Thursday, September 21, 2006

Experiencing the San Juans

After a few days in Vail, it was time to get to my photo destination--- the San Juan mountains in southwestern Colorado. Millie and I hooked up the T@B and drove to Ridgeway State Park just south of Montrose to set up camp for the next few days. The weather forecast was for sunny or partly cloudy days in the 60's with lows in the low 40's, with a chance of rain on Friday.

The next morning was sunny as expected. I drove just west of Ridgeway to the Dallas Divide to shoot a "postcard" mountain shot with aspens in the foreground. This northern edge of the San Juans was on the border of western Colorado's arid high mesa region, so the fall colors here were still a bit spotty, but still breathtakingly beautiful.

Later in the morning, I decided to drive the Last Dollar Road to Telluride. What an incredible 4WD drive! There were a couple nearly-impassable large mud puddles, but otherwise, the road was in fairly good shape. It took me way up to the top of the moutain range shown here and after about 40 miles ended up in Telluride. By the time we reached Telluride, it was starting to cloud up and get colder so I didn't take many pictures, but Telluride is a gem of a little skiing village with lots of historic buildings. Well worth another visit!

By afternoon, it had started to rain steadily in the lower elevations. I decided to drive the spectacular Hwy 550 from Ridgeway to Silverton. In the upper elevations, it had snowed a little as the clouds slowly passed across the mountaintops and this was just perfect for photography.

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