Saturday, September 19, 2015

To Ouray on the Million Dollar Highway

We took several day trips from Durango to Silverton and Ouray by Highway 550.  The 25 mile section of Hwy 550  between Silverton and Ouray is called The Millon Dollar Highway.
Here are a few photographs of some of the sights we enjoyed along the way.  They all were not taken on the same day but I tried to put them in order of what we viewed as we traveled this scenic section of highway. Our views changed in color and perspective every time we traveled this road, each trip was always different.
  Note:  It was about a 130 mile round trip.

The Pinkerton Hot Springs Rock Pile
Another gorgeous view of Molas Pass.

Mountain view outside of Silverton. 
Photo was taken on about September 13.  The aspen were beginning to change into their fall color.
Traveling on towards Ouray, there are many abandoned mines.  This one can easily be seen from Hwy 550.
Now onto the scary part of Hwy 550.
Construction has the road closed during the work week in September and the first of October for needed safety improvements. Here, we are traveling the road on a Sunday.
We traveled the road during a weekday in early September before the road was temporarily closed.
We were able to get a good photo of the road as it clings to the side of the mountain.

The photo on the left is 
the new bridge over Bear Creek Falls. It was replaced in 2006.

The photo on the right was taken around 1912 of the first bridge built over Bear Creek Falls.

Thank goodness for highway and bridge
Ouray has a colorful mining history as well.  The town is also known as the "Switzerland of America".
The town is surrounded by a box canyon and scenic mountain vistas.
Box Canon Falls in Ouray deserves it's own blog post!  We found this place to be fascinating.  Walking down the metal staircase, onto the elevated steel walkway and into the box canyon was a surreal experience.  My photos cannot fully describe the mini-adventure we had here.
Five billion year old rock from the Pre-Cambrian Period.
We had great views of the waterfall in the box canyon. The sound was almost deafening as it resonated against the cliff walls.
You can see some old mining equipment still left behind.
Ronnie said that water was extremely cold.

On a separate day we traveled through Ouray to the next town of Ridgway.  Our goal was to see the Dennis Weaver Memorial Park.  Ron is a big fan of the TV series Gunsmoke.  Dennis Weaver played the character Chester, Matt Dillon's Deputy.  This beautiful Memorial Park was established by his family, in his honor.

This poem, written by Dennis Weaver,, about about realizing your dreams, has meaning for Ronnie and me.
This sculpture of an eagle in flight, surrounded by lavender,
was just amazing.
The garden is inspired by the Native American Medicine Wheel.

We have loved our time in the Durango, Colorado area.  We have enjoyed some delicious meals at good restaurants and some awesome craft brews from a variety of breweries in the Durango, Silverton area.  Plus, the Sky Ute Casino/RV Park was exactly what we wanted for a home-base while we explored this section of Colorado.
We have now moved westward to discover the Cortez area.
More later.

1 comment:

  1. Hi guys, checked the blog this afternoon and was so glad to see you posted. I really liked the poem that dennis weaver wrote, he was one of my favorite actors. I am so glad you got to see so much of Colorado, we didn't because the temperature was getting too cold, but you are brave souls. Hope to see you soon in Florida. The house is being built in the factory right now, and I don't think about it, you know a watched pot. Weather is a drop cooler but both ac's are still running all day and part of the night. My electric bill in the park last month was $203.00. I almost fainted when I paid it, but cooler weather is coming, at least that is what they tell me. So hang in there and visit all you can, I love to read about and see all your photos. Regards to ron and little boy.