From Leadville to Mesa Verde
West of Salida we took the Monarch Aerial Tram which goes up to almost 12,000 feet for more views of the Rocky Mountains. Then on Friday past Sapinero and the banks of the Blue Mesa Reservoir to the Black Canyon of the Gunnison where we camped over Friday night.
Photo Gallery: Leadville to the Black Canyon of the Gunnison
Our chosen camp site was only a short distance from the canyon edge where there was a vertical drop to the Gunnison River below. It was beautifully quiet. While we were sitting on the picnic bench a small stoat or weasel came running out of the scrub coming close to our feet before retreating to cover.
Our next over-night stop was Ouray, a 19th Centure Silver Mining town which is nowadays a resort calling itself the “Switzerland of America”. I’ve been to Switzerland a few times, the World Meteorological Organisation is based in Geneva, and non-Swiss find it a strange place to live, with some quite restrictive laws. However I think the people of Ouray are thinking of their mountain valley setting and of the architecture of some buildings! Within a town park there is a 300 foot deep Box Canyon. I don’t think my photo does it justice!
Photo Gallery: Ouray and the San Juan Forest