Ouray and Telluride

Don't snitch my doughnut while I'm taking a picture

After doing the Upper Cascade Falls Trail, we decided to take a day off from hiking. The weather forecast said the next day would be mostly cloudy with afternoon showers likely, followed by a clear sunny day. It seemed like a good time to take it easy and sleep in. When we finally did get going, we had breakfast at the Timberline Deli. They had a big sign out front that advertized "home made doughnuts". That was enough to convince us. Sandy ordered a croissant breakfast sandwhich. I had to try one of their home made chocolate covered doughnuts.

After breakfast we drove to Telluride, which took about forty five minutes. On the way I was hoping to get a good view of the north face of Mt. Sneffels. It's probably a candidate for the most beautiful mountain in the San Juans and maybe even all of Colorado. The Sneffels range rises abrubtly from the valley and presents an impressive view from the north. When Sandy and I had visited the area in the late nineties we had climbed Mt. Sneffels. Sandy claimed it was the hardest climb technically that she had ever done. It's mostly boulder hopping up a steep couloir but does have some fairly exposed scramble moves exiting the couloir just below the summit. Unfortunately the weather forecast proved to be accurate and it was quite cloudy so there were no opportunities for good pictures. Mt. Sneffels was still impressive and it was hard to believe that we had climbed it so many years ago. Damn, we were good!

A place to park your dog, your butt and your bike

We only spent a few hours in Telluride. We parked at one end of the main street and walked up one side and then back along the other. Of course I checked out all the tshirt shops. But besides the usual mountain tshirts, they had quite a few hiking tshirts with dogs on them, particularly labs. Since I am both a dog person and a hiker, I couldn't resist. I ended up with three. Even Sandy got one and she always claims that she has too msny tshirts, an idea that I can't comprehend.

We ended up by having lunch at Brown Dog Pizza. Sandy posted on Facebook that we were there and while we were eating she got a message from one of her relatives that she had been there on a ski trip and loved the place. We agreed that the pizza was quite good and of course, they had cool logo tshirts. The back of the shirt said "Sit. Eat. Drink. Good Dog." Neither of us could resist so we each had to get one. They even had a lady's style in purple in Sandy's size. We were impressed at just how much dog-themed (and more importantly, lab-themed) stuff we found in Telluride. When we headed back to Ouray after lunch, we had quite a haul.

Main street in Ouray

We spent the rest of the afternoon checking out the shops in Ouray. Sandy found a shop with some nice women's tops and bought a couple that she liked. I thought that they were very nice, even if they weren't tshirts. They didn't have the dog themed stuff that we found in Telluride but there were still a lot of dog people. There was a space for "Puppy Parking" right on Main street.

We thought that we were very smart world travelers, knowing that the correct pronunciation of the town was "your-ray". But listening to other folks say it we weren't quite so sure that we had it right. When I got back I did some research and it turns out that locals are split, some pronouncing it "YOU-ray" while others say it "you-RAY". The Ute Indian leader, Chief Ouray, who the town is named after, pronounced his name "ooo-ray". It's defintitely onfusing. At least I know how to say "BOY-see".

That evening we had dinner at Tacos and Taps. Rather than a pre-made taco, you just ordered a pile of meat with a stack of tortillas. Then you went to their taco bar and assembled your own tacos the way you liked them. It was pretty good.

After dinner I spent the evening at the hotel looking through the hiking guide. The forecast for the next day still looked excellent. We had one more day in Ouray (or is it YOUray?) and there were several hikes that looked good. After careful study and hard deliberation I finally picked one out - Ice Lake. We packed up what we would need the next day so that we could get an early start.