Uncompahgre River in Ouray, CO
Leg 2 of our summer 2023 road trip – Leg 1 here.
Stop 3 – Ouray, CO
After a really nice stop in Kanab, UT we headed NE toward Ouray, CO – a small mountain town near Telluride (approx 400 mile drive). The first part of the trip took us through northern Arizona, with a brief stop at Horseshoe Bend. We also stopped at 4 Corners along the way. Lots of big, open space on the first half of the drive.
I’d forgotten how pretty Colorado is and especially driving into cooler temperatures and mountains with trees and rivers after a long stint in the very hot Southwest summer. Eva decided that Colorado was the best state by far of our trip after about 20 miles in the state. (Although she also swore no more Mexican food until we’re close to the border after getting burned by bad refried beans at a pub.)
We made a brief ice cream stop in Telluride which had a really nice feel and I’d like to go back for a long weekend adult trip (lots of good looking restaurants, coffee shops, hikes, etc.). Driving downhill in the mountains was a bit intense as our brakes and rotors are looking like they need replacing. Eeeek!
Ouray is a beautiful little town with mountains all around, a very large hot springs pool, and lively Downtown. We played pitch for an afternoon at the Ouray Brewery and our small motel had a balcony right over a small river and we saw deer right outside a number of times. We didn’t get to do the Perimeter Trail around the town, but is on my list for a return visit as well. Maybe even a hike from Telluride to Ouray…
Highlights: Ouray Hot Springs pool, Colorado trees and waterways, hotel rooms with a small outdoor space for parental sanity.
Stop 2 – LaFayette, CO
Continuing through Colorado we took a pretty drive through Gunnison on US Highway 50 and over the Monarch Pass through the Rocky Mountains. The drive took us through Fairplay, CO (inspiration for South Park TV show) and was about 350 miles. The car was shaking pretty hard on the downhills and me forgetting to put it in low gear, but we made it through. A brief thunderstorm and hail just before arriving with family in LaFayette, just east of Boulder.
We had a great time enjoying some Colorado beers, playing in the backyard and at local playgrounds / parks, and a fantastic local indoor pool. The kids really liked the fast two-story water slide. Somehow I neglected to get any photos in Colorado so below are from the first half of this section.
Highlights: Time with family, playing pitch, shooting water guns (pewers) in the backyard, more than one room for the first time on the trip.