Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Ouray and Telluride, CO: "SSS: Spectacular Summer Scenery" (Days 6-8 of 42)

The beauty of Colorado continues to amaze and delight, as we explore the nearby towns of Telluride, Ouray, and Ridgway.  Everyone knows Telluride as the place for great winter skiing, but it’s also spectacular in summer!  We're enjoying Colorado with our Phoenix friends, Ryan and Erin Weed and Family, who were with us last summer as well in Yellowstone.


Telluride has a fast, FREE, pet-friendly gondola ride to the top, and Sprinkles loved the views of town!



See that squiggly thing on the left in the photo above?  It's not a branding iron ... it's a rack to carry mountain bikes up the hill.  Telluride has a world-famous network of mountain bike trails.  Fearless daredevils in full body armor and full face helmets risk life and limb to fly down the tracks at warp speed.  Of course Philip wanted to try!  Of course I (on behalf of his surgeons) said no!



The view out the other side of the mountain is spectacular as well!  


See the Telluride Airport landing strip behind the boys in the photo below?  The Telluride Airport is known locally as the USS Telluride because it's like landing on an aircraft carrier! Each side of the landing strip drops off hundreds of feet since it sits on the edge of a mesa and there is a huge dip in the middle of the runway. Only the top 5% of pilots are allowed to land there....if you can land at all. It is the highest commercial airport in the US and although it's not the nation's most dangerous airport, it is reportedly one of the most thrilling at which to land. 



New to Telluride this year is a "ropes course" for children and adults, at the base of Chairlift 4 in Mountain Village.


Gabe Weed (age 15) conquered the "up high" part ...


... while Kate Weed (age 7) handled the "down low" portion of the fun!



We took our trusty Jeep on a 4x4 expedition to Bridal Veil Falls, Colorado's longest free-falling waterfall at 365 feet.  Over 1.8 very-rocky miles, you gain 1,200 feet elevation and are able to experience the waterfall from the bottom, the middle, and the top!  Ooh-la-la!
  
From the distance!
At the bottom!

At the middle ... you're a-gonna get drenched!!!!
From the top ... a now privately-owned historic power plant.  Way up high!

View from the top of Bridal Veil Falls

We loved (!) Telluride but are staying in Ridgway, a small town with a great state park: lots of camping fun (think: campfires, s’mores, hiking trails, deer pouncing through the campsite with zero advance warning, squirrels galore to drive Sprinkles stark-raving-mad).  We also enjoyed their swimming beach on the big lake, and a fantastic farmers' market!




  
Ouray is known as the “Switzerland of America,” which seems kinda greedy to be both American and Swiss, but I digress. We hiked Box Canon Falls and shopped their quaint main street, but our favorite Ouray activity was a fantastic free outdoor concert where every person seemed to have at least 2 dogs along for the fun ... including us!



The windy road leading to this section of the trip gave us the opportunity for lots of great Lucky-Charm-in-action shots:



We loved these cities in the San Juan County Mountains!
Next stop ... Glenwood Springs and Aspen!  Tally ho, Lucky Charm!