A visit to Colorado as a party of one

For the Monitor
Published: 1/13/2021 9:25:05 AM

Salem resident Bill Georato took off on a planned vacation and came home with the beginnings of a great travel book, Colorado: Diary of a Solo Traveler.

“I love to travel and this book is the true story of my bus trip across Colorado,” said Georato. “It was a guided AAA group tour through Collette Travel, and I would recommend it to anyone who wants to explore the majesty of the Rocky Mountains, the spectacular canyons, cliff dwellings and gorges.”

Luckily for Georato his trip pre-dated the restrictions in force in the parks related to raging fires and COVID-19.

Georato lays out a detailed itinerary and provides numerous tips for potential travelers that will be helpful for anyone planning a similar trip – where to go, what to do and eat. Georato has a knack for vivid description and imagery that creates a true visual for the reader.

The book describes highlights of five Colorado National Parks — Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado National Monument, Mesa Verde National Park, Royal Gorge, and Arches National Park, which is in the state of Utah. It also provides the reader with suggestions for places to stay, including the Durango Strater Hotel in Durango.

“The Strater is a beautiful historic hotel, going back to 1887. When visiting Durango, you must visit the hotel, even if it is just to have something to eat at the Diamond Belle Saloon, which harkens back to the Old West, with a piano player and waitresses dressed in period clothing,” said Georato.

The nine-day tour also included a visit and a ride on two historical trains.

“We were on the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad, an 1881 steam-powered locomotive,” said Georato. “I would recommend this as a must-do experience. We boarded in Silverton (a tiny little town set in the cauldron of a long-dead volcano) and took it to Durango. This train appeared in the movie Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. This is the train that Redford and Newman robbed. Our host actually pointed out the cliff they jumped from to get onto the train.”

“Silverton is another must-visit,” said Georato. “We spent a few hours there before getting on the train. Be sure to grab a burger at the High Noon, and take time to walk around and enjoy the Old West architecture.” Georato also suggests that when in Silverton, take a stroll down Notorious Blair Street, the town’s only paved road.

While in Colorado Springs, the group rode the Royal Gorge train, through the Royal Gorge.

“Potential travelers could think of this as the Grand Canyon’s little brother. In fact, if there were no Grand Canyon, the Royal Gorge would be it,” said Georato. While in the area he recommends a visit to the Royal Gorge Park. The park features a walking bridge, gondola, and zip-line across the Gorge. However, the author does say this may not be for those who are afraid of heights.

“I did the bridge and gondola. I was good with the gondola, but the bridge (a suspension bridge) was a little scary because of my fear of heights. I made it, though,” he said.

This is Georato’s third book and his second travel book. His books are available in paperback, Kindle, and Nook at Amazon, Barnes & Noble and his website — billgeorato.com. His poem, Ode To Captain Kirk earned an Honorable Mention at the 2008 77th Annual Writer’s Digest Writing Competition, Rhyming Poem category.

When he isn’t writing, he has an interesting second job. He does voice-overs for audiobooks.

Georato is a member of the New Hampshire Writers’ Project.

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