Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Ouray, Silverton & Corkscrew Gulch (10/26/2016)

It had been more than a month since I visited the towns along the Million Dollar Highway, so I figured it was time to return and see how things were going.  I knew the fall color was long gone, but I wondered how much snow was there.  With the above normal temps in Montrose, I really didn't expect much snow, even in the mountains.

In Ouray, I explored a couple roads that were new to me.  One of them led to an old mine that offers tours, but it was closed for the season.  A trail riding outfit was nearby, but I couldn't tell if it was open or not.  The road followed a stream high onto the mountain, but ended abruptly at a Forest Service trailhead.  There were a few houses  and some very nice scenes.

Farther along the highway, I made the obligatory stop at Crystal Lake.

In Silverton, the restaurants were generally open, and I enjoyed my lunch at the Brown Bear Cafe.  Many of the gift shops were closed for the season, despite the fact that the Durango-Silverton tour train was still operating (but only for a few more days).  I left town on a road I last used about ten years ago, thinking I might re-visit the beautiful Velocity Basin.  However, my memory was faulty (imagine that) and I missed the turn that goes to that spot.  By the time I realized my mistake, I was too stubborn to turn back.  There was surprisingly little snow on the mountains, but enough to inspire a few photos.  Also, I stopped for a few minutes at the pool of rusty water where it mixes with the creek.  Looks toxic, doesn't it?  The road passes several old mine sites, one of them demonstrating how water flowing over old tailing piles can also discolor the streams.


 Eventually, I reached the Corkscrew Gulch Road and had great views back to where I had come from.  I could also look directly into Velocity Basin and see the road I had missed.  Maybe I'll remember the way next time.
 There were patches of snow on this road as shown in the photo below (taken through the windshield).

  Near the top, I stopped for a photo of Red Mountain #1 and an overview of the mountains along the Million Dollar Highway.


1 comment:

  1. Some great mtn/snow pictures . . . won't be long until you can just take pictures of your front yard . . .