We were drawn by the free gondola ride again and the promise of a soak in the natural springs. It was quickly closing in on autumn and we wanted to get one more visit in to Telluride and the springs at Rico so we buzzed up there last Friday when the sky was shining and we hoped for autumn colours.
The day was gorgeous and warmer than I had anticipated. Gaining another 2,000 ft+ to the town, and a total height of 10,500 ft thereabouts at the highest station, we were prepared for some cold temperatures but gladly didn’t get them. Our first visit to Telluride had resulted in 3 of the girls opting to stay ‘home’ while we took Rauchelle and Marin up there for the day. Now they all wanted to go, knowing they had missed out on a true highlight. So this trip was for them.
The autumn colours hadn’t set in yet in broad sweeps although we did get to see a few brushstrokes of yellowing.
Afraid of heights, Maret was not at all pleased when the gondola stopped in mid-transit. The cabin swayed above the mountain side, while she gasped and fretted and I tried to calm her down. It hadn’t stopped for us before, but this day, just for Maret I think, it stopped both on our way going up and coming down, making it doubly memorable!
This day, unlike the last, was sunny and gorgeous so we were able to walk around the Mountain Village more.
The nomadic Utes spent their summers hunting and fishing throughout the valley. To make way for mining ventures the Utes were forced to cede millions of acres of land to the USA, and then in 1881, they were forcibly removed from the land onto reservations in NE Utah and S Colorado.
We took some obscure walk that became SeeForever Way which ended with an observation and fire pit.
It was here at the end of the pathway that we learned more of the history that we hadn’t yet heard about Telluride.
1874 saw gold fever hit this valley. Camp was first named “Columbia” but had to be changed due to a Columbia, California. It thus became Telluride, named after the element tellurium. “A mix of tellurium and gold or silver creates a “telluride”, an appropriate name for a town steeped with riches.”
“Realizing that striking it rich in the Telluride mines was hard work, cattle rustler Robert Leroy Parker decided that a life of crime was the best means to seek his fortune.” Butch Cassidy, after months of preparation casing the local bank at Telluride, made his first bank robbery, making off with nearly $25,000. Later he joined forces with Harry Longbaugh (the Sundance Kid) and the others who became known collectively as the Wild Bunch, “becoming the most notorious outlaws of the Old West”.
Telluride was the first town in the world to have commercially lit electric street lights! Amazing!!
The kids were thrilled to find a bouldering wall so they went at it!
The elevation tends to aggravate a few of us, so we only spent a few hours at the Mountain Village and Telluride, and headed down the mountain to hit the hot springs.
Sadly, we discovered a virtually empty pool