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Old 05-23-2012, 01:45 PM   #183
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My great grandfather ran a stage coach in Telluride and Ophir Loop. Grandfather also owned a saloon in telluride and later worked at one of the mines.Not sure of the years. Mom and I went back a couple of years ago saw the house she was born in .Two more she lived in as a child ,the hospital my brother was born in which is now the museum very interesting to go through the museum with my Mom and have her saying I knew them and I remember this or that.
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Old 05-23-2012, 02:46 PM   #184
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I forgot to mention the mountains are spectacular hoping the photos would tell the story. At the eastern end of the Canyon, black tipped peaks with a little snow in the avalanche chutes stand above the dry foothills below them.

The drive from Ouray to Telluride takes a little bit more than a hour. You cross over the Dallas Divide in ranching country then descend to the San Miguel River and then upstream to Telluride. It is a pretty easy and beautiful drive. I think the annual film festival is starting and we got there before the big rush.

Ouray was also a mining town, but not because of mines right there. They were above the town and Ouray served as the market town where supplies could be had. There's a lot of Victorian architecture and hot springs, one of which is clothing optional (Orvis, closer to Ridgway). Ouray is at the end of another box canyon, but this one runs north/south. As a result daylight is short in winter. The season is short and shops come and go. So do restaurants. We looked for breakfast Monday morning in Ouray and unfortunately choose the Artisan Bakery where the stove fan was so loud we had to shout to be heard. The noise drove us to outside tables. Breakfast sandwich was ok, but noise not so.

For dinner (Barb's birthday, now eligible for social security, so an official "old lady") we went to the Thai restaurant in Ridgway (just up the road from Ouray). The food is quite good there. We had a veggie tempura appetizer than was the best I've ever had. It filled me up for the pad thai which I couldn't eat much of; it'll be dinner again soon. This morning we went to Kate's Place in Ridgway—very good breakfast. We always stop there for lunch or breakfast when we come to this area. It is a block north of the highway to Telluride on Clinton.

Our friend Kevin went back to Denver today, but we had a lot of laughs and stories of silly things we've done years ago. Sat around a campfire in front of his cabin, no one else nearby, and settling in each evening. Our pad here has felt crowded. The RV's are parked close and we don't want to sit in someone else's miniscule front yard. We had a wider space last year. It is a well kept, treed campground but is crowded in this area.

After all this activity, this is a good day to catch up on reading. Gotta rest up, another guest coming this weekend.

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Old 05-24-2012, 09:36 AM   #185
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I figured out what I did wrong—tried to upload photos that were too big.

Gene

1. Black Bear jeep trial zig zags up the face of the mountain at the end of the box canyon east of the town of Telluride. At the left, there is a waterfall.

2. The Idarado mine at the east end of town. There was some activity there.

3. The Black Bear trail is to the left and another water fall at the center. There are some buildings at the top of the waterfall and this may be the hydroelectric generator that serves the town. The first one was built more than a century ago.

4. A side street in Telluride.
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Old 05-24-2012, 09:43 AM   #186
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More photos of Telluride:

1. A well restored building in downtown Telluride.

2. The front door of a former bank.

3. Another cool building with bank next store.

4. A view of the main street during a quiet moment.
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Old 05-24-2012, 08:30 PM   #187
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Ridgway (no "e") is a small town between Ouray and Montrose. The road to Telluride starts here and US 550, the Million Dollar Hwy links Montrose, Ouray, Silverton and Durango.

Gene

Photos:

1. A view of the main street and some of the shoppes and a saloon.

2. Lupita's Bizarre Bazaar. When Susan and her friends got together before Susan opened Lupita's, after some spirited drinking, they came up with the name "Lupita's" for her new shoppe in Ridgway.

3. The BPOE building in Ouray.

4. The Beaumont Hotel. It was restored at great expense about 10 years. I don't know if it has ever made money, but it sure is a beautiful building inside and out.
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Old 05-24-2012, 08:42 PM   #188
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More Ouray photos.

1. The main street looking north and downhill.

2. The town hall and fire station on a side street. Look just over the green roof to see the waterfall, one of 2 coming off the mountain.

3. The main street looking south and uphill. At the end of the canyon, US 550 zig zags up into the San Juan mountains. It is a slow drive to Durango, but beautiful.

4. This building was a saloon 110 years ago. The windows used to have round tops on the second floor and very tall windows on the first. Sometime, perhaps in the '20's or '30's, the windows were replaced with the very stylish metal casement windows. They look nice, but don't fit. The building is now a bank and the 2nd floor looks like apartments. It still retains some of the design from generations ago though the brickwork on the wall around the roof is deteriorating and needs repair. The building next to it—on the right—was built to match it and still has the original windows. It was built as a post office, also more than 100 years ago.

