I took the back roads to Ridgway, knowing I was in for a bumpy ride. The road that goes on top of the plateau is never in good shape, but was especially pot-holed so soon after winter's wear and tear. The good thing about that route is the elevated view of the San Juans and the Cimarron Range to the east. I wanted to try for a really wide view in hopes of printing a large canvas picture of it for the new home. No lens of mine is wide enough to get the whole scene, so I took three images and stitched them together to make a photo capable of making a print nearly ten feet wide. I'm not sure I can get it printed as one, so I may have to break it up again into three pictures. What you see here is a much, much smaller version.
I drove to an area called the "Dallas Divide", where I knew I could get good views of the mountains.
On the way, I passed one entrance to the 17,000 acre Double RL Ranch. If you are getting tired of seeing mountains here, just think how Ralph and Ricky Lauren must feel having to look at this scene all the time they are in their vacation home. In addition to a luxurious main house and many out buildings, they provide five fully-furnished teepees for their guests who want to "rough" it.
Next, I drove up County Road 7, a favorite location of mine. The small private pond along the way was surprisingly low this time, but the snow melt will soon take care of that.
I finally reached my spot, some seven miles up that bumpy road, where you come face to face with a scenic basin. As you can see, at this elevation, the aspen trees are still bare. In the fall, this is a wonderful location.
I then drove on toward Ouray, one of the coolest little towns you will ever see. It's always a thrill to approach town and begin to see why it is called "Switzerland of America".
A bare patch on the cliff reminds us how much gold and silver was taken from the mountains over many years. There is still gold in these mountains, but to capture it would require tearing down most of the mountains, which just wouldn't be worth it. The waterfall is one of many cascading down these mountainsides.
Red Mountain Creek shows its origins in the Red Mountains, which have plenty of iron ore that oxidizes (rusts) and turns everything a reddish color.
Seen from Crystal Lake, the snow is hiding all the red rock for which the three Red Mountains are named.