Larry & Lee Ann's Journey travel blog

On our way to Telluride, it's a beautiful morning!

We understand that this is a small portion of many thousands of...

Colorado is one beautiful state!

Traveling on Hwy 145 now, nice views...

Did I mention 'nice views'? LOL

Pretty rivers everywhere!

Can you believe this was the only town sign we could find???

We've arrived...

Cool name guys!

Bridal Veil Falls, wish we could get closer!

Ingram Falls is just to the left as we look up the...

Love the rainbow of colors in this block!

I liked the setting of this home...

Interesting yard decor just up the street...

Nice Court House...

One of several ski lifts in the area...

Bikes & lifts seem to be the main source of travel in...

Time for our ride!

Nice view!!!

Looking out the window in front of me...

First stop, time to stretch our legs...

Nice...

Gondola entrance...

A private home we're riding over...

This one was my favorite though!

Looking down on the town of Telluride from the mountain top...

Hubby enjoying the view as we ride back down...

Passing another car as they head up & we head down...

This was Larry's favorite pic of the day! Love the wind-blown roof,...

Plenty of cattle & ranching going on...

On the road home, near Ridgeway...

Ahhhh, home sweet home!


Today we drove the 65 miles from home to Telluride. It was a pretty drive with a gentle ascent until we finally reached the town, located at an elevation of 8,750 feet. After picking up a copy of the Visitor's Guide, we learned that the town was named after valuable ore compounds of the chemical element tellurium, a metalloid element which forms natural tellurides, the most notable of which are telluride ores of gold and silver. Although gold telluride minerals were never actually found in the mountains near Telluride, the area's mines were rich in zinc, lead, copper, silver, and ores which contained gold in other forms. Telluride began slowly because of its isolated location. In 1881, a toll road was opened by Otto Mears which allowed wagons to go where only pack mules could go before. This increased the number of people in Telluride, but it was still expensive to get gold-rich ore out of the valley. In 1890, the railroad reached town, which brought in more mines and brought out more ore. Mining was Telluride’s only industry until 1972, when the first ski lift was installed.

The town was initially anti-growth and rallied against any economic expansion, including growth due to tourism and skiing. At one point a serious effort was made to ban cars from the city limits and force visitors to use horse drawn carts. Success did not come overnight for Telluride in this environment. The seventies were a time of fluctuating snowfalls and economic recession. However, the town’s now famous music and film festivals were immune from anti-growth criticism and flourished. These festivals exposed hundreds of thousands to the grandeur of the valley for the first time and created iconic associations with elite entertainers. Meanwhile ski area founder Joe Zoline worked hard to put Telluride on the map, developing one of the best mountains in North America for expert skiers and creating infrastructure for tourism which respected Telluride's need to stay small and beautiful.

In June 1889, Butch Cassidy, before becoming associated with his gang, "the wild bunch", robbed the San Miguel Valley Bank in Telluride. This was his first major recorded crime. He exited the bank with $24,580. Fast forward one hundred years and Telluride had developed a reputation for being "Colorado's best kept secret", which paradoxically made it one of the more well-known resort communities. Wealthy skiers flocked to the world-class mountain all winter, and sightseers kept hotel rooms full all summer. In the 1980s, Telluride also became notorious in the drug counterculture for being a drop point for Mexican smugglers and a favorite place for wealthy importers to enjoy some downtime. The town was even featured in the hit song by Glenn Frey from Miami Vice, "Smugglers Blues". For a while the modern Telluride was living up to its Wild West history. This type of attention, as it turned out, was just what the town needed to differentiate it from Aspen. The festivals combined with Telluride's bad-boy town image attracted celebrities like Tom Cruise, Oprah Winfrey, and Oliver Stone.

On the eastern side of town, there are two impressive waterfalls, Ingram Falls, which is visible from town, and Bridal Veil Falls. Unfortunately the road was closed today, perhaps due to a slide so we couldn't drive up the mountain for a closer look. But it was still pretty to see even from where we were. Afterward we took the free, 13-minute gondola ride. Unlike other gondolas that simply serve as a ski lift, Telluride's gondola also links the historic town of Telluride to the nouveau Mountain Village. The gondola provides quiet and visually spectacular transportation, virtually eliminating noise and air pollution, parking demands and the need for people to drive their vehicles to ski or work. How cool is that? Pets and mountain bikers are also welcome to use this free public mode of transportation to access designated hiking and biking trails on the mountain. We saw them load numerous bikes, very quickly & efficiently. After our ride we headed back to the truck & enjoyed the picnic lunch we brought along. Then we strolled along Main Street until we finally found a Telluride shirt that we both liked. By then it was time to head for home. We needed to do laundry & prepare for tomorrow's departure. Man, the days are flying by way to fast! We'll spend two nights in Gunnison & then make a two day run for South Dakota. We plan to arrive there on Monday. We'll see, it might actually wind up being Tuesday. Anyway, enjoy the pics of Telluride and thanks for stopping by....



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