This is the 3rd in a series of photo articles that will share a bit of our experience on our recent trip out to Colorado & the desert Southwest. Telluride was our first real ‘destination’ and the motivation for our trip in the 1st place. It was the 44th annual Tellride Bluegrass Festival…one of the longest and most well attended bluegrass festivals in the country. The last post about our trip retold the gorgeous ride through the desert across the Indian reservations in Northern NM and Southern CO and the harrowing (at least to us) drive up to Telluride once we left the desert and started our seemingly endless drive up the mountains to 9,000 ft and the idyllic little box canyon western town of Telluride.
Telluride is small!…roughtly 2 sq miles with about 3,000 permanent residents, however, during the week of festival that number swells to over 12,000 on any given day and the 4 day festival attracts in the neighborhood of nearly 48,000. What does that mean for this back pocket little town? It means the town gets even more charing than normal because it essentially becomes a ‘walking’ town. There are sentries on the outskirts of town (there’s pretty much only one way in and out of town) that prohibit you from driving into town unless you are a permanent resident or are lucky enough to have secured lodging in town for the festival. Yes!…we were one of the luckies! We were able to drive into town to get to our condo but from that point our vehicle simply got parked for the 4 days and we made our way around town, to the festical grounds and up into the mountains on foot. We could not have asked for a more perfect environment.
The gallery of photos here is essentially one of shots taken around town of the town itself, the stunning architecture of the buildings in town and the breathtaking views up over the buildings and up into the mountains. Our condo was at the Mountainside Inn which sat on the banks of the rushing San Miquel River and our multiple daily trips back and forth to the festival grounds went along a quiet little path all the way along the San Miquel. We could have just as easily (as many folks did) stop and park ourselves on the ground or on the rocks on the banks of the river and watch and listen as the snows flowed down from the 11,000+ ft mountain peaks surrounding town adding to the constant rush of the rapids of the river. Occasionally we’d spot canoers, kayakers and tubers making their way down the rapids dodging and bouncing off hte rock filled river. Thank you very little…but I’m all set! Farther up the river (photos to follow in a subsequent post), the river was calmer where many more yakkers and tubers froliced in the water, not to mention many of the camping festivarians taking advantage of the clean, crisp, FREEZING water for their daily hygiene. (I was content with feet in on the edge of the river thank you very much!).
Bottom line is….this is a town you need to visit and any time, festival or not if for nothing else than it’s stunning charm and stress free atmosphere. (The local weed dispensaries could also be a side motivation!) If you’re a skier….forget about it. This is nirvana. Having hiked over a number of the trails up at the summit I could only wish to have stepped back many years when I was able to strap boards on to my feet. The thought of doing that here was inspiring!…however, that mountain road, me and winter would not make a good partnership.
Anyway…hope you enjoy the photos and can picture yourself strolling through town.