Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Mail call

We are at the Wal-Mart in Delta, Colorado (map).

After leaving Ridgway State park just a bit past the noon checkout, we found ourselves in Montrose at only 1:00 in the afternoon. We stopped at the Wal-Mart there for much-needed cat litter, and decided to call the post office in Olathe, one town north, to see if all four parts of our mail had arrived. A bit to our surprise, they had, and we decided to continue north to pick it up.

We put the dish up to scope out stay options in Olathe or Delta, and determined that Delta had a friendly Wal-Mart as well as a couple of RV parks and some public lands just a few miles out of town. We figured we'd find a place to stay within cell coverage for our conference call without too much trouble, and so we stowed the dish and continued to Olathe.

Olathe is a very small town, which is why we chose it to get our mail. (Small town post offices are, in our opinion, less likely to misplace your General Delivery items, and they usually know instantly whether or not they've been received when you call them.) That meant a small post office, in this case with no bus parking. We circled the block and parked on a pea-gravel shoulder across the street.

We went in, got the mail (two giant boxes and two smaller packages), and came back out to leave. By the time I had started the engine, the local constabulary had shown up to find out what we were up to. The officer asked if we needed any "help," but I got the distinct impression that what was really going on was they did not want RV's parked anywhere in town other than the lone, expensive RV park. We explained that we were picking up our mail, to which he retorted that this was an awfully big vehicle in which to be picking up mail. Give it a rest, buddy -- it's not unlawful to drive to the post office to pick up mail in whatever size vehicle you'd like, so long as it's licensed and registered. After that little episode, you can be sure we will not spend a single dime in Olathe.

We continued here to Delta and settled in at the Wal-Mart. Our plan was to go in to the store after our teleconference and pick up one of those hot roasted chickens, but there was none left by the time we were off the call. We settled for a frozen lasagna instead, which was passable. A much bigger problem, that we had not foreseen, is that grocery stores in this state can't sell wine, and our last box ran out. We had to uncork a bottle from our stash last night, and today we'll need to hunt down a liquor store to restock. Harumph. Consumer-unfriendly protectionist legislation at work. They have blue laws here, too -- you can't buy wine at all on Sunday.

As long as I'm ranting, I need to clarify some of yesterday's rant. It has been pointed out to me that the paragraph on Durango was very negative and that we had overlooked its finer points, such as some nice restaurants. I had not actually intended for it to come across that way.

We would have loved to have spent a night in Durango, and had intended to do so before the weather intervened in our plans. I am certain they have some great restaurants, and we'd even enjoy taking in some of the sights, even if the tourist-trap nature of such places is something of a turn-off for us. (Yesterday I wrote that we had "little use" for such places -- true, but distinctly different from "no use.")

A big problem with Durango specifically (and many tourist attractions in general) is that they are RV-unfriendly: they have not provided any RV parking convenient to anything like restaurants, they've outright banned RV's from parking overnight anywhere but licensed RV parks, and they've even made it difficult to park at big-box stores and the like just to shop. So they are not exactly facilitating my ability to leave any money in the town coffers.

Nevertheless we will return someday to Durango, and probably even take the very touristy train to Silverton. Preferably in weather a tad warmer than Monday's jaunt, where it was in the 40's there.

Tonight we are eying a swath of BLM land between here and Hotchkiss. We have two more nights before our visit there, so perhaps we will just settle in. In the meantime, we need to find a liquor store, possibly on our way across town to the coin laundry here in Delta.

1 comment:

  1. Ooooh, I hate that about Colorado! Such a great state, too bad about its liquor laws.

    We were surprised to find out that New York has the same backwards liquor laws as well.


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