Thursday, July 31, 2008

Jeep Tour

Jay's mom and Paul were excited for us to take them on some Jeep trails. We decided to take Ophir Pass over to Silverton, then ended up on Red Mountain Mining Area trail as a side trip, then back home over Black Bear Pass. Good thing Barbara and Paul are adventurous and not scared of heights! Most of the people we know that live in Telluride are scared to drive or even ride over Black Bear Pass.

At the summit of Ophir Pass, I took a picture of Barbara taking a picture.

From the Red Mountain Mining Area trail, you can see highway 550, the Million Dollar Highway, way below. This trail reaches an elevation of over 12,000 feet, but it's not a pass, just a side road by the highway.

The greenest green I've ever seen!

The Red Mountain Mining Area trail is very easy. Four-wheel drive definitely recommended, but high clearance isn't needed.

In this photo I was looking over at the beginning of Black Bear Pass. It is the squiggly brown line just right of center.

One of the mines on the Red Mountain Mining Area trail.

The bluest sky and pretty clouds.

After spending a little time in Ouray and eating lunch there, we went home over Black Bear Pass.

Looking down on highway 550 again from the other side.

Paul, Barbara and Jay at the Black Bear Pass summit, elevation 12,840 feet.

Of course, we saw several marmots along the way.
Amazing wild flowers.

Paul next to a lake of melted snow.

Above Ingram Lake.

I'm trying to post different pictures than the ones I took last week when we went over Black Bear, but no trip report is complete without a photo of the steps.

Ingram Falls.

The north side of the canyon that Telluride is in.

The base of Bridal Veil Falls, the highest cascade waterfall in Colorado, with water falling 365 feet.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Cascade Falls, Ouray, Colorado

One of the most memorable sites in Ouray, Colorado is Cascade Falls. The waterfall is shooting out of the red rock canyon above town and is accessible from a short hike off of 8th Avenue. We finally hiked to it on Monday with Barbara and Paul. If I've ever been right up to the falls, it must have been when I was too young to remember it.It is a nice trail up to the falls, getting steeper the closer you get to it. Jay was here talking to a tourist that wanted to know if the admission fee for Box Canyon Falls was worth it. We were just there a couple of weeks ago with my brother and his family.

You can get an idea of how tall Cascade Falls is here with Jay and Maralee to the side. I didn't know that this is actually the base of a series of seven waterfalls that begin at the melting snow high above Ouray. It's definitely worth the short, steep hike, even in the mud like we encountered this week.

Short video of Cascade Falls.

Mountain Village Luxury

On Sunday, we went for a drive to show Barbara and Paul the huge homes in Mountain Village. We noticed a sign in front of one that was an OPEN HOUSE and Barbara really wanted to see it. It was the most amazingly huge house I've ever been in.
For the bargain price of 14.9 million, this home could be yours. It has 7 bedrooms, 10 bathrooms, and I think around 7 fireplaces. The realtor will make 7% from the sale of this home. Wow!! I took my camera out and snapped some pictures when the realtor wasn't around. I don't think she would care, it just made me feel weird.

The master bedroom was a reasonable size and really wasn't impressive, but the closet definitely was. You can't see it here, but on the right as you step into the closet there is a washer and dryer. What a great idea!!!

The backyard is against the Galloping Goose ski run, making this a ski-in, ski-out location.

Below is one of the outdoor fireplaces. In Mountain Village you have to get a permit to burn wood in a fireplace, one permit per fireplace at the price of $100,000! All of the fireplaces were set up for gas only, but the whoever buys it has that option of burning wood if they want to buy a permit.

The view from the porch above.

I didn't get a picture of the entire house from the outside, but this is one that I took from the driveway. It looks like a one car garage here, but inside that garage door there was an indoor parking lot that could hold all of your vehicles, snowmobiles and four wheelers, for sure. Seeing a home like this made me feel like I live in the ghetto of Telluride. Honestly, even if I had 14.9 million dollars, this house was a bit much for me. I lost Maralee in the first minute we were inside it when she went down a stairway without me noticing!

Alpine Chapel Mountain Top Church Service

One of our favorite places to take visitors is to our church's mountain top service near the nature center accessed by riding the gondola. Our family and Jay's mom and Paul are seen in these picture on the right. I think we had 4 dogs at church this week!

