Blog Template Musings about Geocaching: The "Million-Dollar Highway" deserves its own entry

Musings about Geocaching

Thursday, September 14, 2006

The "Million-Dollar Highway" deserves its own entry

Growing up in Colorado, I would only hear the names of two towns, Silverton and Ouray, included in the same sentence. I had been to Silverton in 1976, and remembered riding in the car on that "Million Dollar Highway" when I was a child. However, I had no idea how different the setting was for Ouray compared to the high-mountain community of Silverton.

From the turnoff to Ridgway, the layered sandstone bluffs rise up on each side of the two-lane highway, and then suddenly, the town appears. The buildings that date from the 19th Century are spectacular.

As I took a few pictures, I talked to a young woman who had moved to Ouray two years ago, after visiting the area for several years prior to that. She said "You couldn't pay me to move anywhere else." But then she admitted, "You have to be creative to make a living here."

I really wish the road had not beckoned me. I should have stayed in the old hotel in town. It would have been a wonderful experience, like the time when a friend and I stayed in the old Cody Hotel in Cody, WY. But, alas, I didn't have $50.00 for a room . . .

As I started up Highway 550 out of town, I stopped to get this picture.

Red Mountain certainly deserved its name.

At the very end of the day, in light sprinkles of rain, I found the "Pyramid Spring" cache near this artifact from a previously-commercial hot springs.

In the rain, after dark, I drove through Durango, assuming there was a Wal-Mart somewhere. The big blue sign finally appeared on the right-hand side of the road. I pulled in and found a place to park near the motorhomes and travel trailers already parked there. After a quick trip inside the store to brush my teeth and get some bananas for breakfast, I unpacked my sleeping bag and settled in for the night, falling asleep to the sound of the rain on the roof of my car.


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