This trip was our first time in Colorado and we were swinging through the southwest corner to check out what there was to see and scope out the area for future travels. April 18 we left Cortez, Colorado for the short 1-hour drive to Durango (elevation 6,512 ft.). This area is known for the 19th century Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad, mining, and Purgatory Ski Resort. Durango was a nice stopover with a lovely old downtown core full of shops and good eats. We didn’t try out the steam train as it was running on a limited schedule until May and we were only staying one night.
When we left Durango, we drove high into the San Juan Mountains over many passes reaching above 10,000 feet and drove over the Million-dollar Highway (named for the money made in this area during the old mining days). The scenery was breathtaking. We dropped down into the very small town of Ouray (elevation 7,792 ft.). It was slack season as snow skiing was over and it was the quiet time before hordes of people converge here to soak in the natural hot-spring pools and drive the 4-wheel drive trails during spring, summer, and fall. We had a beer, a soak, and a good night’s rest.
April 20, we left Ouray for 5-nights in Moab, Utah. We stopped for breakfast in Ridgway 10-miles away from Ouray. What a fantastic setting with the San Juan Mountain range we drove through the previous day as a backdrop. It’s known as the Gateway to the San Juan’s. Cattle ranches fill the valley, and with the snow-capped San Juan’s it was quite beautiful.
Thanks for joining us on our journey.