
Michele and I took a class in high-altitude cookery at Los Alamos Co-Op Market. Our friend Liz discussed the chemistry and physics of high-altitude cooking, and then everyone in the class got to help make the dinner: Santa Fe bean soup, cornbread, and chocolate chip cookies. We helped chop, slice, and dice the ingredients for the soup.
There's nothing like a sharp knife, and this is nothing like a sharp knife.
Small Business Saturday
Flicker was out of cat fud, so on Small Business Saturday, the Saturday after Thanksgiving, we went to Pet Pangaea to get a bag. And naturally I agreed to show my support for small business.

Coming up: why I don't smell so good