Gene
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Old 05-24-2012, 11:35 PM   #189
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Gene, nice pics. We have to go to Colorado Springs next year and I think I will make a road trip out of it. I always thought Telluride was more like Vail and Aspen. It reminds me of Virginia City though, which is near Reno. I have always liked the area between Reno and Lake Tahoe going up over Donner Pass. Lots of good skiing. Lake Tahoe was beautiful two summers ago. We backpacked around for 6 days and had a good time. The Ponderosa Ranch where they filmed Bonanza is close by as well.
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Old 05-25-2012, 03:59 AM   #190
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These mountain towns get gentrified when they become destination ski areas and gradually they look less like an old mining town. Vail, however, was never a mining town. Vail Pass wasn't opened until just before WW II under the direction of state highway department director Charlie Vail. The town came after that and looks pretty plastic to me. Ski resorts' business plans for years were based on real estate development more than skiing. So, the old towns are transformed and new ones are built around the resort. They all get to look like a movie set.

The mining towns without ski areas struggle along and also rely on tourism. For them, though, there is only one season to make money. Ouray also has ice climbing and hot springs, so there is some business in the winter, but it is still pretty quiet. The other business is attracting retirees. Retirees bring money into remote areas. Real estate in Ouray is expensive and there's not much level land for development. By the time you get to Ridgway, the canyon has opened into a broad valley and ranches slowly get subdivided.

There are still old mining and ranching towns that haven't been discovered. They are more authentic. We live near an old ranching town.

Telluride has been cleaned up and new buildings try to blend with the old. The second home town of Mountain Village is like Vail—created as a real estate development to complement the ski area. Go there in the shoulder seasons and it is deserted. It is like a neutron bomb hit. I imagine Beaver Creek ski area and the town of Avon are like that, but I've never been there. Mount Crested Butte is totally new development, but the nearby coal mining town of Crested Butte remains somewhat authentic.

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Old 05-25-2012, 08:36 AM   #191
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CrawfordGene View Post
...Mount Crested Butte is totally new development, but the nearby coal mining town of Crested Butte remains somewhat authentic. Gene
Ah, not like it was in the late 60s, when my roommates and I went up there every weekend from Fridged Ridge (aka Gunnison). Back then, the ski runs had just been built, but there were no lodges, restaurants, or shops catering to it yet. In town, there was a small restaurant of sorts, one booze shop, and a 3.2 bar (the latter being the reason why we went).


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Old 05-26-2012, 02:51 PM   #192
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We arrived home yesterday afternoon. It was good to get away and catch up on sleep and a bit of reading. Glad it wasn't today as gusts of up to 60 mph are expected. The valley below us is already obscured by dust. We are getting some of Utah and Arizona here.

Mostly the trailer performed well. I still have to fix the leak in the bathroom fan plus a bunch of other minor items to work on. The KOA is ok, but if we go there again, I'll try to get a space that is wider so we don't feel another RV is in our laps.

I expect we'll go to Santa Fe toward the end of June to investigate more moving options. Hopefully we'll have a contract for the house by then and be making commitments. Right now we're thinking of renting a casita or condo, storing most of our stuff and the trailer. Seems cheaper and more flexible. We appear to have a full price buyer for our extra water tap, so that's moving money.

The wifi booster worked sometimes. The iPad could pick it up, but then couldn't connect to the CG wifi for some reason, some of the time. The laptop did better with it. Part of the problem is having to reconnect to the CG wifi over and over and over. This booster is definitely a beta product. Instructions are incomplete, kits to improve things only solve part of the problem or in an inartful way. When we are at a CG with bad wifi hopefully it will make a difference.

We love the recovered cushions, new floor and table. The loose lay flooring seams open and close with temperature and I keep tightening them. That's not hard to do as a knife blade between them enable me to pick them up and reposition. Positioning them is tricky, but I'm gradually getting it. Nobody but me is bothered by this fortunately.

