July 19, 2005

Ouray Vacay Diary

The pictures that you see on this site are my own. If you click on the underlined words, it will take you to other sites where you can view other peoples' pictures of the same things that we saw. Some of my pictures just aren't as good. For instance, the linked pictures of the Box Canyon Falls in the next entry are so much better that I didn't even post my own.

Saturday night, James and I had the van packed and mostly ready to go for our trip to Ouray, CO . We left Sunday afternoon, around 2 pm, and took I-70 to Grand Junction, then turned off at Clifton, taking Highway 141 to Highway 50 through Montrose and on to Ouray. We approached Ouray providentially at sunset to view a picture perfect scene. Indigo and cream-colored clouds sailed across the turquoise sky above the brilliant peaks of the San Juan mountain range . We arrived at our condo around 9 p.m.

On Monday morning, we drove about a mile south of Ouray (but above it) into the Ampitheatre and the Baby Bathtubs trailhead . The trail was so named, because the igneous rock had been eroded by water, leaving small smooth sinkholes or baby bathtubs . That trail connected to the Portland trail which we followed most of the way. Evan and I took off at a faster pace, resting every once-in-a-while to wait for the rest of the family. Evan entertained himself by signaling (whistling) to James, Matthew and Sophie behind us. We hiked for about two hours.

Ouray trip 05 ready to hike.jpg

Ouray trip 05 Baby Bathtubs.jpg

Ouray trip 05 along Baby Bathtubs trail.jpg

Ouray trip 05 mountain scene.jpg
I think this is a view along the Portland trail.

We played in the Hot Springs Pool from 3-5pm. We all enjoyed the warm water and the kids especially liked the mushroom-shaped sprinklers at two different places in the water. Matthew impressed us with how long he could float on his back. The pool admission cost more than when I visited Ouray as a kid!

As we left the pool, we stopped at an adjoining pond which contained goldfish, turtles, and koi (ornamental carp) which looked like sumo wrestling goldfish. Two were gold and some were black and white.

For supper, we ate spinach enchilada casserole which I made ahead with a few other meals. (I'm glad that I cooked ahead, because it is making this vacation more relaxing.) For dessert, we walked around the corner to an ice cream shop to eat ice cream cones.

Ouray trip 05 Dishes James style.jpg
It's not the way I'd do dishes, but it gets the job done.

Ouray trip 05 Sophie reading My Fathers Dragon in condo.jpg
Sophie relaxing with a good book in the condo. She has turned into a reading machine lately.

Today (July 19) a Colorado West jeep picked us up for a jeep tour beginning at 8 am. Four other people were with us in the open-topped jeep aside from the driver. We signed up for the Yankee Boy Basin tour . When we signed up, we asked if we could go up to Governor's Basin like James and I did two years ago. We were told to ask the driver. The driver said that we'd go up there until the snow on the road stopped us. Later, we saw him checking the tires and repeatedly trying to call on his cell phone. He had to change his plans, because five bolts were missing on a front tire. We did at least get to do the Yankee Boy basin tour (this link has three pages of pictures taken on the same tour we've done two different times; click on the succesive pgs. linked at the bottom of the site). We thoroughly enjoyed bumping along under the clear royal blue sky, viewing the majestic mountains, steep cliffs , cascading waterfalls, and the hillsides blanketed with a rainbow carpet of wildflowers . We hiked around at a few stops, taking pictures and climbing boulders. We all saw the jagged mountain ridge named "Sophie's Teeth"! Sophie joked that they had toothpaste on them (snow). The driver complemented our kids on their good behavior several times, which we are always glad to hear. He couldn't have been soliciting a tip!!!

Ouray trip 05 mine bldg.jpg

Ouray trip 03 Stone Mtn.jpg
Picture of Stone Mountain taken on our jeep tour in 2003. My 2003 picture turned out better than the 2005 picture of the same mountain.

Ouray trip 03 twin falls.jpg
Twin Falls 2003 picture

Ouray trip 05 twin falls.jpg
Twin Falls 2005 picture

Ouray trip 05 tour jeep Yankee Boy Basin.jpg

Ouray trip 05 tip the driver.jpg

Ouray trip 05 Evan and the tent worms.jpg
Evan fascinated with wriggling tent caterpillars of some sort

Ouray trip 05 Matthew by the flowers.jpg

Ouray trip 05 Melissa was here.jpg
Just a picture to show that I was there too! I took the rest of the pictures. The pictures with wildflowers do not come close to doing justice to the riot of vivid colors that we saw. The camera makes it look like a mass of green foliage.

Ouray trip 05 Indian paintbrush Yankee Boy Basin.jpg
This is the best picture I took of wildflowers. They are Indian paintbrush. We saw orange, red, and pink varieties.

Ouray trip 03 Governors Basin.jpg
Picture taken at Governor's Basin in 2003. We were celebrating our 10th anniversary.

Sophie's Teeth picture taken from Governor's Basin 2003

After lunch, I had some altitude sickness symptoms. I decided that I'd feel better if I got moving a little to distract me from how I felt. We mosied around the town, looking in some of the shops. The kids enjoyed raking their fingers through a polished rock bin, listening to the stones click against each other, and each picking out one to buy. In the Ouray Gallery, an artist explained the processes she used to make and fire her special style of pottery which had a gleaming metalic sheen. She had fired her pottery in an outdoor kiln which reached a temperature of 1800 degrees! In a different shop, we watched a man pouring sand art in a bottle.

Posted by melissa at July 19, 2005 01:39 PM