Last week we headed to Telluride for my birthday and decided on the scenic route, 285 > 50 > 550 > 62 > 145 and into town. This state never ceases to impress me and the landscape variations that drive took us through were nothing short of amazing. Several areas jumped out at us as definitely needing further exploration, Curecatchi Wildlife Refuge and Black Canyon for starters.
The first few days we were there, it rained. And rained some more. Almost constant. It was more than welcome and didn't deter us from getting out and wandering town.
The gondola was a totally new concept to the girls and become almost like a roller coaster to them. They just wanted to keep riding and riding. The only time they actually wanted off was when we rode it at night.
My aunt was super awesome and lined up a bunch of local stuff for us to do. She's a huge supporter of Mountain Film and get us all tickets to go and see their showing of "Freedom Chair" and "Right To Play". Both were extraordinary films and definite must sees. The girls got to meet Josh Dueck, Frank Marshall and Dan Jansen. Josh gave Dillen and Roxy an autograph but Dillen was bummed she wasn't able to get one from Frank.
Dillen and Roxy then got to take a watercolor class the following day where they painted outside along the river trail. While they were painting, Bec and I took a hike with Piper up towards Bridal Veil.
The weather finally broke a bit on Sunday and we took the girls down for a hula hoop lesson with Dizzy Hips. Interesting character.
While her big sisters were having their lesson, Piper was content to be in her own little world.
I had been telling Bec that I didn't want to come all the way to Telluride and not put the truck in the dirt. Last Dollar and Ophir both looked like great mellow options but I really wanted to get some images of my girls at the top of Imogene. How many kids at school are able to say they've been there? Not many. Bec is a history buff and after we learned a bit about the Tomboy site, she grudgingly agreed.
Monday morning was a total blue bird morning and we decided to extend our stay for a couple of days. I went for a run on the mountain and when I got back we headed out to the trail. Very little traffic on the trail as we headed up. A couple of spots got Bec to close her eyes and white knuckle the dash but once she realized that we were passing the tour trucks, she loosened up a bit. Once we started coming upon the mine relics, she was practically hanging out the window.
The Tomboy site was a hoot for everyone. Bec and the girls wandered trying to imagine where the store was, or the school, or how folks lived up there. Finding a gathering of relics (shoes, gloves, bottles) was icing on the cake and Bec forgave me for driving her up that godforsaken road.
We continued our way to the top where we stopped and had a little lunch. The girls got a big laugh out of the expansion of their Pirates Booty bags but were more than a little annoyed that the bread of their PBJs had almost totally dried out.
I had wanted to photograph them at the Imogene Pass sign but it seems to have gone missing.
Dillen took full advantage of being somewhere where most of her friends would probably never be.
Then it was time to head back down.
Since Bec was now on the inside, she was feeling a bit better and wanted to take a photo of the spot that gave her the willies on the way up.
After we got back down the hill, the girls wanted to try and go fishing. I don't know anything about fishing but somehow, the girls picked up casting just fine. They now want to go back up to Loch Lomond to try and catch something for real.
Our last day there, we want for a small hike around the Nature Center and the unthinkable happened. We got a photo with all of us in it. Yes, I gave up control of the camera for a brief moment.
The drive back was just as beautiful as the drive down. We encountered a couple of freak hail storms, once going over Monarch Pass and another between Fairplay and Jefferson. Both had the girls in complete giggles.
It was a great trip in a beautiful area. The girls loved it so much that Roxy was asking to move there and all three wanted to know why we had to leave.