As we left Denver, my anticipation of seeing the San Juan mountains was building. Surprizingly, I lived in Colorado for almost 30yrs & never made it down here. We took 2 days to arrive and the first night we ended up staying on top of Monarch Pass. The campground we intended to stay at was closed so we spent a chilly, windy night at 11,000ft. We woke up the next morning and it was a fantastic view in every direction!
We continued on the next morning & just beyond Blue Mesa Reservoir we began the climb. Almost immediately, I knew it was going to be a breathtaking drive.
We headed up to Lizard Head Pass to find our spot. We found a place with amazing views in every direction.
The next day we set out to explore & see if we could find water. The campgrounds were all closed for the season so we knew thar sourcing water would be a bit of a challenge. We came across a great trellis. It was called the Trout Creek Trellis & it was used to bring minerals down from the mines.
We started up Ophir Pass and when we could see the road on the side of the mountain, we chickened out & headed back. I think I would have been crawling on the floor! Even John said he would only attempt it in an atv. I’ve never seen a road that was barely there like that. After finding water, we headed back to camp to put up the screen room for the kitty boys & to get some chores done. The cats decided that we needed to be supervised during the process 🙂
While pounding the last nails in, we all of a sudden heard 2 bull elk bugling back & forth with each other. John scrambled & fould his calls to head into the woods for an evening of his favorite type of conversation. They talked with him & he said the one bull that he saw was quite large with cows. Too bad hunting season was 3 days away! It wasn’t 30min later & there was another bull with cows out in the meadow. By this point, John was determined that we were staying through hunting season! The next morning, we headed out to take a hike and look around. We came across a lovely waterfall and more amazing scenery.
We headed into Telluride to look around the town. While its very beautiful, I think the one thing that I will always remember is looking at their airport runway. Seems boring, right? Well, look at this picture and look closely, it may just seem like any other mountain cliff but that’s where you land and takeoff! One mistake, and you’re toast!
While in town, someone mentioned what a beautiful day it was ahead of the big storm. John & I looked at each other & grabbed my phone for the forecast. It said 4-8in of snow with an additional 2-4 the following day. We discussed our options but when you’re staying at 10,000ft & you have to pull 12,000 pounds down a windy pass, you look at snow a little different. We decided to be safe, took everything down & left at dark. We will definitely be back here as we didn’t have a chance to even see but a glimpse of the area.