Have you ever wanted to sell everything you own and just "take off?" Travel the country's back roads, paddle down a meandering stream, experience breath-taking mountain views, walk among 100-year old trees, and just marvel at America's beauty? That is the dream that my partner, Betsy, and I decided to make a reality. This blog describes our adventure. The food we eat, people we meet, sights we see, and the enjoyment we find in traveling.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Telluride, Colorado

On our quest to see all the beauty that Colorado has to offer before the snow starts falling we dropped into the well-recommended ski town of Telluride.  The 70-mile drive from Montrose to Telluride was stunning.  Oohs and ahs steadily trickled from Betsy’s mouth each time we rounded a bend.  The mountain landscape came alive with brilliant colors of aspens in the sharp contrast to the blue sky and green conifers.  I would say we definitely hit the fall colors at their peak!  And the recent snowfall made the mountains sparkle and really enhanced the natural picture.

The road traveled past the picturesque Trout Lake
which did live up to its name.
Our trip from Montrose to Telluride took us down the San Juan Scenic Byway and if you have been reading our blog in the past then you know we love to drive the scenic byways.  How can you go wrong, they have already been designated as “scenic?”  

Since our rig was too long to fit into the town park campground in Telluride, we continued south for nine miles to the San Juan National Forest.  Luck was in our favor – the Matterhorn Campground had full hook-ups, excellent views, hiking trails, and only a few other campers – and all for $18 bucks a night!  As we drove in to the campground, we noticed snow on the ground and our eyes widened and we felt the chill.  But the promise of warmer weather and the beauty of the campground begged us to stay.  The Galloping Goose Trail ran next to the campground and was an easy and enjoyable hike up to Priest Lake and Trout Lake which was a great place for Spirit to take a dip and us to marvel at nature. 

Spirit enjoying a long retrieve in the cold Colorado water.
Historic old buildings are scattered throughout the forest and available for all to enjoy, just don't deface.
Telluride in the fall is glorious and we decided to get a better look by riding the gondola up and over the mountain to the little town of Mountain Village for lunch.  Spirit accompanied us on our sojourn and had her first ride in a gondola.  The pup was a little nervous at first but she was a trooper and finally settled into the ride.  Once on top of the mountain you have options of how you want to get down - ride the gondola, hike, or ride your mountain bike.  We did stretch our legs and enjoy the aspens by taking the two-mile trail from the gondola stop to Mountain Village.  It took a while because we stopped so often to "wow" over the views and colors.  And Spirit loves to run through the trees and streams.

Telluride sits in the southwest corner of Colorado in some of the most dramatic mountain scenery.  The valley town is flanked by geologic wonders that created 14,000-foot high mountain peaks that dissolve into red rock mesas and mixed conifer-aspen forests.  All of this makes for very dramatic, jaw-dropping scenery.  Throw in some great restaurants, galleries, boutiques, and you have a great place to spend time.

Telluride bares the designation of National Historic Landmark District, meaning that all construction must follow a strict code to maintain the Victorian theme.  The downtown is pedestrian friendly like most small towns but stands out due to its love of festivals.  The town relishes in the nickname "Festival Town of the Rockies" and provides an impressive array of events that seem to never stop.  

Like many of the other Colorado ski towns, Telluride began as a mining town.  Word traveled fast that the mountains were laden with gold, silver, copper, zinc, and lead.  Years of mining ensured prosperity and a thriving community, but as with most other Colorado mining towns, boom turned to bust and most of the mining ceased in the mid 1900's.  But the 1970's marked the new beginning for Telluride and it grew into a tourist destination with a serious skiing habit.  Mining carts were replaced with chair lifts and people began to come back to the area.

Autumn was the prime time to visit for us.  The summer tourists were gone and the light snow on the mountain enriches the earths colors but doesn't yet lure the skiers.  The area is gorgeous!

"Help I'm stuck in a gondola!"

An evening without TV, internet, or phone service meant a lot of campfires which we simply love.


  1. OK, I'm gonna have to feel sorry for poor Spirit here--having to ride in a gondola????? Your photos are beautiful!

  2. OK - this is on our list for spring/summer/fall 2013!

  3. Hi,
    Will you please post a link to your Blog at The RV Living Community? Our members will love it.
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