Day 4: Carbondale – Ouray. Subtext: Chief Ouray got a Bad Deal.

Going southwest from Carbondale leads to a completely new part of Colorado with a lot less rainfall. It’s coal country, with huge loads of it found unexpectedly when coming ‘round a mountain. Eventually, it looked like high plateau desert as we came to Hotchkiss (see Coyote Drive-in below), Delta, and Montrose. Montrose, a largish place reminding one of the flat valley joys of, say, Salinas. Very hot and nasty. But 35 miles south, as the road rose into the pass leading to Silverton and Durango, is Ouray, supposedly the Switzerland of America, or Colorado, or maybe even Switzerland. The temperature is fine, and the canyon rises up immediately on each side of town. And of course a river runs through it. Apparently, Chief Ouray, a Ute, was conned into exchanging the lands around Ouray for a reservation around Montrose. And they had the nerve to name the town for him.

Coyote Drivein.jpg     Ouray.jpg

Toured the Syracuse Bachelor mine that evening before yet another steak. Stayed at a lush, two-room, um, suite, complete with kitchen facilities. Unfortunately, the two of us were not the only creatures living there. I’ll say no more.

    Miner Carl.jpg

Click on the Thumbnail photos for enlargement

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