Ouray, Colorado — September 10, 2009
We didn’t go very far this day. After walking around town a bit and having a coffee and snack at Artisan Cafe and bakery, we headed up into the mountains on Camp Bird Road. Unfortunately, it was too cool for our picnic along Sneffels Creek to sit for too long without a fire and a light rain started not long after we finished eating.
(click on any of the following photos to view a larger image.)
Originally established by miners chasing silver and gold in the surrounding mountains, Ouray at one time boasted more horses and mules than people. *
The entire present-day economy of Ouray is based on tourism. Ouray bills itself as the “Switzerland of America” because of its setting at the narrow head of a valley, enclosed on three and a half sides by steep mountains.*
Many of the buildings have interesting 19th century decorative enhancements, such as the weather vane above.
Even though still technically summer, the aspens in the high country were already showing signs of color.
We didn’t need to find a picnic table, but it was too cool at 10,700 feet to stay long, especially when raindrops began to fall.
The city population was 813 at the 2000 US census.*
Like most towns in the Colorado mountains, Ouray was originally a mining town. However the evidence does not dominate the town. The largest and most famous mine is the Camp Bird Mine, the second largest gold mine in Colorado, established by Thomas Walsh in 1896.*
While Camp Bird Road is generally passable for small sport utility vehicles, there are some places that are fairly rough and, a couple, like the rock overhang above, that can be down right unnerving for some people.
I still have a lot to learn about my camera, but was able to get a decent time lapse shot of Sneffels Creek without a tripod.
Commentary and images from the road
image and information from September 10, 2009
This post is being simultaneously published
on Exit78 and Haw Creek Out ‘n About
* from Wikipedia