Electra Lake and Road Construction -- The first was to admire Electra Lake and the peaks beyond it which would have been a challenge to see adequately even at US HWY 550 speeds, and the second was to talk with the woman holding the Stop/Slow sign. She drove 100 miles or so to this job every day, but it was only one of the three jobs she worked at every week which including managing a small dairy herd. Apparently, if you don't live in Denver, or have access to a trust fund, Colorado can be some tough livin'.
Engineer Mountain Hike -- From Trails 2000 (a non-profit organization based in Durango, CO): "this is a favorite hike or ride that is well marked and in close proximity to Durango, making it quite popular in the summertime. Engineer Mountain is the prominent “double” cone which can be seen when driving northbound on US HWY 550 beyond Purgatory in the San Juan National Forest. It is a fun and challenging mountain with awesome panoramic views in all directions from the summit, since it’s nearly 13,000’ and stands alone. The most direct ascent starts at Coal Bank Pass on Hwy 550 and goes up the Pass Creek Trail. While only 4.4 miles round trip, it’s considered a difficult climb due to the narrow ridge, loose talus, and the exposed crux move." Also, be aware of lightning hazards during afternoon thunderstorms; it would be prudent to start your hike early.