Day 10- Telluride, CO
Today we said goodbye to Dave & Wendi as they left camp to head back out on their own adventure that will eventually lead them to a visit with Dave’s brother and his family. I am so grateful to have been able to share some time in the mountains with them. The impromptu concert in the park was one of the highlights of the trip so far and would not have been what it was without Dave. I would also be remiss if didn’t mention the beautiful dinner that Wendi prepared for us. Safe travels, my friends.
We decided early on that we would make today a family day. Maggie and I started out taking a walk into town for coffee and pastries while discussing what our adventure would be. After a quick call to our friend Neddie to help us plan, our destination was set. We got back to camp, fed the crew (our buddy Lewis brought more coffee, Booradley and his lovely family, Jacqui & Isla, visited as well) and we piled Into the Subaru to head out on our adventure.
We decided our first stop would be Trout Lake. With Marc riding shotgun, and Maggie, Katie, and August in the back, we set out on the winding roads that took us past Wilson’s Peak ( the Coor’s beer mountain) and eventually we reached Trout Lake. Of course, I passed up the road and had to turn around and come back only to turn down the wrong road before finding the one that would actually take us around trout lake.
Trout lake was beautiful. We drove around the lake and took in the sites of pebble beaches disappearing into the crystal clear mountain lake. We decided that just a drive around the lake was all we’d be doing today as somebody, I won’t say names, had a different adventure in mind.
The idea to go back up the off road path to Alta lakes again and actually get out to hike around the ghost town came up, and we were all in agreement that this was the next stop. We drove back a few miles and turned off onto the steep road that would take us there. We didn’t get a half mile up the mountain before we were deterred by a fellow Outback driver informing us of a traffic jam up ahead on the narrow, rocky road caused by someone trying to pull a trailer up the mountain.
Now, there are signs at the base of this road that clearly state that trailers are not allowed on this road. All it takes is one asshole to break the rules and ruin the fun for everyone. So here I am in a situation I’ve never found myself in before, having to back down a narrow, winding, mountain road. The tensions in the back seat are palpable. Maggie is not happy. All my sweet wife wanted to do was hike, and up to this point, our efforts have proved unsuccessful.
We threw around some other ideas as we tried to salvage the day and ultimately decided we would take the 4x4 trail up to Bridal Falls. Bridal falls is one of the most popular attractions in Telluride, and I was initially trying not to go there as I have done it before and I assumed it would be crowded. However, with the luck we had been having so far, I knew it would be a sure shot for Maggie getting in that hike she desired.
We drove back down, all the way through town, until the road turned to rock and dust. We started our ascent to Bridal Veil. If you read the last blog entry, you’d know how excited I get for these off road adventures. Maggie and Katie are in the back seat expressing their anxiety, worried that our car couldn’t stand up to the task of delivering us up the rugged mountain to our destination, but I pressed on. There were a couple spots where we spun, and I had to back up and redirect our path over the rocks. I’m no pro, but our efforts, after a handful of switchbacks, were successful.
We parked at base of the falls and we were enamored by it’s beauty. The water falls from what seems to be a hundred yards or more from where we stood, and as it crashed on the boulders below, it sprayed us all with an icy cold mist. I reminisced on the time my friend, Eric Golson, and I were here 4 years ago and hiked from town up past Bridal Veil to Blue Lake. That’s a whole other story.
We all stood in awe for a few minutes before strapping our bags on to start the hike to the top. We paced ourselves as oxygen levels at 10,000 ft are much lower than where we come from, 7 feet below sea level.
We are having a blast. All of us talking, laughing, climbing up this mountain- we finally are getting done what we set out to do. As we approached a switchback to lead up to a more elevated view of Bridal Veil, we came to another waterfall where we stopped for water, snacks, and some pictures. There were three planks that crossed a rushing stream under the waterfall that led to an old mine cave. As I surveyed the area, I noticed the mine car rails that protruded from the cave, extended out over the edge of the mountain where they were mangled and just hung broken over the valley.
I tested the plank bridge and determined that it was safe for August and I to go explore the mine. The air that blew threw the cave was strong and cold. We walked around in awe of the view from this vantage point. We snapped a few shots before the rest of crew joined us. We regrouped and rested as we made a plan for the rest of our hike.
We decided to head up one more stretch of road where we agreed was the best view of the falls so far. August was a trooper and wanted to hike a little further with Maggie, while Marc, Katie, and I stayed behind laughing as we came up with comedic band names and song titles. When Maggie and August returned after their extra 150 ft. climb, we made our descent back to the base.
There was a new trail at the base that Mags, Aug, and Katie explored while Marc and I tapped into the Rockies with a couple ice cold Coors and took the guitars out to go over the chord changes for John Denver’s “Country Roads.” When the girls returned, we had them video us playing “Country Roads” at the base of the falls.
When all was said and done, we got back In the Subaru to make our way down the mountain. Going down is just as exhilarating to me as climbing. I think I’ve found another passion in off-roading.
The rest of our evening included a gondola ride, a failed attempt at getting hot dogs, much needed showers, and a bittersweet last night campsite hang made better by Casamigos reposado and fish tacos.
We had an epic adventure today that I can assure you none of us will forget. Telluride has once again proven to magical from its magnificent scenery to its wonderful locals that we get to call friends. We will miss you, Telluride, but another adventure awaits us tomorrow. We will see you next year.
Remember to be kind to yourselves and each other.