Recently our beloved City Council tried to rename a stretch of U.S. Highway 160. Chaos ensued, and the issue was dropped. But recently I was driving that now-nameless road, and I noticed a large green-and-white CDOT mileage sign just before the Wildcat Canyon turnoff. It read: “Marcos 27 Cortez 43.” Did the council secretly rechristen a neighboring town? Did anyone tell the citizens of Mancos that their city had a new name? – Durango Larry
It’s questions like these that make Action Line’s life worth living.
Here, on a silver platter, is another opportunity to abuse our good friends and frequent foils, the Colorado Department of Transportation.
“We gotta get a photo of that sign,” a giddy Action Line said to himself, “because no one will believe CDOT made this bad of a typo. Marcos, indeed! Bwa-ha-ha!”
What happened next was heartbreaking.
Action Line drives up and down “Durango Boulevard.” Not once, but twice. No sign before Wildcat Canyon.
The search expanded. All the way up to Durango West. Still no “Marcos.”
In fact, the only white-and-green CDOT sign was the one near town, just past the Roosa Avenue turnoff. It correctly read: “Mancos 29 Cortez 47.” Dang it.
A dejected Action Line then muttered a few appropriate obscenities and drove away with an unused digital camera in hand.
Back at the office, calls then were placed to Mancos – just in case of identity theft.
An anonymous source in the 533 prefix picked up the phone. “Are you nuts? It’s Mancos. With an N,” the person said indignantly and spelled out the name. “M-a-N-c-o-s. Been then way since 1894.”
This information was confirmed by Tom Yennerell, town administrator of Mancos.
“Definitely not,” he said of any name change. “I haven’t seen that sign either, and I drive that road frequently. We are absolutely not called Marcos.”
So, in the curious case of “Marcos 27 Cortez 43,” the score is Mancos 1 Action Line 0 – a big fat egg after a wild goose chase.
Like many Durangatangs, I was excited to see another link completed in the river trail system and the revamping of the High Bridge river takeout. But when I showed up with my raft trailer expecting an improved situation, I found the former parking area now is lined with “No Parking” signs. I parked anyway, and upon my return received a warm and fuzzy orange greeting on my windshield. Why did the city “improve” this parking area by removing the parking? Where do they want me to park? Did the city actually ask people who use this area what they thought before approving construction? – Booney Parker
Sorry you got a ticket, but let’s not puncture a pontoon. The new river takeout, adjacent to the La Plata County Humane Society, is vastly better than the former chaos.
A significant amount of work, compromise and consultation went into the reconfiguration of this outdoorsy amenity, said Cathy Metz, director of the city’s Parks and Recreation Department.
“The reason for no parking is that we needed room so vehicles with big raft trailers could turn around,” she explained. “Lack of space to maneuver was a huge problem in the past.”
Metz said the city worked closely with the Animas River Task Force, recreational boaters, anglers, commercial rafting companies and the Parks and Recreation Advisory Board on the plans.
“It represents a lot of consensus and collaboration among the user group,” she said.
As for where can a river rat park, the answer is: anywhere there is not a “No Parking” sign.
Metz pointed to the area uphill from the trail crossing, where the gravel access road takes a dogleg, and next to the river, over the trail crossing on your left.
Remember, the riverfront is like downtown.
You’ll only get upset if you expect to find a space next to your destination, and there’s a steep price to pay for creative parking.
E-mail questions to firstname.lastname@example.org or mail them to Action Line, The Durango Herald, 1275 Main Ave., Durango, CO 81301. You can request anonymity if the daily CFS number of the Animas River is more important to you than the daily number of the Dow Jones industrial average.