Day 8 & 9- Carbondale, CO - Telluride, CO
What makes Carbondale so special to us is our cousin, Michael. We always pick up exactly where we left off and we just plain have fun together. He is so kind with August and always wants to put August in a position to shine. It was Michael and his friends that put together all the equipment for August to stream his first DJ set. I don’t think I’ve ever seen August so in his own element as I did when he was DJ-ing his own music. Maggie and I will always be grateful for that special connection they have through electronic music.
We were up early to get on the road to Telluride, one of our favorite places to visit. Aug rode shotgun so Maggie could sleep off the previous nights festivities stretched out in the back seat. We only had to stop twice for her to tie her shoes, if you know what i mean.
Telluride is a box canyon with one road in surrounded by beautiful mountains that peak at over 12,000 ft. I was first turned on to Telluride by my friend and former bandleader, Dave Jordan. I’ll forever be grateful to Dave for showing me Telluride. Over the years, I’ve been able to forge some lifelong friendships here and share in my love for this amazing town with my family.
I could go on and on about Telluride, but I need to stay on track. We circled back up with Marc and Katie, who had already set up camp here in Town Park the day before. With Maggie out of commission, Marc helped out with getting the camper level and ready for pop up. As soon as I had the front bed slid out and supported, Maggie resumed her nap.
The view here in town park is absolutely wonderful and it called for Marc and I to crack a few beers and just stare at the mountains surrounding us for a while.
This is where I have to back up. I can’t believe I forgot to mention that right as we were pulling out of Carbondale around 8am, we got word that our friends, Dave and Wendi, were passing through Amarillo en route to visit Dave’s brother in Utah and decided to meet us in Telluride. Now, I don’t know what that means to you, but to me, this is the making of a pretty damn good band! We had been in contact with our friend and drummer who lives in Telluride , Alan Booradley, and with the addition of Alan and local Dustin Wilson, we had the perfect 5 piece band for a pop up concert in Town Park. When Dave and Wendi arrived, we all hiked together over to the base of Bear Creek waterfall and discussed the details of our impromptu show.
Marc cooked us all pulled pork tacos that hit the spot. Afterwards, friends from the area as well as our buddy, Caleb, from New Orleans, made their way our campsites to visit well into the evening. Maggie, August, and I retired well before the rest from what I understand in an effort to make the most out of the following day as Maggie had pretty much threw up and slept through most of this one.
Maggie and I were up and out of the camper by 7:30 and left aug behind to sleep in as we walked into town to grab some coffee. We walked down the main drag and cut over to the river to make our way back to camp. We cut across to the far side of the river and hiked past beaver pond, which I had never done before, and then past the Town Park stage before making our return.
It’s amazing how fast people start showing up when you throw bacon on the griddle. Our friend, Lewis, showed up with 2 trays of coffee for the group as I continued to cook bacon, sausage and eggs for yet another round of chili verde breakfast burritos.
We decided our first adventure for the day would be to ride the gondola up to mountain village for a pretty relaxed morning outing. We hung around a bit before heading back down to camp for sandwiches. Dave and Marc picked up some guitars and agreed to play some music with August so Maggie and I could go out and find an adventure with just the two of us.
We decided on a four wheel drive trip up to Alto Lakes, just outside of town. One of my favorite things to do since we’ve gotten our Subaru Outback is to take her off road and test the rugged versatility of this vehicle. I love off roading. There is something so satisfying about driving up steep Rocky Mountain roads. Each switchback reveals a new view and I find so much excitement in the mystery of what lies ahead.
On our way up we passed through an old ghost town where most of the structures that formerly made up a mining community were left in ruin. I love ghost towns. I love mystery. I love wondering about what the towns used to be like when they were still populated. We have discussed making more stops on our future journeys centered around exploring old ghost towns. We took a long video of us climbing the mountain through the ghost town, but due to egregious profanity expressing how amazing the experience was, I will be unable to share video on social media.
Not far past the mining town we found the Alto Lakes. What can i say about lakes that live high up in the mountains? I love the beauty and I love the challenge. Whether hiking or 4 wheeling, getting to a glacial lake isn’t easy. This particular lake was a 3,000 ft elevation climb. Of course, you’ll get there faster in a vehicle than on foot, but there’s a certain amount of attention to detail that’s needed when climbing these mountains in your vehicle. The roads aren’t often well kept, so surveying the road and knowing where to put your tires are crucial in completing your mission. I find the challenge exhilarating and can’t wait to do more.
This particular lake was crowded with a bunch of vehicles, some were just there for the view, others were taking advantage of their many off grid camping sites. We just made a loop to get back down so I could head back in time to prep for the impromptu park concert.
We set stage near the back of Marc and Katie’s Airstream with a beautiful mountain backdrop. While the ladies cooked dinner, we ran cables, checked mic and instrument levels, and discussed our set. We opened with Bob Marley’s “Stir It Up” and people started appearing out of the woods from all directions. The one thing I will say about Telluride is that they are very good about wearing masks and distancing as opposed to a few other stops we’ve made.
It was amazing to play with a full band for the first time since I played my buddy, Dell’s, wedding in Laurel, MS on March 14 - 3 1/2 months ago! The energy surrounding us was amazing. People were dancing and smiling, many of whom hadn’t seen live music in months.
We finished the show paying homage to Dave Jordan by playing his song, “Telluride.”
It was the first time since the end of 2017 since I’ve played that song and I’ve got to say, it’s a damn good song.
I finished off the evening with a Coors heavy, a shot of Don Julio, and a plate of delicious food prepared by our ladies, just before my Irish goodbye to come get horizontal. We have another big day tomorrow planned with hikes and drives as we are trying to get as much out of Telluride as we can before leaving Monday morning.
I love this place.
Thanks as always for visiting the blog and remember to be kind to yourselves and each other.