June 2, 2022 Dolores, CO Day 2

We had the heat on last night and this morning it was a cool 47 degrees. The sun was out with blue skies, so it started to warm up quickly. I even had my cold morning breakfast of Cream of Wheat. I brought it along and knew I’d be able to eat it eventually. We did our morning routine and got ready for a drive up to Telluride. We would be taking the same scenic Highway 145 through the San Juan National Forest going north. We left the campground around 10:30 for a day in Telluride. The highway continued to follow the Dolores River though the canyon as we climbed steadily toward the pass.

The views of the snow covered Rockies were stunning from every angle.

Snow on the cornice

We passed through the town of Rico, population 265, along this highway.

It looked mostly deserted except for a few businesses still hanging on. Rico was a silver mining town back in 1879 as seen by this old mining structure.

We reached Lizard Head Pass at an elevation of 10,261 ft. Lizard Head Peak is at 13,113 ft. above it.

At the top, there was a large green meadow with views of a lake in the distance.

As we got closer, we came upon this tiny cluster of large homes situated around Trout Lake.

The view from these homes looks upon the mountains that surround them and it was breathtaking. What a picturesque spot they had!

Coming down the other side, we had a view of the surrounding mountains around every turn. Here are the mountain peaks in this area.

At long last, we entered the town of Mountain Village in Telluride.

It was a cluster of beautiful homes, condos, and a resort including a golf course.

We drove up to see the gondola ride as they headed to the top. The gondola ride is free for summer tourists.

From this map, you can see all of the Telluride ski area. We have skied in many places, but never here.

At the Mountain Village Center there is a grocery store and a few other services for the residents there.

We drove as far as we could go into the village and were amazed at all the beautiful homes perched on the mountain sides. We left the village and headed for downtown Telluride just down the road. As we neared the town, we came upon a huge herd of elk grazing in the meadow outside of town.

There were a few young bulls in the herd and many were still carrying their winter fur coat and velvet on their antlers.

We sat on the roadside just watching them.

From there, we entered the town of Telluride at an elevation of 8,745 ft.

Coming down the main street of town, Colorado Blvd., we could see Bridal Veil Falls directly ahead of us.

We had hiked part of that trail on our last visit to Telluride. The water seemed to be really cascading off the mountain with the snow melt still in progress.

From that distance, we could actually see the water falling off of the ledge near the top with our naked eyes.

We could also see the road to Black Bear Pass. Highway 550 is a long stretch of steep switchbacks on the Telluride side above Bridal Veil Falls. It is rated as difficult on the 4WD trail scale. It is known as one of the most dangerous roads in the country due to its narrow shelf segments and unnerving drop-offs. On our last visit here, we drove on it for just a few miles, but it had a lot of shelf sections, so we didn’t go very far. The road looked snow-covered and might still be closed.

We decided to park the car and look for a place to grab some lunch. We walked down one side of the street past some eclectic shops and a few funky eateries.

We finally decided on The Butcher and the Baker that was located in the old Sheridan Pool Hall Building. They had reasonably priced sandwiches and we could eat outside along the street. We sat under an umbrella which we didn’t need because it was chilly sitting in the shade. The temp was a warm 66 under sunny skies, but the wind off the mountains was chilly.

We each had a Bloody Mary with lots of goodies in them and we split a rotisserie chicken sandwich with homemade chips.

We enjoyed our lunch sitting outside watching the people and activity on the street. Bob noticed this magpie in the tree across the street. What an interesting looking bird!

After lunch, we finished walking that side of the street and came across this really cool, lifelike dog statue of a Great Dane.

We crossed over to the other side of the street and continued walking. There were some very interesting historical buildings from the 1880’s. This was the First National Bank–a large, very imposing building. It now has a yoga studio upstairs.

We also saw the San Miguel County Courthouse built in 1881. It is still in operation today.

This building housed the Tomboy Gold Mine Company office. The ruins of the Tomboy Mine still stand 5 miles north of Telluride.

We learned a lot about the mining that was done in this area years ago.

After walking the main street, we went to check out the other gondola base in town. People were taking advantage of the free gondola ride.

The aspens on the mountains were a vibrant green in contrast to the dark green hues of the pine trees. The aspens looked like they were still leafing out. After all, spring just recently came to this area.

We left Telluride and made our drive back to the campground. The views of the mountains looked different from another direction, but just as awesome.

We also got a chance to pull off on the side of the road and get a terrific view looking back at the valley. There was one large home nestled in the valley there that we could see.

Around 2:30, we returned to the campground after a great day in Telluride. We took a drive to see the other section of our campground located across this bridge over the Dolores River, There were a lot of campers on the other side of the river. The RVs have to be able to drive over this bridge. They suggested that we shouldn’t do it with our motorhome and we agreed, so that’s why we ended up on the side of the river where we are.

As we looked around at the campground on the other side of the river, we discovered this really cool collection of rocks that people painted with their names and where they live on them. I might just have to create a rock for Bob and I to leave there. What a cool idea!

As we headed back over the bridge to our side, we stopped to notice some kids from the campground tubing down the river. They were giggling and having fun even though the water must have been very cold.

We got back to the campground and I had to take a nap. All that fresh air wore me out. Later, we sat outside for awhile watching some TV before dinner. Bob cooked cod on the grill and after dinner Auggie and I took our walk. Bob got out our firepit and we watched TV outside until the sun went down behind the hills.

The temp dropped quickly, and even though we were bundled up, it was getting too chilly to stay outside for very long. We had a great time in Telluride and enjoyed the views of the mountains in this area. We’re hoping to find a 4WD trail that we can take tomorrow and do some exploring.

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