Montrose, Colorado

It was a short day of driving yesterday...less than 200 miles...through some of the most breathtaking landscape I've ever seen. It wasn't on purpose we chose the route we traveled. We just got very lucky that it was the shortest route between Point A and Point B.

When we left the RV park in Dolores, we Smitty was busy doing his morning yoga routine.


Only one barn was documented on yesterday's trip.

The barn was just a barn, but the setting was idyllic.

We were using this book as a guide since we were traveling the San Juan Skyway scenic byway.

If one is to travel the entire loop it would look like this:

We traveled only the section I've marked on the left.

We've passed through many aspen forests on this journey, but we haven't noticed the leaves changing until yesterday. We noticed patches high in the hills and some lower down in the meadows.

We first passed through the charming old town of Rico, where it looked like time was standing still.

If it weren't for the modern automobiles, I might think we were back in the 1800's.

This is the section of the guidebook that was pertinent to our route.

We were on the lookout for Lizard Head Peak...and silly us, thinking it might actually look like a lizard. Eventually it came into view.

Yeah, I don't know. We'd already passed by Chimney Rock on a different day, so maybe that name was already taken. I can imagine someone on the naming committee saying, "I know"!  We'd only just a few minutes earlier passed through Stoner, Colorado, so you do the math. And by the way, you seriously need to click on this link about the town. Go ahead...I'll wait.

So on we went, reaching Lizard Head Pass where we pulled off to take in the view. To the left, it looked like this:

To the right, it looked like this:

Turning around and looking across the highway, we could see Lizard Head Peak.

Here's a panorama of the valley.

We were traveling at around 8,000 feet, but most of the peeks around us were 12,000 feet and higher.

I was taking random pictures of the mountains and the passes as we drove along.

We found a designated overlook where we could stop. Here's the key to the image that follows it:

I walked a ways to the left to get away from some posts obstructing the view and snapped this picture, looking off in a different direction.

Walking back to the truck, I noticed these wild rose hips.

Moving on...

We took the short road leading into Telluride. Here's what our guidebook had to say about it:

Well, any place Butch Cassidy might have traveled sounded plenty interesting enough. We thought we'd like to find a place to have lunch and just get a look at the town. The traffic picked up significantly, both coming from and going to Telluride. When we reached a roundabout that led onto the main drag, traffic was standing still, apparently bumper-to-bumper ahead. And so we just continued through the roundabout and back the way we came. Another time, maybe.

From there, it was just a short distance to our final destination of Montrose. We're at another KOA for two nights. For all I complain about KOA, we've stayed at some very nice ones this trip. This one also is very nice. It's kind of in the middle of town, just off Main Street. There is a restaurant within walking distance, and so we might have dinner there tonight.

As for the day's events, we'll be visiting the South Rim of Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park today. I see another refrigerator magnet and a shot glass in my future. As I mentioned in yesterday's post, this will be the third time we've planned to visit the park, but only the first time we'll actually do it. We first need to make a trip to the grocery store. We've run out of our favorite Dove ice cream bars, and we're nearly out of kitty treats. Clearly, catastrophe is on the horizon. As long as we're doing that, we'll get our beloved Egg McMuffin somewhere along the way.

It's going to be a good day...great weather, and more great scenery.

8 comments from clever and witty friends:

Lee said...

My first husband and I visited that area of Colorado with his off-road buddies many decades ago; I've always thought it to be one of the most beautiful places I've seen. We rode the Silverton to Durango narrow-guage railway, ate lunch in Telluride where he broke his foot, rented Jeeps in Ouray, and almost moved there. We would stay at the KOA which is just out of Ouray on the Montrose side, it was a wonderful KOA back then. Thanks for sharing your trip photos. Enjoying seeing both the familiar and the unfamiliar of the places we didn't visit.

Quilting Tangent said...

Thanks for the tour. You have such pretty vistas.

gpc said...

Beautiful, beautiful. So, are you going to invest in Stoner? Sounds like a sure winner to me. Not to be confused with Schitt's Creek, which grew on us slowly but left us in hysterics by the end. Another NPR recommendation. You're welcome. We went by Telluride when I was a kid,before it got cool. Timing is everything. An amazing trip, definitely don't spoil it now by runnig out of ice cream and kitty treats.

Robin said...

I love your travel posts Barbara. The pictures are amazing and your narrative is great. I feel like I'm right there with you! Thank you! Miner had a few choice words for you...almost running out of kitty treats, he was incensed.

piecefulwendy said...

I'm glad I was done with my coffee by the time I read the Stoner article; pretty sure I would've snorted coffee and that would be totally unladylike. Haha! I'm going to have to read that article to John. He'll get a kick out of it. Beautiful scenery on your drive; I'm still not seeing the lizard head, but hey, maybe you have to stop in Stoner first to see it :-) We've been in Telluride about this time of year; it's a neat town, but crowded.

kc said...

Simply beautiful!! Stoner, eh....how much do you plan to put in? I'll double it. Safe to say our budget will remain intact? Do I spy some white stuff up there in those hills? The very day we left Colorado Springs, we heard they had to close parts of Rocky Mtn State Park, just north of Denver due to s..... sorry, just can't say it, that white stuff!

Lyndsey said...

The scenery is breath taking. Amazing pictures.

quiltzyx said...

Wow, what great vistas! I love the shot of the Aspens' layers of colors.
Yeah, I don't see the lizard's head either. Maybe when it was named it had a different look to it? Who knows.