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Old 05-26-2012, 04:36 PM   #193
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Nice pictures. Thanks for taking the time to post them. We went to Telluride on our way back from the Southwest Caravan last year. We were parked at the Black Canyon of the Gunnison and drove to Telluride for the day. Turned right at Ridgeway. Did not stop. We had a Dr's appointment in Grand Junction for later in the week and were just sorta hanging around. How about the "other" part of Telluride? We travel with the dog in the truck so we actually had to take turns riding the lift and sitting in the park. Then we drove around to the new section. Not somewhere my budget would allow. Sorry to say we missed Ouray. We stayed in Durango and went to Silverton and Taos, then later we went to Telluride from the other direction. But according to you we might have missed the best of the bunch
Going on the Blue Ridge Parkway caravan in June. Nothing planned later than that. Colorado is not that far from TN (at least not like going to the west coast) Not sure whether we will do a long trip this year or just stay home. Not trying to sell a house, but sure am several years behind in keeping ours up because of all the traveling we have done in the past few years. On the other hand we can go now and the house might survive without us a bit longer and we have some long term health issues that will eventually ground us, so maybe out west again this summer while we still can.
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Old 05-26-2012, 05:44 PM   #194
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A nice trip. Why I wish to escape the hell of South Texas . . some day. In the meantime met up with a one-armed Kineno yesterday who described for me how the young rattlers are out and about mostly at noon. I'd been most wary at dusk.

The Colorado mountains always look inviting at any season. Even more so when the dust is flying and visibility lowers: can't hear much, and can't see much.

Glad your TT fixes and upgrades are working, the wifi is coming along, and some plans are afoot on moving.

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Old 05-26-2012, 06:17 PM   #195
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Every one of these towns has something to see and many of the more touristy ones have some really good restaurants. Some are more authentic, i.e., run down, unpainted old buildings in bad shape and some really interesting characters who don't fit in anywhere else (and sometimes not where they are either).

Some feature speed traps to pay for the local marshals. Ridgway had an empty police car parked by the side of the road and a manned one another block up the road in case the first one didn't fool you, for ex.

South of Telluride on the way to Cortez you can stop in Rico. Lots of old buildings and a few businesses trying to capture some tourists. Closer is Ophir, mostly just off the highway to the east. Relatively unspoiled, it has places to live for people who work in Telluride but can't afford to live there. From there is a rocky road east to US 550. I haven't been on it in 20+ years, but it was possible to drive in a high centered truck then. I have no idea of its present condition. There are old mining roads all around the San Juan Mtns., and they are very interesting drives. They mostly require 4WD and a smaller vehicle than a full sized pickup. A good resource is the Colorado Pass Book, but it has been out of print for years though used copies are available. Always check with locals about road conditions.

These roads aren't for the faint of heart—driving over boulders and looking down 1,000' on off camber roads, or trying to get past someone coming the other way on a two track road aren't for everyone. Mud can be a problem and deep water is to be avoided. Sometimes in mid summer you come to a snow plug and have to back out. Some roads are maintained by 4WD groups, otherwise, they just get worse. They are tough on truck and human bodies as you bounce along at 2-10 mph. Getting towed out requires lots of money. Weather at altitude can change quickly—snow at any time of year, torrential rain and flash floods happen. In the afternoons, scary thunderstorms show up and make driving out hard. Best to do this in the morning. I've seen people go sideways down a steep grade as they couldn't control their trucks though they all made it on a really bad grade on Red Cone not too far from Keystone ski area. Red Cone is considered one of the worst 4WD descents in the US. If you are as a crazy I am and do these things, it is a good idea to bring some food, extra gas, water, tools, tire repair kit and compressor, good maps, warm clothes and a calm attitude (I didn't bring those things when I started doing that 30 years ago). Some people also bring a lot of beer; I guess they need liquid courage.

Along the highway south of Telluride there are some forest service campgrounds that would be nice for quiet times. Mostly they don't take reservations.

One thing that happened was Barb turned on the water heater on our 2nd day out and nothing happened. Having read many threads about water heaters, I went out and jiggled contacts to rub off any corrosion and tighten them. Went inside and it started right up. The contact that controls the light inside (and probably powers the igniter) was probably the culprit since the light hadn't worked when I checked it. I plan to clean all the contacts and the igniter. The Revolution (Camco) sewer hose was leaking at 2 connections. I think it was dirty O rings; I'll clean them.

I was looking through old e-mails to delete, and found this: http://www.sonnyradio.com/realage3.swf It tells you how long you will live (if it is correct—it seemed fairly sophisticated). I'm supposed to live 10 years past average for my age to 91.6—20 more years. What made some big differences is my very low cholesterol, exercise, working hard, good eating habits. Barb is supposed to live to 102.7—her grandmother made it to 102.8. When I croak, Barb may be selling a 24-year-old Airstream. Check the classifieds in 2032.

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Old 05-28-2012, 09:04 AM   #196
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It is worth mentioning that there is a great little rustic campground right in Telluride owned and operated by the City. It saved us last September when the National Forest Campground going up Lizard Head pass was closed, even though their web-site said it was open through September 30th.

The campground is very pleasant, with a creek running right through it. I think the cost was $10.00 a day, but no hook-ups. Had flush toilets and showers, and only a block away from the main part of downtown.
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