Unlike the gradual weather shifts between successive seasons that we are familiar with back home the transition between seasons here in Colorado definitively marks a distinct change in weather . These sudden changes in weather into the fall months are typically responsible for bringing incredible colour to the various native Deciduous trees. We had heard such rumours and accordingly planned a trip to the south west of the state to witness first hand the beauty of fall. So with Bobby and Sam in tow one Friday autumn evening after work we set off up the infamous I-70 towards mountain town Ouray (or as we subsequently dubbed it “Hip Hip Ouray”).
Pulling into town just before midnight we were completely oblivious to the incredible canyon-like walls that astoundingly surrounded us the following morning. We walked off a quick breakfast through Box Canyon then embarked on our drive along the amazing “Million Dollar Highway”. The “Million
Dollar Highway” otherwise known as the stretch of US route 550 between Ouray and Silverton supposedly derives it’s name from the alleged wealth contained in the mine tailings that were used as foundations to construct the mountain pass, although others will argue otherwise. The highway is characterized by steep cliffs, narrow lanes, and a lack of guardrails; the ascent of Red Mountain Pass is marked with a number of hairpin curves used to gain elevation, and again, narrow lanes for traffic—many cut directly into the sides of mountains. In my humble opinion this was certainly the best and most breath taking drive we have had the pleasure embarking on and, furthermore, is perhaps the most beautiful stretch of the Rockies we have seen yet.
Travelling seemingly back in time to western town Silverton we enjoyed lunch at bizarre place called “Handlebars Restaurant and Saloon” where we sampled a Colorado delicacy in the Rocky Mountain Oyster. For those not familiar with exactly what a Rocky Mountain Oyster is comprised of I will tell you it’s not a small water dwelling animal of any sort but rather it involves the nether regions of a bull and it’s not sausage. Got to say it wasn’t as bad as everyone was making out.
After lunch we pushed on further to Durango where we visited the local Octoberfest festivities, however, they were short lived and we went for an unforgettable dining experience at a locally recommended Mexican restaurant. The following morning after a quick bike ride around town and after Bobby and Sammy had recovered their misplaced keys it was time to start heading back to Denver via Fairplay for some bowling and Tamales.