Monday, July 25, 2011

Switzerland of America– Ouray, Colorado

I had passed through Ouray (pronounced "you-ray”) when first visiting the San Juans 4 years ago and thought it was one of the most idyllic little mountain towns I’d ever seen surrounded by tall mountains on all sides.
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So, I knew I wanted to camp right in town during this visit.  Our spot at the 4J+1+1 Campground was surrounded by spectacular mountains and next to the Uncompaghre river.
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But the downside was that campers were packed like sardines in this campground.  I spent the first few nights next to tent campers who set up 2 tents and a large shelter in their tiny site.  One tent was literally only 3 feet from my car!  Fortunately, they left midweek and an RV replaced them allowing for more space between rigs again.

Highway 550 that runs between Ouray and Silverton is known as the “Million Dollar Highway” and it is one of the most gorgeous (and terrifying) stretches of highway in America with it’s hairpin curves and cliff-hugging narrow 2-lane roadway with no guardrail.   Don’t look down and you’ll be fine!
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After getting my practice in on that road and the 4-wheel drive roads in Vail and Crested Butte, I now felt ready to tackle the trails of the San Juans!

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