Monday, February 15, 2016

Ridgway, Colorado--Gateway to the San Juan's



 Ridgway, Colorado, is called "The Gateway to the San Juan's, " for a good reason, as this is the view of the mountain range one sees as you drive towards the town. (All photos will enlarge for easier viewing if clicked on)


Steep, forested mountains, mesas and cliffs surround Ridgway on the south, east and northeast, and the house we rented in November was located on the top of Log Hill Mesa.


The drive up and down Log Hill Mesa, and the house we rented, gave us spectacular views of the Cimmaron and San Juan Mountains. It was a wonderful base to use to visit the towns of Ouray, which is 10 miles north, and 37 miles east to the ski town of Telluride--about 30 and 40 minutes away in different directions. You can read blog posts I wrote about each town if you click on the highlighted links.


The picturesque rural town of Ridgway, nestled in the Uncompaghre Valley at 6,985 feet, looked as if time had stood still.  It is named for the Denver and Rio Grande railroad superintendent Robert M. Ridgway, who established the town in 1891 to service the silver and gold miners, ranchers and farmers in the area.  It now has a population of approximately 924 people, and concentrates on creativity and culture and a connection to the outdoors.


The railway is gone, but its memories remain at the acclaimed Ridgway Railroad Museum.



The views of the mountain ranges from the town certainly added to its Old West charm.


More than 100 films and documentaries have been filmed in scenic SW area of Colorado. One of the most famous filmed in Ridgway is the Academy Award winning John Wayne 1969 movie classic "True Grit."  The True Grit Cafe in Ridgway has movie memorabilia on its walls. There is even a True Grit Walking Tour conducted through the Ridgway Visitors Center every Friday, May through October.

 

This fun "Then and Now" YouTube video shows scenes from the "True Grit" movie, and what the same scene would look like now.  The quality of the music in the beginning of the video is somewhat fuzzy, so you might want to turn down your speakers.


We were excited to do a drive along a portion of the Last Dollar Road.  This bumpy dirt road was once used as a mining supply route in the 1800's leading from Ridgway to Telluride, but now is surrounded by large aspen groves and ranches.


The view of the Dallas Divide through the arches of Last Dollar Ranch was certainly scenic!  The designer Ralph Lauren also owns ranch land in this area.  We did not go much further along the road as it was muddy and we knew it would be difficult to travel, so we turned around.  We definitely would like to return to this area one day to see these views again and hopefully be able to do the entire 18 mile drive.


Another interesting fact about Ridgway is that it contains the only traffic light in the entire Ouray County! Here is is, at the intersection of highways 550 and 62.

Please Click on to enlarge

It is easy to see why the San Juan Mountain area of SW Colorado is called the "Switzerland of America," and why we enjoyed this vacation so much! From Alpenglow to winds blowing the snow on the mountain tops, we saw gorgeous sights from the deck of our rental home.




On the home front we celebrated a few happy occasions recently!

Please click on to enlarge

The Denver Broncos football team won Superbowl 50! My husband and I went to the celebratory parade for the Broncos in Denver and enjoyed seeing quarterback Peyton Manning and the Vince Lombardi trophy and the rest of the Bronco team and cheerleaders and mascots in the parade!  Over a million people were in attendance--most dressed in the Denver Broncos colors of orange and blue!


The best events, however, were the birthdays of our son and our granddaughter "J" in February.  She is growing up to be the happiest and most imaginative little girl.  She really lights up our lives!  


 I hope you all had a very Happy Valentine's Day. Only 34 days days 'till Spring!


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41 comments:

SmilingSally said...

Hi Pat,

You show your gratitude of being able to live so close to your family. I agree that nothing beats being able to share so many sweet memories. Thanks for sharing.

Have a Happy Blue Monday!

eileeninmd said...

Hello Pat, happy belated birthday to your son and granddaughter. I am so happy that Denver won the Superbowl!
Lovely images from your trip! The views of the mountains are gorgeous and I like the cute town. Wonderful images and mosaics! Happy Monday, enjoy your day!

Yogi♪♪♪ said...

It looks like a great town to visit. I didn't know that True Grit was filmed there.

Cathy Keller said...

There is no way that my anticipation of your post each week can be calculated. You delight me with amazing photos and information I did not know about Colorado since we have left in 1970. Thank you again!!! It has been a grand adventure!

Linda Kay said...

Love your photos of the West...those Mountains!

happywonderer.com said...

Beautiful photos and great collages Pat! You really make the most of the area you live in. Your little granddaughter is such a little sweetie. How wonderful that you are so close and can enjoy seeing her grow up!

ladyfi said...

So lovely!

Donna said...

I loved the views through the gates of the Last Dollar Ranch! It typifies the beauty there.


Sally Wessely said...

Loved seeing photos of Ridgeway. We need to get over there again.

You were a brave soul to attend the Bronco parade. It did look like a lot of fun.

Lisa Kerner said...

I am so in love with CO... we wanted to retire there, and we might just yet. But until then I get to visit your page :-D.

Happy Broncos win.

Lisa @ Life Thru the Lens

John's Island said...

Hi Pat, Your photos of the scenery near Ridgway are just beautiful! And I have wanted to visit the Railroad Museum for a long time. Your post encourages me to plan a trip. Thank you for sharing and thank you for your kind comment on my blog today!

Fun60 said...

