Friday, June 22, 2012

Bluegrass in the Mountains

With 2 days left before we depart Durango for Colorado Springs
we just had to invest one of those days for a trip to Telluride.

Telluride is a world famous ski destination off of the beaten path.
A playground of the rich and famous.

Before it was a ski town however it was famous for its music festivals
as well as the world famous Telluride Film Festival.

And like most mountain towns in Colorado....
before it was famous for any of the above, it was a hard rock mining town.

From Durango, as the Eagle flies...  Telluride is about 40 miles away.
But as the road curves it was a 111 mile 2.5 hour drive each way.

For us... that's just a hop, skip and jump.

After breakfast, we packed up the Doods, and hit the road.

Like just about any drive in Colorado...  The drive to Telluride is strikingly beautiful.

From Dolores Colorado you follow the Dolores River gradually up the valley
steadily gaining elevation over 30 miles or more, till you top
Lizzard Head Pass at over 10,000'

The striking thing about this corner of the state is the intense greenery.
Due to the greater rain and snow from its location on the Western Slope of the
Rocky Mountains, this corner of the state is special.

The mountains on the ride were just covered with Aspen Trees.
As I've said in a previous blog...  I just love the Aspen.
This is one ride I have to come back and re-do in the Fall sometime.

Dropping off Lizzard Head Pass you descend past Trout Lake
at 9,800' elevation.

In the Early 1900's the Denver & Rio Grande Railroad tracks circled the lake
in order to gain altitude as the tracks climbed Lizzard Head Pass.

Today the lake is serene.

Eventually we descend into the Telluride Valley.
In the picture below, Telluride is located at the far end of the Valley.

Our visit coincided with the World Famous Telluride Bluegrass Festival.

An all-star slate of artists performing all day and night.

Some names you should recognize:
John Prine, John Foggarty, Bruce Hornsby, KD Lang...

Since Telluride is a dog-friendly town, we enjoyed some music in the
park with the Doods drawing their own crowds.

The streets were lined with flags from all over the world to match the
make-up of all the visitors.

Being a green, forward thinking town, provisions were made when the ski area
was created in the 1970's to reduce traffic in the town.

Most of the development surrounding Telluride is up on the mountain, so a free 
Gondola was installed to shuttle residents back and forth from town in the Valley
to the Mountain Village Area which has most of the lodging.

Even Dogs are allowed on the gondola!

Here are a few pictures of the lodging up in Mountain Village

The road into Mountain Village is thru one of the numerous Aspen Groves.

After some Bluegrass entertainment, street vendor hot dogs, some shopping
expeditions by Kate, and endless people coming up to pet the Doods,
we finally hit the road back to Durango where I now sit putting the days
adventures down in the blog.

Tomorrow we head down the road a bit to revisit Mesa Verde National Park.
This year at least it won't be snowing!


  1. We read your post and enjoyed the photos together this morning. AGAIN, we are so impressed with your photography and descriptions. We MUST go west and see the same sights you are sharing. It is not surprising that the Doods draw their own fans, even at a festival with so many famous musicians....they are SOOO cute!

  2. Tickets for the music festival were sold out back in February - did you hook up with a scalper?

    Great ski area - are you a skier. Trip sounds like it is going well and we are certainly enjoying the blog. Let us know if you eat out in Durango - we tried a place at the entrance to Purgatory that was outstanding - that was back in 2005. Also some nice places to eat in town.

    I spent the day doing a sea trial for a friend - boat that is being sold. Sad day for him I think.


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