Gondolas & Bridal Veil Falls

Banff is a beautiful town nestled in the Canadian Rockies, and I imagined that Telluride would be similar……minus the huge Asian influence.  And that’s basically what we found.

Love the bricks, wooden doors, geraniums

Love the bricks, wooden doors, geraniums

Old brick buildings, tourist & gift shops, lots of sidewalk cafes, upper-class housing, resort hubbub.  This past weekend was also a Jazz Festival…..we could hear the sounds permeating the airspace.

Rauchelle pauses mid-street to photoshoot Bridal Veil Falls

Rauchelle pauses mid-street to photoshoot Bridal Veil Falls

A wonderful place to wander around for an afternoon being a looky-loo!

DSCN5167Court House established 1887

Used to be National Bank but is now an Optical Store.  I love the stone arches & billowing flowers

Used to be First National Bank but is now an Optical Store. I love the stone arches & billowing flowers

There were a lot of creative ideas (with big price tags) particularly with re-purposing things that were once useful in this mountain community, like making coffee table tops out of wooden snowshoes, or coat stands from old wooden skis.

Bicycle chain

Bicycle chain bowl $98

Cost of living seems really high here in Telluride.  Fuel was $0.50/gallon higher here than in Cortez!! Eating out in a restaurant was cost-prohibitive so we bought groceries & bakery goods, made sandwiches street-side by our van while passers-by smiled at us munching.  In our slowed-down moments we spotted vibrant orange flowers growing in the empty lot beside us, and a current newspaper on the stone wall, so easily overlooked.  Isn’t that the way it is….always in a hurry.

Anders pretending to read the newspaper

Anders pretending to read the newspaper

For decades Telluride has had a Free Box station just off of the main street.  Wooden open-faced boxes are up against a brick building where people have easy access for dropping off their cast-offs or rummaging thru for something ‘new’.  A bookshelf at one end, a shoe rack at the other, lots of finds in between labelled Women, Men, Child, Unisex, etc.  A great idea.  Nobody makes a business out of it, and I think that’s great!

We perused the Free Boxes but didn’t find footwear for fast-growing Toveli so we checked out the Thrift Store and got some great finds for only $23.  Two pairs of shorts for Anders, runners for Tov, 3 shirts for Mitchell.

The most exciting event in Telluride was a free ride up the gondola to Station St Sophia at 10,500 feet above sea level. The experience was new for all but Rauchelle, Everette & I, so there was lots of excitement as eight of us piled into the cabin, the door closed and we were slowly whisked away into the sky, swaying.  We took the gondola up and over to Mountain Village, looked around for a bit and traveled the sky back down to Telluride.  Over and over the children thanked us for taking them on this contraption….so easy to please them, it’s wonderful!!

Toveli said the gondola made it easier for her to ‘imagine I am a fairy, flying really high!”  She looks out over the landscape dreamily.

Karen (me). Its most often me behind the lens but since Rauchelle's been visiting and using her own camera there's a few more of me to share.

Karen (me). Its most often me behind the lens but since Rauchelle’s been visiting and using her own camera there’s a few more of me to share.

Telluride as viewed on our way up the mountain side

Telluride as viewed on our way up the mountain side

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This gondola is the only free public transportation (covering 8 miles) of its kind in the US.  Owned and operated by Mtn Village owners and taxpayers, it originally cost $16 million and has been open since Dec 20, 1996.  Each gondola can take 8 passengers (perfect fit for us since 3 girls stayed home for the day!) and approximately 2.25 million passengers use it each year.  That’s a lot of people-moving.

Moving at 11 miles per hour it’s a handy way to get from Mtn Village to Telluride from 7am to 12am each day, with grocery stores near stations at each end (a large family is always thinking of food!!)  It took a little less than 15 minutes to traverse the whole system.  The free gondola helps reduce the number of cars on the road thus reducing pollutants in the air.

Laars with Bridal Veil to the left.  Notice he's wearing his 'new' cowboy boots (from the Free Box)

Laars with Bridal Veil to the left. Notice he’s wearing his ‘new’ cowboy boots (from the Free Box)

We drove out to Bridal Veil Falls where a private house is perched beside the falls.  Can you imagine the view they must get from up there?  Everette thought the hairpin drive up (we didn’t go) would be a real hassle to do every time you had to go to town to get groceries!  Thankfully, that isn’t our house perched up on the cliff, hiding in the shade for most of the day.

See the house on the left?  Private house.

See the house on the left? Private house.

3 thoughts on “Gondolas & Bridal Veil Falls

  1. Pingback: Butch Cassidy Hit It Once, We Hit It Twice (the bank for him, the town for us) | Acrobatic Thoughts

  2. Pingback: I Basically Met Michael on His Way Out | Acrobatic Thoughts

  3. Pingback: I Basically Met Michael on His Way Out | Karen Schindel's Unlimited4Life

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