Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Million Dollar Highway to Home!

All good things have to come to an end...sort of so it was time for us to head back to SC.  If it was up to me I would have stayed ! My Mom has this attachment to SC and her home here so since winter is on the way anyways back we came.  We I decided to take 50/550 down to I-40 then across the country...

This means we actually traveled West on I-70 out of Silt, CO to hook up with 50 South 


and over the The Million Dollar Highway (Ouray to Durango) billed as one of the most scenic drives in America it is part of the San Juan Skyway and was built in the 1930's...the road was originally laid out by a Russian emigrant Otto Mears in 1880.  The Red Mt Pass section is riddled with S curves and the posted speed limit is 10 mph  THE next 3 not my photos I was driving so shots like this one I didnt get due to mom would have killed me!  We have traveled this road a couple times before but it never gets old!
Million Dollar Highway
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  It travels over 3 passes, Coal Bank Pass, 10,640 ft, Red Mt Pass 11,018 ft, and Molas Pass 10,970 ft. There is a very nice campground at Molas Lake if you're ever there during the right season... Montrose, Ouray (pronounced Uray) Telluride, Silverton, Durango, are some of the towns along the route in CO....I know all of you have heard of the narrow gauge  train that rides through the area...I've never taken the ride but I think I would enjoy putting that on my bucket list....I do believe the 2nd week of Sept would be prime leaf view time for a ride through the                                                                                  San Juan mountains we got there way too late for that.  
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I though of going down via 191 BUT I knew I would want to stop we'd never make it out of Utah! The big deal on Hwy 50/550 is traveling through the San Juan Range. It's a beautiful drive.  The Red Mtn Pass is awesome not as narrow as Independence pass in my book it does get narrow in some spots  forget guardrails...there is barely room for the highway!we got a 10 start after a teary goodbye to my sister and Jimmy...we sure are gonna miss them and they us we hope..
  .MY dogs became part of their pack while I was away and they did really good in the town setting after spending their entire lives in the country...I enjoy driving so going over these passes is like candy to me! My Mom on the other hand will lean over in her seat trying to maneuver the van with her weight or something..lol I have to laugh I am not afraid nor intimated by the task but she closes her eyes, holds on for dear life and its fun to watch her but I know her fear is real and so I take my time I don't go fast and I stay focused on the road...
So we missed the fall color but we got there in time for the pumpkins  and the SNOW!




this area is called America's Switzerland! 



The Hotel Ouray..



This tunnel has a name but I swear I couldnt remember!



The Red Mt herself...




Every turn in the road brings another awesome view 



and the Red Mt Mining district has a lot of old mine shacks dotting the landscape...



The Yankee Girl Mine 1882 Silver mine



and another one I dont know the name of..




Then we eventually entered New Mexico in the upper NW corner, and I passed the turn off for Chaco Canyon its top of my next time bucket list...the van almost turned off by its self..lol



We got off I-40 a few times and onto the old route 66...I love the old motels and sights along it...




We drove through some Indian lands I admire the simple way of life...and the beautiful landscapes





and this was the last photo I took because I got into the East I just put petal to metal and we were once again HOME!



Quote from an Ouray local, "they couldn't pay me a million dollars to drive that road in the snow"!I have to add.... me too!
PEACEEleanor Roosevelt: You must do the thing you think you can not.

12 comments:

  1. Just gorgeous! What a trip you had. I've enjoyed scrolling through all of your beautiful pictures. Glad you made it home safe and sound! XO

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    1. It has given me many memories to fondly play with Karen, and I have still a few posts of areas I didn't cover well due to no internet hope y'all can bear a few more travel posts!

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  2. Those mines are so cool! And the scenery is stunning, all of it. I must say, it's way more intimidating to be a passenger on those tiny roads with big drops than the driver. Having no control is hard! Glad your pups did so well without you, but I bet they lost their minds when they saw you again!

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    1. How true I did however ask her not to scream so as not to give me a scare and me jerk the wheel...she didnt say a word after that...the dogs were APES when I returned..and poor Floss blew an ACL vet says may be surgery its a wait and see for 2 weeks...SHE did a super dog sprint and it was way too physical for her. AND Thank you for help on those bird ID's :o)

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  3. We're used to Mountain driving , but that is one road that stands out in my memory! Try driving it while pulling a 40 foot fifth wheel! Fun and games. Beautiful country !! We did take the Durango RR one way, and they provide a car for going back. I think one way on the train was enough. And you must go to Chaco on your next trip.

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    1. NO way I don't think I'd want to be towing anything behind me, that's what I love about the van its not too big to fit in Most places! Chaco is def on my BL!! I jUST HOPE I HAVE ENOUGH TIME LEFT.

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    2. You r too young to talk to an old lady like me about not enough time๐Ÿ˜€๐Ÿ˜€

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    3. I guess Im afraid I dont' have enough time to ALLOT toward my wish for travel ...is more a true statement..due to my obligations.! Like right now I'd still be out there, if it was only about me. ;o(

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  4. Oh what a great trip home. Love America's Switzerland, and Red Mountain. the snow is so pretty up in that area. And I must get to NM to run Route 66.
    Glad you made it home safe and sound. I know your Mom had a great visit but loved getting home to her house

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    1. I would have loved to taken route 66 from my uncles in Indiana...But my mom at her age is not up for lots of stops and getting in and out etc so e used interstates most of the time. She is thrilled to be home but she forgot how to work everything--lol

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  5. Where are the guard rails?!? I don't blame your mom for leaning. I was doing the same thing driving up 1 in California.

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    1. There is road work going on there now maybe guard rials are in the plans Sure hope so!

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Comments are appreciated!