United States
San Miguel County

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9 travelers at this place

  • Day6

    Rocky Mountains

    July 24, 2019 in the United States ⋅ ⛅ 12 °C

    Von der Route 66 zu den Rocky Mountains.
    8 Stunden Fahrzeit, aber jede Minute hat sich gelohnt.
    Wir machten noch einen Abstecher zum Monument Valley....einfach nur beeindruckend!

  • Oct10

    Mountain Vlg — Telluride ... by Gondola

    October 10 in the United States ⋅ ☀️ 57 °F

    Part two of our day on the San Juan Skyway ... and a change to the way we get to Telluride ...

    In 1996, a year after the home rule municipality of Mountain Village was founded, a three-stage gondola lift was put into service. This free public transportation system between Mountain Village and Telluride — funded primarily by the local merchants — was originally built to address air quality concerns ... to reduce emissions from the countless vehicles traveling the 8-mile stretch of road between the two towns. It wasn’t long before this one-of-a-kind-in-the-USA system became a popular attraction in and of itself.

    On our way back from Rico, we decided to check out Mountain Village before driving to Telluride. We had no intention of riding the gondola ... though it came highly recommended. You see, during these pandemic times, we had no desire to find ourselves enclosed in a glass bubble with people we didn’t know. That changed after we read the COVID-19 precautions that were being taken to ensure a safe experience ... one party per gondola; windows kept open for ventilation; masks required for the duration of the ride; frequent disinfecting of the cars (which we saw and smelled).

    So, off we went from the Market Plaza Station (Elev. 9,545 feet) to the Mountain Village Station, with hardly any change in altitude ... but with a delightful alpine landscape keeping us entertained. The lovely golden fall foliage was beautiful ... even with so many of the aspens denuded of their leaves.

    At Mountain Village, we learned that we needed to switch to another gondola lift. Unlike the first station, where there was no one else waiting to ride up, here there was a long queue. It looked to be moving along at a good pace, though, and the riders were all masked and lined up with good spacing between parties. So, we joined the line, taking advantage of the strong cell signal to while away the time as we made our way towards the head of the queue.

    Remember how I said I had discarded the idea of riding the gondola when I was doing my research? Well, had I not done so, I would have known that we didn’t have to get off when we reached the San Sophia Station (Elev. 10,450 feet). But we didn’t ... so we did.

    Actually, I am glad we did. Even though it was too late in the day for a high-altitude hike, we found a spot from which to enjoy the jaw-droppingly amazing scenery. The jagged peaks of the San Juans, the youngest range of mountains in the Rockies, rose high across the Telluride Valley, which was carved out by glaciers. The town itself was nestled into the valley. All around us was a colorful landscape ... shades of gray, purple, brown, green, red, yellow, blue, and white ... all playing off each other ... in every direction we looked.

    At the time we had stepped out of the San Sophia Station, we’d wondered what had happened to all the people ahead of us in the queue. Yes, we had noticed that some riders didn’t disembark. We assumed they went back down to Mountain Village. But surely some had gotten off like we did. Where were they? And by the way, where was the station for the gondola down to Telluride?

    It was while we were enjoying the scenery at the overlook that we realized there was a line of gondolas heading down to the valley. That’s when the 💡 went off! The lift continued down the mountain to Telluride without switching stations again!

    So, we discarded our initial plan to drive to Telluride. Instead, we returned to the San Sophia Station, told the woman in charge of loading passengers which direction we wanted to go, and hopped on a gondola down to Telluride ... some 1,700 feet below us.

    In town, we found all the missing people who had been ahead of us in the queue at Mountain Village ... and quite a number more! We considered finding a restaurant with patio seating to have an early dinner. But the eateries were all hopping, with long lines of people waiting to be seated. Even the outdoor dining area on the main drag, shared by a number of bars and restaurants, was at capacity. So, we just went for a wander instead. The crowds were more than what we wanted to deal with, though, so after a while we returned to the Telluride Station to go back the way we came.

    The 2.4-mile ride between Telluride and Mountain Village took about 12 minutes. Then we switched over to the gondola lift that took us back to the parking structure (also free). By 5:30p, we were driving away. There was plenty of sunshine still, but the sun was frequently blocked by the tall canyon walls, leaving the scenery in the dark. No matter, I’d taken my photos earlier in the day. An hour later, entirely satisfied with the way our sightseeing had turned out, we were back at the campground.

    We didn’t do much exploring in either town today. There are lots of hiking opportunities in the area, too. You know we’ll be back! Might even return to check it all out in the winter ... but not with the Cruiser 😁
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You might also know this place by the following names:

San Miguel County, مقاطعة سان ميغيل, Сан Мигел, সান মিগুৱেল কাউন্টি, Condado de San Miguel, San Migueli maakond, San Miguel konderria, شهرستان سن میگل، کلرادو, Comté de San Miguel, San Miguel megye, Սան Միգել շրջան, Contea di San Miguel, サンミゲル郡, San Miguel Kūn, Hrabstwo San Miguel, سان مگوول کاؤنٹی, Comitatul San Miguel, Сан-Мигель, Округ Сан Мигел, Сан-Міґель, سان میگیل کاؤنٹی، کولوراڈو, Quận San Miguel, Condado han San Miguel, 聖米格爾縣

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