Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Telluride & Alta Lakes, CO (9/26/2016)

On the final few miles of Last Dollar Road, you begin to see the mountains that surround Telluride, as well as some of the homes built on the lands overlooking the valleys and canyons.  Some of these homes are "over the top" in more ways than one, such as Tom Cruise's estate offered for sale at $59 million.  Of course, one can ask whatever they like but may not find a buyer.  There are also a few more modest homes, probably built years before real estate prices boomed here.  Nonetheless, the lucky owners enjoy the same views as their wealthy neighbors.


Driving south beyond Telluride, a look back provides a spectacular view.
After a few miles, I took the side road that leads to Alta Lakes, a group of three high-altitude lakes that are popular with fishermen.  The bumpy road shows brief glimpses of the mountain tops, hints of things to come up above.

Although most of this land is public, there are a few private homes.  Of course, the homes are hidden behind elaborate gates and long driveways.
An intermediate stop at the ghost town Alta gives visitors an idea of mining life in the early days.  This was once home to several hundred people, starting in 1877.  Nicola Tesla and George Westinghouse were involved in the installation of A/C power for the mines, the first application of this type.  A mill at the foot of the mountain on the San Miguel River generated electricity through power lines that scaled the mountain.  The town was finally abandoned after World War II.  Time and vandalism have since taken a toll, but many buildings remain.

Climbing above the 11,500 foot level, I found the three lakes surrounded by dramatic mountain peaks.  Definitely one of the more spectacular areas I've seen.

This exceptional day in the mountains will continue in the next travelogue.

1 comment:

  1. Oh how I miss that part of the country . . . just fabulous