Hooray – Ouray……….#226 (the 90’s)

Welcome to Ouray

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 ft., 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 4 J +1+1 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.  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,  with the rooms windows open its nighttime discharging sound providing a constitutional environment,  proclaiming its Colorado presence.

The Rivers Edge Motel (note the blue 87 Buick)

The Rivers Edge Motel (note the blue 87 Buick)

The Uncompahgre River (An Ute Indian name)

Motor cyclist tourist – Main St. Ouray

Sandra and her Mount

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 wonder towns dependent on tourist for its livelihood.   An afternoon ritual  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.  The Rocky Mountain town a portrait opportunities not just from its endowed nature artistry, but an opportunist  providing a memorable 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.

Cascade Falls

Jan and Cascade Falls

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

Helen Murrow – a celestial Bride

The trailer hook-up area extended for 3 1/2 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  Trailer & RV Park, included restrooms, shower facilities,  vending machines and laundry,  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 home.  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,  by their Uncle Shawn whom enjoyed  displaying his culinary breakfast talents.

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.   Another adventurist location,  the pioneering industries of a by-gone era, the Bachelor – Syracuse Mine,  the gold mining enterprise that first brought acknowledgement to the community.   The Willson’s,  this time solitary  without Jan’s family,  according the historical application,  entering a 3350 ft. journey on a train tram into the void of solid rock designated as Gold Hill.   To their disappointment the miners of yesteryear found that  the mine wasn’t productive for gold,  but discovering a bonanza for another commodity that was inherently abundant,  silver.

Inside Box Canyon

A gushing presence

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.

Bachelor - Syracuse Mine

Bachelor – Syracuse Mine

Rock hunting

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 an all-star cast including James Stewart,  Henry Fonda,  Gregory Peck,  John Wayne and others were filmed at this location.   Another small town,  like Ouray,  its tourism industry expressed predominantly in the winter,  its location at the junction of Highway 550 and 62,  avenues 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 known to the movie industry for the annual Telluride Film Festival,  the cinema elite in attendance.   The scenic drive into 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 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 60’s hippie era.   The river providing an opportunity to disembark,  to communicate with its flowing aura, to feel its pulse and experience its breath of life.

The Dolores River near Telluride

A tour of Telluride,  it’s 12 blocks square domain liken 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 ft. majestic peaks,  the travel time to Telluride in itself a nominal price to pay for the wondrous scenic experience.  The day travels concluding, the grandeur of tomorrow awaiting.

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