“I can feel it comin’ back again
Like a rollin’ thunder chasing the wind
Forces pullin’ from the center of the earth again”Live
I drew the short straw tonight. More accurately I drew the number 4 for shower order, which after two days without we were all in desperate need of. On a positive note I did manage to grab the sink to shave for the first time in a couple weeks. After writing those last two sentences I’m actually a bit surprised they let us into Telluride at all today.
We kicked off the morning with a 6:30 alarm in our tent at COHO. Even with the threat of a bear in the neighborhood and semiwet tents we all got one of the best nights sleep we had in a while. I guess if you have enough bad ones in a row you’re due for a good one. After a stop in Dolores for coffee we headed down Road 38 (aka Forest Service Road 535) in search of Colorado’s only geyser. The words “Forest Service Road” always strike a bit of fear in my heart, but the guy at the coffee shop assured us the road was pretty good.
It actually was pretty good at the start. In fact, it was paved for the first 10ish miles. When the pavement ended it turned into one of the better gravel roads we’ve been on. Before long a herd of cows hanging out near the trailhead parking lot caught our eye. We turned in and geared up. We spent a good amount of time enjoying watching the cows munch their grassy breakfast as they watched us watching them. Eventually we broke the stalemate to begin hiking. The trail was short, but perfect. Midway to the advertised geyser we came across another gurgling spring, that may as well have been called a baby geyser. I don’t know what constitutes the difference between a hot spring and a geyser, but they seem pretty similar to me.
Before long we made it to the actual geyser just as an eruption was beginning. It was a beautifully blue color with just the beginnings of some bubbles forming. As we watched and snapped some pictures the bubbling intensified. It may not have been the same as seeing old faithful, but it’s less than an hour from our house so it’s now our geyser. After getting our fill of the sight, sound, and smell we returned to the cows at the trailhead. Their breakfast was over, they were all lounging peacefully in the grass. As we approached though some of them began standing to check us out which made us feel a little bad for disturbing them.
The road north of the springs toward Telluride wasn’t nearly as nice as the southern portion. It was, in fact, everything I expect forest service roads to be: uneven, narrow, gauged with ruts, blocked with rocky obstacles, and lined with hundreds of feet of drop-offs. We did successfully make it back to the highway, but not without some tense moments.
Telluride is one of the few mountain cities that actually lives up to the promise of being a “cute mountain town”. It’s just about the perfect retreat. The reason for our visit there today was to meet up with Mary and Sarah, longtime friends of Molly and her family who now live in Montrose. We caught up with them over lunch at one of my favorite spots in Telluride, Caravan Mediterranean. Just as lunch arrived we were pummeled by the biggest rain and hail storm I’ve seen in months. We grabbed our plates and did our best to find cover. I only wish the rain had come to Mancos as well!
We also rode the gondola over the mountain and found the most Kimptonesque bar in Mountain Village. It was absolutely perfect. We even had fun trying to determine whether the family sitting next to us was the infamous Cruzes. We’re pretty sure it wasn’t though. As 6:00 rolled around we rode back over the mountain and said goodbye for now. The last highlight of the day was stopping in Rico at the The Enterprise for $5 chicken tender baskets and $3 PBRs. It’s always good to have a bar to stop at.