Such beautiful, beautiful scenery.

LV said...

I wish I could see this place. I do not think there is any place in Colorado that is not breathtaking.

carol l mckenna said...

Beautiful country ~ beautiful photography ~ Best is the Beautiful grand daughter!

Happy Week to you ~ ^_^

Vee said...

As I recall they share a birthday, right? So fun to see her growing up and enjoying her dollies. Perhaps you'll join me in making some doll clothes. =D

Such beautiful scenery and what fun to see The Broncos parade!

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

Boy is this post filled with wonderful reasons for you to be happy that you moved to Colorado! And reasons for me to miss it ! So beautiful there. Thanks for sharing. And your granddaughter is a real charmer.

Al said...

What a beautiful place. I was trying to get to DIA the morning of the Broncos parade for a very short trip to your old city!

The Joy of Home with Martha Ellen said...

Such a lovely town, Pat! Ridgeway has only stoplight! Oh, my kind of town. I do love seeing the lovely mountains--yes, very Swiss like. And such sweet photos of your granddaughter. Thank you for sharing your lovely trip and adventures. ♥

NC Sue said...

I shared San Juan today, you shared the San Juans. Interesting semi-coincidence!
Great photos.
Thanks for sharing at http://image-in-ing.blogspot.com/2016/02/old-san-juan-pigeon-park.html

edenhills said...

Your mountain scenes are breathtaking!

Rajesh said...

Fabulous shots of the place. Happy birthday to your son and cute granddaughter.

Linda W. said...

What beautiful mountain views!

Annesphamily said...

Lots of good memories that you have shared for me here. My father use to take us traveling all over the state and I still love it the very best. I have a friend who has this on his blog, "Born here, raised here and will most likely die here and be buried here." Michael G. is from Cleveland. I love seeing people who love where they come from and he shows the Cleveland skyline on his blog too. My friend Mike, the train conductor, who recently passed away always told me, be it ever so humble there is no place like home." My oldest daughter has the opportunity to stay with the company and move to Plano, Texas and she won't do it. She says she can not leave her grand babies who all live in Colorado.
Your photos are always very lovely Pat. Have a great week. Happy Blue Monday.

Cheryl @ TFD said...

The scenery is just breath-taking! I am so anxious to get back to Colorado and out further west, too. Hope we can go either this spring or fall. Happy birthday wishes to your son and sweet granddaughter. She is such a cutie! Thanks, Pat, for sharing your beautiful photos with us!

thehiddenpanorama.com said...

I enjoy the trip as well by reading this...thanks

Ciao Chow Linda said...

Happy Birthday to your son and adorable granddaughter. What a lucky lady you are to live so near that much beauty and have your children and grandchildren near by too.

Powell River Books said...

Beautiful country. - Margy

La Petite Gallery said...

WHAT WONDERFUL MEMORIES YOU WILL HAVE WITH YOUR BEAUTIFUL FAMILY.
AWESOME POST. YVONNE

Ida said...

Those mountains are stunning. Ridgeway looks like an amazing place to visit. - I was glad Denver won the Super Bowl even though I'm not much into football anymore and am a (Oakland Raider) fan when I do watch. Also Seahawks since they are my home state team.
Your celebration with the grandchildren is adorable.

June Caedmon said...

What a great place to visit, Pat. I enjoyed your previous posts and this was a great wrap up. This area is definitely on our bucket list for the next time we head to CO. We have friends near Denver. Have a wonder-filled week!

JP A Quiet Corner said...

Being there,...close...to family is as exhilarating as those views!...:)JP

Marie C said...

Such a sweet little grand-daughter enjoying her birthday celebration! Loved seeing Ridgeway, and that video was such fun! I posted it on my facebook page! Great post!

Jim said...

Great photos.
Sydney – City and Suburbs

Rajlakshmi said...

the view of the mountain range looks gorgeous.

Twinkle Eyed Traveller

Art and Sand said...

What a beautiful tour you took me on.

Thanks for sharing at SYC.

Small City Scenes said...

Beautiful area. Thanks for the tour and info.
MB

Rambling Woods said...

Oh a very Happy Birthday to beautiful J ... This area is just stunning and so unlike what I have here in western NY.. Beautiful photos to share.. Thank you... Michelle

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

I know I've been here before, but I'll forget to tell you this if I wait for your next post. Talking to resort neighbors at dinner last night about driving Alaskan highways as we'd all done at different times ... And one guy said ", oh but those roads were nothing compared to in Colorado...I've never been so scared in my life ...." And of course he was talking about Silver City to Durango and through Ouray .. Bill and I just smiled and tried not to be too smug. .. We're Westerners and used to Mountain roads, and he loves driving them. Since I'd recently looked at this post, I couldn't help thinking about you Colorado transplants and how cool it is that have taken to the State as if you had always lived there!

AdriBarr said...

You are not kidding about time standing still. Were it not for the autos I'd never know these shots were present day. Every time you post shots of your "new home state" I just am amazed at the grandeur and majesty. It is all just breathtaking. And what fun to share it with the littlest members of your family!

Susan Anderson said...

This looks like such a fun trip. My son works in Colorado a lot and is really enjoying get to know the area a little better. He has started skiing and already loves to hike, so he has plenty to do in his free time.

=)

Karen (Back Road Journal) said...

I can't believe that your granddaughter is three already. Now that truly is something to celebrate.