Friday, June 10, 2016

Ophir, CO (6/5/2016)

In the Bible, Ophir is the name of a place known for its riches.  King Solomon supposedly received a shipment of gold, silver, ivory, pearls and peacocks every three years from Ophir.  Consequently, many locations where gold was discovered have been named Ophir, including this place a few miles south of Telluride.  Founded in 1875 following a gold strike nearby, Ophir grew to about 500 people in its heyday.  The gold has long since played out and Ophir is now simply a residential community of 164 residents (as of 2013).  Most people live there because they are outdoor enthusiasts. Per family income seems above average at about $81,000 per year, with women earning considerably more on average than the men.  Also, the men outnumber the women by a considerable margin, so this is a great place for a few hardy women to live.

Entering the valley, only a few houses are visible, but look at those mountains.  And you can see the diagonal line of the road climbing to the 11,800 foot pass.

The rough mountain trail leads through spectacular scenery.  This was the first Colorado pass that I ever drove, many years ago.  Thinking the pass might be open, I drove through the residential area and started up the trail.  The dandelion must be the "community flower" as every lawn and field is covered with them.  Quite attractive actually.

Once again I met Julia and Dave, the couple from Denver, where they had parked their truck and walked a ways up the trail.  They told me there was a "road closed" sign not far up the road, but had room to bypass it, which is what I did.



Eventually, I came to where the bulldozer had been left to block the trail until the operator was able to return and finish the job.  A little disappointed, I turned around and headed back down the mountain.  At least the scenery was good.

 Back down in the valley, I took a couple photos of this beautiful, if slightly unusual, community.


On the way back to Montrose, I took the "Sawpit cut-off" to get back to Last Dollar Road, completing a big loop.  This let me get a few views not seen on the trip earlier.

When the original True Grit was filmed here in 1969, this barn was part of the farm where Kim Darby's character lived.

And, I came upon just a few lupines blooming, a little ahead of their time.

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