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Top Five Destinations of Durango

This morning I got to thinking about my past addresses. The most recent ones come easy, 601, 4415, 1340 and 1712, and the ones growing up do as well, 1817 and 1814. Just looking at those numbers, and you are right if you say there may be a little selection bias and this is a small sample, there are four that begin with “1,” one that begins with “6” and one that begins with “4.” That made me think that addresses, on a large scale, may not be perfectly random and it made sense because of what I know about Benford’s Law. Benford’s Law postulates that the number “1” occurs more frequently as the first digit in real data than other numbers. (This also made me take a tangent to read about Benford’s Law of Controversy, which states, “Passion is inversely proportional to the amount of real information available,” and that feels very right on a gut level after watching the coverage of recent news events.)

dura3So, what does this have to do with Durango, Colorado? Well, after my mind fluttered through addresses and other wake-up time thoughts, I looked at the 57 destination essays that I have done that have focused on cities. I wouldn’t say it’s random, as I generally look for interesting cities in different areas of the country, but it isn’t particularly planned either. That said, 16 (28%) of the essays have started with the letters “A,” “B” or “C,” and it makes me wonder if there is a kind of Benford’s Law for the first letters of words. In comparison, the towns beginning with “L,” “N,” “R,” “S” and “T” for those of you that watch “Wheel of Fortune” with their parents, also started 16 of the 57. I did find Zipf’s Law, which says that the most common word is used twice as much as the second most common word and three times as much as the third most common word, but nothing having to do with the first 3 letters of the alphabet.

Durango marks my first realization of this ordering. Now that I’ve noticed it, how will it impact the choices I make in the future? All I know for sure is that it doesn’t have anything to do with these five cool things in Durango.

Take in everything at Mesa Verde National Park

If I were to rank every national park I’ve visited, Mesa Verde would easily rank in the top 10 and more than likely the top 5. Off the top of my head, and for today only as these things change, Grand Tetons, Arches and Denali are in, and that’s where it gets tough as Death Valley, Yellowstone, Yosemite, Redwood, Canyonlands and Mesa Verde all battle to win my affection. I think Mesa Verde gets a bit of a lead for being the only historical park in the lot.

Eat steak for lunch at Ken and Sue’s

Ken and Sue’s serve a five-ounce filet on a homemade Kaiser roll with horseradish for lunch and it’s only $11. Sold.

Go back in time with the Durango and Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad

According the site, the Durango and Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad travels to places only accessible by foot or train. Considering you’re sharing a narrow canyon with an old train and a fast flowing river and it is almost a 3,000-foot elevation gain, I think by foot may be rhetorical except for the most dedicated hikers.

Crank up the adrenaline rafting class V rapids on the Upper Animas River

However, speaking of the river, if you go up, you have to get back down, and flying down in a whitewater raft through class IV and V rapids may not be the way to sightsee, but it definitely would be the fun way down.

Eat steak for dinner at the Ore House

As hungry as I expect to be after that kind of rafting trip, I doubt I can eat the Chateaubriand for two at the Ore House, but I’m sure it would be a tasty try.

Any suggestions for things that I missed? Any additional recommendations for the area? Just let me know in the comments.

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About Jason McClain Jason is an aspiring novelist, which means there is a lot of time to put off writing and watch baseball or go fly-fishing, hiking and traveling. By "a lot of time", Jason means "procrastination."

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