Hooray – Ouray……….#226 (the 90’s)

Welcome to Ouray

The Willson’s Arriving at the Switzerland of America,  Ouray Colorado,  an  unique town nestled in the San Juan Range of the western Rocky Mountain at an elevation of 7811 feet,  Gary remaining Curious of how Jan’s mother and father found this picturesque  location.   The Willson family having made prior reservation at the Rivers Edge Motel,  a scant distance from the  river trailer sanctuary hosting the Murrow’s 35 ft. fifth wheel mobile home.   As expected,  Jan’s sister Lynne, husband Shawn and daughters Sarah and Jamie having stationed their tent travel trailer accommodations in the same location.

The Rivers Edge Motel (note the blue 87 Buick)

The Rivers Edge Motel (note the blue 87 Buick)

Murrow’s 35 ft. 5th wheel trailer

As anticipated,  her Aunt Esther and Uncle Charles Terry,  having found enrollment at the Matterhorn Inn,  a more affluent residency.   The Willson’s impressed with their River Edge Motel accommodations,  their spacious upstairs corner room enabled them to descry the rippling sounds of the adventurous Uncompahgre river, and with the rooms windows open, its nighttime discharging sound providing a constitutional environment,  proclaiming its Colorado presence.

Esther & Charles Terry

Matterhorn Inn

The Uncompahgre River (An Ute Indian name)

The agenda for each day was nondescript,  a progenitor discussion held the night before about the coming ascendancy  enabling a determination of the next day’s events.   A daily stroll uptown to acquaint the many store exhibitions filled with tee shirts and Ouray memorabilia,  like many scenic wonders the town dependent on tourist for its livelihood.  The Murrow’s and Willson’s venturing into The Old Tyme Photograph Shop on Main Street, the opportunity for a meritorious Photograph was irresistible.  The Willson family opting to be photographed as a western formal sitting family of the 1880’s,  Sandi and Rob enjoying their characterization. Gary taking an interested in his father-in-laws quiet but reserved demeanor, the seriousness and subtle pride of donning the confederate uniform, as if recalling a past memory, having done this before in a prior life.  Bud was very much like Gary’s Dad sheltering his inner feelings and opinions within.

The Old Tyme Photograph Shop

The Willson Family

Bud Murrow a depiction from the past but ever-present today





Helen Murrow – a celestial Bride

A meaningful dedication



The captivating couple








An afternoon ritual a lunch engagement with the communal family, the Murrow‘s, Johnson’s and Terry’s,  an adherence to the dining opportunities of Ouray,  followed with a gelatinous appearance at the Ice Cream and candy store.   Gary and Jan enjoying a walking exercise east on 8th Street,  a 3 block journey to appraised the splendor of cascade falls,  the water descending off the mountain,  able to acquaint the alluring Falls, up-close and personal.

Sundry shops

Candy & Ice Cream Shop

Cascade Falls

Jan and Cascade Falls

The Rocky Mountain town  a portrait of opportunities,  not just from its endowed natural artistry, but a simulacrum of  visitation for its guest.   The 800 block of Main Street,  home to the Ouray Livery Barn.  Jan,  Robert, Sandra and the two Johnson girls ready to saddle up for a venture into the surrounding hills via horseback,  the chaperoned excursion a well-received equestrian event.

Sandra and her Mount

The Johnson Girls

The  trailer hook-up area extended for 3 and one half blocks north of 7th Street and was located on the west bank of the Uncompahgre River,  the facility with a unique name 4 J+1+1 RV and trailer Park, which also provided restrooms, shower facilities, a laundry and  vending machines.   bud and Helen Murrow enjoying a home away from home.  Shawn and Lynne Johnson displaying their tent trailer adjacent to the Murrow’s 5th wheel location.  An early morning breakfast could be discovered if the person’s timing was good,  the Willson children having commendable morning dietary predication,  if not prepared by their Grammy, prepared  by their Uncle Shawn whom enjoyed  displaying his culinary breakfast talents.

The 4J+1+1 RV & Trailer Park

4 J + 1 + 1

Esther Terry & Shawn Johnson

Sarah – Sandra – Jamie and Robert in the RV trailer

The family members escalating their 87 Buick,  traversing the quarter-mile southwest on Box Canyon Road to hike into the cavern domain of Box Canyon, a steel scaffold walkway allowing passage,  the roar of the water cascading thru its formidable aperture filling the air.  Entering the Falls dominion,  a spectral aura could be experienced,  the force of the water providing a rebounding intonation of aptitude,  a resolution of mother-nature’s ascendancy.  One could journey into the cavernous atmosphere of white water pluming through its rocked carved highway  seeking its freedom from containment..

Inside Box Canyon

A gushing presence

Another adventurist location, the Bachelor Syracuse Mine, the pioneering industries of a by-gone era,  the gold mining enterprise that first brought acknowledgement to the community.   The Willson’s desiring to partake of the 3350 foot journey on a train tram into the void of solid rock designated as Gold Hill,  to their disappointment there was a long waiting list.  The miners of yesteryear also were disappointed, they found that most of the mining effort wasn’t productive for gold,  but discovering a bonanza for another commodity that was inherently abundant,  silver.

Bachelor – Syracuse Min

Gold ore

A mile south on Highway 550 was the intersection of  county road 16 which ascended across several streams,  raising above the valley below, the entire Murrow related family assembling for the outing.   The area providing stopping points to engage the crystal clear water,  which gently flowed from above,  enabling a venue for gathering rocks and weathered wooden artifacts and a vicinity for Robert to engage in a display of his rock climbing ability.  The promulgated destination projected an overlook platforms  providing a majestic vista,  below one could view the panorama of Ouray and the grandiose San Juan Mountains could be ascertained.

Rock hunting

Robert & Grammy

The Willson’s – Bud Murrow – The Terry’s

Twelve miles north of Ouray,  the community of Ridgeway awaited,  its prominence established when the 1969 John Wayne Movie, True Grit, and the 1962 epic How The West Was Won with its all-star cast. but its tourism industry expressed predominantly in the winter.  its location at the junction of Highway 550 and 62, the well-traveled avenue to the renowned winter haven of  Telluride.   Gary finding it interesting,  Telluride was located in a box canyon just 10 miles from Ouray,  but one had to traverse  55 miles of highway to get there.   The small town besides being a winter wonderland is known to the movie industry for the annual Telluride Film Festival,  the cinema elite in attendance.

On the scenic drive to Telluride,  the Willson’s noticing the presences of the eastward flowing Dolores River,  navigating onto a dirt access road to accord a better view of the waterway,  a discovery in a weeded over grown area on the side of the road,  a rusted 1960’s VW  Van,  a makeshift chimney protruding thru it roof,  Gary surmising,  a probable home to a personage from the bye gone 60’s era.   The river providing an opportunity to disembark,  to communicate with its flowing aura, to feel its pulse and experience its breath of life.

A relic from the past

The Dolores River

The Dolores River near Telluride







A tour of Telluride finding a 12 square block domain very similar in size to Kiowa Kansas,  but studded with an array of proprietary buildings inflated with wears,  catering to the thousands of affluent visitors each year.   Gary concluding,  the San Juan Mountains,  their 14,000 foot majestic peaks,  the travel time to Telluride in itself a nominal price to pay for the wondrous scenic experience.  The days  travels concluding,  the grandeur of tomorrow awaiting.





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