The San Juan Skyway

Oooh, lookee here--a blog post written on the day that the events actually happened! Just as I used to do!

Today we abandoned Durango and went on a big ole day trip, which turned out to be longer than most of our regular travel days. We departed the campground at 9AM, after exercising dog and self, and headed out to drive the entire scenic byway that is the San Juan Skyway. We decided that we had maxed out Durango, since we really didn't want to go to the hot springs when it's hot outside, nor did we want to go rafting when the river level is so low, and a movie was out today because the thunderstorm threat had finally abated. So, what do we do? Hit the road!

We backtracked a bit on highway 160 to Mancos, but left our well-worn road when we saw Mesa Verde on the left. We took a road that cut off Cortez (big mistake--poor condition, and much-needed road construction), but that didn't last long. We hooked back up with the Skyway very quickly and after some just jaw-droppingly gorgeous driving arrived at our main destination, Telluride, which turns out to be a bit too precious for us, but it IS very dog friendly. We had read about Telluride on one of our favorite dog travel sites, GoPetFriendly and they were right--Bago fit right in. Now, I'm not sure he enjoyed riding the dog-friendly gondolas up to (and down from) 10,500 feet, but he was a good sport on the way up and in Mountain Village, especially since he was wearing his vest for the first time.

We decided we needed the walk more than the experience of taking him on the city bus (which is dog friendly too!), so we had a nice time strolling the very chic streets of Telluride and eating some of the best grilled cheese EVER from a street vendor. We split two kinds:  a brie and apriocot preserves and a havarti with bacon, while Bago was quite the ambassador to a whole herd of little children enjoying a day camp.

We resumed our drive over to Ouray, Colorado, a beautiful mining town tucked into some of the most rugged scenery we've seen in the lower 48.

This area is home to four 14,000-foot peaks, the most in the state. Bago and Julie did not care for the high altitude and the scary open metal bridge over a box canyon waterfall

but we did enjoy the fact that Lisa had to drive the white-knuckle 25-mph stretch of no-guard-rail road between Ouray and Silverton!

After almost 10 hours, we completed the beautiful loop and ended up back in our campground, after stopping at the nearby gourmet market and cheating and buying some already-prepared dinner. Once in a while...

Oh, and a bonus: my favorite trailer. Wish our camper looked like this!

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