Monday, July 2, 2012

Trip to Ouray by Emmy Bright (Art Instructor)

On Sunday, the whole camp set out for a days worth of adventure along the San Juan Mountains as we headed for Ouray. In the morning, we piled into vans and suburbans, got out our IPods for DJ’ing, and headed North on route 550. The sun shown through puffy white clouds and blue skies, and we wound our way along precarious-seeming roads which skimmed the edge of Colebank pass and Molas Pass. Singing at the top of our lungs to Beyonce (at least the Mocking Jays were!) and perfecting our seat-belted dance moves, we rolled into Silverton around lunch time. After a wander around at the Silverton Historical Museum, we were off again to find our picnic spot overlooking Mineral Creek. Youngsters climbed up and down the bluffs, dragged logs to and fro, and practiced the age old camp sport of stone-tossing. Zane found a beautiful garter snake [insert picture of Garter Snake from Christine - she has it!] which we all admired. After lunch and lemon bars, we were back in the vans!

The next leg of the journey took us through the Red Mountain Pass along the Million Dollar Highway. At elevations of 10,000-11,000 feet, this 2 lane highway was full of spectacular views of the Rockies as we hugged the edge of hairpin turns, waved to each other on the switchbacks, and wound around the mountain sides. Taylor spotted a far-off waterfall, storms rose in the distance, and red rocks and scree fields loomed above us while thin pines and aspens held on to steep slopes. Rachel shared the story that “they out of guard-rail” at Silverton, leaving the most treacherous part of our journey with no shoulder, and little room for error. Big thanks to our attentive drivers!

The final descent of our trip brought us down into Ouray , a tiny town nestled in the valley enclosed by steep mountains. We stopped at the lowest point and tumbled out of the van and into the hot springs The outdoor pools of fresh water and varying warmth were delightful, and we raced each other in the lap lanes, took over the water basketball court, and lazily floated in the hottest pool. Others took over the nearby skate park and jungle gym. Our fingers and toes were pruney when we emerged from the water and headed into town for dinner and bartering games with the locals. The DMC crew returned with with hats, T-Shirts, a T-Bone steak and even the keys to a Dodge Ram. Following dinner, we scurried up one last dusty climb to visit the Ouray Waterfall, practice more stone tossing and get misted by the water before heading back towards home.

Heading back up the mountain pass, the sun was setting, casting the valleys in shadow and illuminating the peaks in a gorgeous “Alpine Glow.” ;. The Red Mountain Pass showed it’s colors, and old mining tracks poked out from the mountain sides, half in shambles, reminding us of the prospectors in the late 1800’s.

A half moon illuminated our journey as drivers brought us safely home through the dark. We tumbled out of our vans at camp, more than ready to turn in for a good long night’s sleep after our wonderful day.

1 comment:

  1. Gorgeous photos but where is the picture of the garter snake? Was he cute?