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Monday, May 14, 2012

What is at 11,300 feet you ask???

11,300 feet


Today was a major driving day, we drove form Ridgway to Canon City, home of Royal Gorge. We had to cross the Monarch Pass which was 11,312 feet another white knuckle drive. At the top of the pass there was quite a bit of snow but the sun was shining so the temperature was about 60.

We are camping at the Starlite Classic Campground and all I can say is that the scenery out the front window is beautiful, the campground leaves a lot to be desired.

We drove to the Royal Gorge and saw the span bridge, the Gorge is beautiful, than we drove into Canon City, a very pretty town with a beautiful river walk.






Monarch Pass Visitor Center

Monarch Pass

Monarch Pass

Monarch Pass

Descending Monarch Pass

Royal Gorge Bridge and Tram

 
Squirrel
John Dubbe likes these

Royal Gorge Bridge




 
 View from our campsite (royal gorge in foreground)

Mountain Drive


Along the Million Dollar Highway

Along the Million Dollar Highway


We decided to forgo the gold mine tour and instead drive to the old mining town of Silverton. Silverton is located along the famous million dollar highway; Colorado 550. Silverton is the same as it was in the 1800’s, old shabby buildings and many of the roads are still dirt. The road to Silverton is 34 miles from Ouray and took over one hour.  This drive is one of the most challenging drives we have been on. The scenery is awesome but you cannot take your eyes off the road for a second.  The road is a series of switch backs going up, up and up then switch backs going down, down and down.  It crosses Red Mountain Pass at 11008 feet. The road is a narrow two lane with a shear drop off on the outside with no guard rails. It definitely qualified for the white knuckle drive of our trip so far. The weather at this altitude was cold and snowing.

Once in Silverton we shopped and had lunch. We watched the old steam train, Durango to Silverton, arrive and prepare to return to Durango. Silverton is a touristy town but it has a laid back atmosphere to it.  With an altitude of 9,300 feet it has a short season and weather can change quickly.

Returning to Ridgway we took a few pictures when we were able to safely pull over. We even managed to spot a Muskoxen or Yak?

Silverton

Silverton

Silverton

Silverton

Silverton

Durango to Silverton Steam Train

Along the Million Dollar Highway
I don't know????