Fairmont Franz Klammer Lodge

Jay's mom and step-father are here this week for a visit. It was a complete surprise to our kids! They have a time share that they were able to use to stay in Mt. Village at the Franz Klammer Lodge. The condo they are in has 3 bedrooms and 3 bathrooms, so we have all spend the night up there and enjoyed it!! It's a beautiful place to stay. If I could afford it, I would love to buy it!

The only bad part about the condo is the view is greatly obstructed by the new hotel Capella being built, seen here on the right. I'm sure the people that run Franz Klammer are not too happy about it either.

Garrett and Savanna are here enjoying the hot tub. You can see the construction of the new hotel in the background. This greatly lowers the amount of time that the sun is shining on the pool area. :(

The view of the pool from the deck of the condo which is on the second floor.

It's a fun place to stay in the summer, but would definitely be awesome in the winter since it's steps away from Lift 4, has a steam shower and so many hot tubs available to use!

Friday, July 25, 2008

My Treadmill

I can't think of anything more boring than being stuck in a gym for exercise. I've had a gym membership in the past and it was a total waste of money because I hated going so much. It's not that I don't like exercise, because I do. I really enjoy exercising outdoors! The San Miguel River Trail is right by our apartment, so this summer I've been walking and jogging during my lunch break for about 2 miles. When I'm working I have to sit at the computer for 10 hours, so getting outside for awhile makes the whole afternoon better. I also don't want to start skiing completely out of shape this winter like I did last winter.

We used to have a treadmill and we used it quite a bit, but I never got over that feeling like I was a hamster in a wheel. Eventually we used the treadmill to hang laundry on until one day it finally broke down when we tried to use it again.

I share my "treadmill" with joggers, hikers, backpackers, bikers, dogs and bears. Well, I've never actually seen a bear out there, but I have seen evidence that they have been there, if you know what I mean. A storm was moving in when I turned around and headed back east today. This is what it looks like most afternoons here during our monsoon season.

I stopped to take a little video of the San Miguel River. I was hoping to catch some lightening in the background, but didn't. It was thundering during this time, but the sound of the river covers it up.

Telluride Alpenglow

I just happened to be sitting in my office last night when the sunlight was glowing on the top of the summit of Imogene Pass, Ajax and Ingram Peaks. I ran out and took a picture from our deck. Five minutes later, the glow was already gone.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Rainy Day at Alta Lakes and Gold King Basin

Tuesday, July 22, 2008, was a rainy day and Jay and I wanted to get out of the house. We've been spending so much time with the kids that we were all driving each other nuts!! Garrett and I had an eye appointment in the morning and the eye doctor had dilated my eyes, which left me with nothing to do around the house but sit and wear sunglasses. My distance vision was fine, so Jay and I drove up to Alta Lakes and Gold King Basin, which the kids really had no interest in at all. It was a nice peaceful drive.

The dirt road up to Alta Lakes is an easy one and well-marked right off of highway 145. The first five photos are of the Alta ghost town.

Lizard Head, Mt. Wilson and Wilson Peak towering over the ghost town of Alta.

Before driving up to the lakes, we took a side road we had never been on before and came to this sign LIFT 10. What?! I'm sure we weren't one of the "authorized vehicles" allowed through this gate, but we couldn't resist. The gate was open and is probably a road used only by the ski resort.

The road ended on the Galloping Goose ski run. Apparently we were driving on the road that is the trail for cross country skiing and snowshoeing.

A snow-less Galloping Goose ski run looked really weird.

We got out of there as quick as we could when someone went riding by on a mountain bike! Next we drove around the lakes. Like I said, the road up to the lakes is an easy one, but the road around the lakes can be difficult due to rocks and mud.

A side road leads up into Gold King Basin which is probably a moderate trail. I actually enjoy the basin more than Alta Lakes. This is the view of the lake in Gold King Basin.

The lake with Wilson Peak to the left.

The Gold King Mine.

I was standing on top of the mine tailings at an elevation of 11,575 feet when I took this picture. I saw some lightening in the distance and thought we'd better high tail it off of the tailings. :)