October, 2, 2011 travel diary
Telluride, Ouray & Durango
Grab a cup of Java, listen to my playlist or yours & come along for the ride! This is a long post, but I can assure you not in the least bit boring!
This mind blowing trip to the south western part of Colorado, a trip, that was promised to me when we moved to Denver, a number of years ago was everything and more, I imagined it to be. It was freakin awesome! My husband went to work in Durango, when we first moved here & ever since then, could not get this beautiful part of Colorado, out of his mind! It only took us about 6 hrs drive to get there and this was really pushing it, stopping only for one bathroom break. We had everything at hand, from a welcome cooler filled with nourishing fare to a jamming playlist that could make you sing like a canary!
You may wonder, why only undertake this trip now? Well, everything has its time & place, & boy am I glad that the start of Fall & the “changing of the leaves,” marked the beginning of this offbeat escapade!
After three & half hours of driving, we reached Grand Junction, guarded by a surreal mass of grey, brown and monochromatic cream hues , a mountain known as Mt. Garfield. It looks like a huge desert sand dune, does it not?
I took this shot from the car, as it was difficult to stop here, so it does appear a little fuzzy.
Cool music from my playlist DJ Tiesto & Medina (You and I),
Nadia Ali, Starkillers & Alex Kenji-(Pressure) ……more below
Climbing in elevation & now only, (20 miles from Telluride & jamming to the beat of Jennifer Lopez…on the floor), the dwarf-like scrub vegetation, suddenly gives way to this colorful Alpine scene. There is just nothing to beat these magical Aspen trees during the Fall! Notice the San Juan mountain range in the background? It is dusted with a light layer of snow! I kid you not this mountain range shoots up to magnificent heights right before your very eyes! It was not coined, “ to- hell-you-ride” for nothing, the journey into these mountains are sometimes scary, yet so exciting! I was indeed sitting on the edge of my seat!
What can I tell you, I am a “nervous Nelly,” constantly telling my adrenaline junkie of a husband to turn back, but do you think he even minds me, hell no!
Welcome to Uncompahgre National Forest! (5 miles from Telluride)
I am really ( he! he!) cracking up here as I type “Uncompahgre,”because “spell check” is telling me it is supposed to be “uncomprehending”..….stupid a..!!
Welcome to Telluride…(To-hell-you-ride he! he!)
We are here guys!!!!The sign also says, “your civil liberties are safe here”…. this even jives for man’s best friend….see picture of “puppy parking” below! He! he! Political correctness lurks everywhere, can it just not be on my trip?
Anyway, as we roll into Telluride, just like the miners way back then, I am utterly & completely overwhelmed by the scenery. I had to constantly scoop up my jaw from the ground & move on. There was no way that my little camera would do it justice!
The New Sheridan, also home of the infamous Sheridan Opera house situated in the back. Boy, if these old walls could talk about the early 1900’s , about the greedy gold diggers, gun slingers, honky tonk saloons & not forgetting the ladies of the night, we might just have the makings of yet another cheesy western here!
Telluride is a little bit quirky, a little bit playful, a “lotta” liberal & a “lotta” expensive…hey! whatever floats your boat, that’s what I always say!
Needless, to say, the price tags on some of these items call for a whole pay check! So forget it, I am not bringing back mindless gifts! he! he! I am a ge nui ne nature girl, so pictures of nature will just have to suffice!
Okay! I thought this was rather strange…as we were driving down main street, a bevy of cheery folk suddenly appeared . Apparently, it is customary for the wedding party to parade down Main street, even with all that soft pouring rain!
The bride, actually wanted us to turn up the volume…apparently the real party was in our car! She really liked Pitbull ( Calle Ocho), I know you want me, of all songs! There is just something about Miami music that makes any self respecting person want to misbehave! just kidding I love Miami! Heh! I have been placed on that misbehaved list a long time ago!
I love these songs though, “thumbs” up if you are still listening to it in 2011
Puppy parking max 30 mins!
A building with no roof, or back walls.
Manitou Lodge (bed & breakfast)……love this cozy home away from home!
The unit we stayed in had two bedrooms, two bathrooms, a kitchen and a little sitting room. There is also a main dining room where one could use the stove and other appliances even though one’s unit has all of those things. These places are packed during ski season. So the question is, would we venture here during the winter ski season…..heck ya!
At night, I would be lulled to sleep by this bubbling brook & to be able to revel in this peace & quiet is all that I ask for!
One morning, very early, I jumped onto the gondola in my PJ’s to go to the market to buy almond milk. The B&B provides everything except milk for the lactose intolerant. On the way I was joined by a guy and his little boy & he very “candidly” remarked that he thought my fuzzy slippers were “cool” I knew that he was trying to make small talk because really my slippers were not in the least cool!
Later that afternoon, E & I jumped onto the same gondola to take some pictures, & guess who was on the very gondola, the same guy, this time with his wife… he then remarked Oh! I have already met miss fuzzy slippers very early this morning! Both my husband & his wife looked rather puzzled until I explained!
This is Mountain village ski area, the 2nd stop of the gondola ride. My favorite market was at the end of the gondola ride.
I laughed at the road signs here, they read ” Slow Children here.” I am just being facetious! It is just kind of funny when one is reading it real slowly Lol!
Water remediation project.
Bridal Veil Falls- stunning falls ( 365 ft in length), tallest free falls in Colorado!
Ahhh, At last, Trout Lake was my very favorite place, so peaceful I could just get lost here and never emerge! Ain’t she just beautiful?
This trail was extremely far into the forest, lucky my husband does not heed my cries because we would never be able to “discover” new places! Anyway, a successful trip does mean, hours & hours of driving.
Welcome to Ouray!……..Hooray for Ouray!
This place reminds me somewhat of Cape town, where I was born. This quaint little town is nestled between the 2 mountain ranges.
Look no rails! Scary is it not? I suddenly felt one of those loose, liquid bowel movements coming on, but dared not tell the “driver.”
I held my breath and closed my eyes going through the Red Mountain Pass. It is just way to steep for my health! he! he! Not that I am not accustomed to high mountains, but they sneak up on you, some of them as high as 14,000Ft.
The mountains are red here due to the deposits of Iron oxide in the rocks.
Gold & silver mines sprung up in this region, as well as in Telluride, in the 1870’s.
The Idarado mining co. started a water remediation project here in the 1980’s to improve water quality & to improve the aquatic habitat.
San Juan mountains at its very best! This picture is just unforgettable! You just had to be there to drink in the beauty of these vibrant colors!
Welcome to Durango!
Durango is known for the “Durango to Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad. I think it was $100 a ticket if I’m not mistaken, but then again we had just come from Silverton…..let me guess, Silverton was known for its silver?” I came up with that all by my smart self!
Diamond Belle Saloon
My husband hung out here watching his beloved, Miami Dolphins lose!
I was mesmerized by the cloud cover just above the Rockies. Here is this huge open space & it only covers the mountain! At this point, my husband was just really flying down 285, everything and I mean everything had to be bolted down, ( including breakfast), or God forbid, you would lose it all!
Thumbs up yet again, if listening to these in 2011. Sometimes the oldies just stay with you!
Thank you for riding along with me. Hope you enjoyed this trip as much as we did!