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Saturday, June 14, 2014

Biding Our Time and Saving Gas in Lovely Ouray

Highway 550, "The Million Dollar Highway," a series of curves and 180º switchbacks between Lovely Ouray and Silverton, is back open after months of "Rock Fall" mitigation. Not a route for the carsick or faint of heart. 

Now for another photo hodgepodge of random places from our RV past. If you want rhyme and reason, you've got the wrong website :)

A guy's "hitch" can get pretty itchy after being grounded for a while. "A while," for true wander-lusted types is somewhere between six months—and six minutes, depending on a matrix of factors having to do with personality, gene pool, location, and love of employment. 

As jobs go, being a Gallery Boy is pretty laid back—much more so than when I was Manager/Lifeguard on Duty at the hot springs pool. Summer is the season for toddlers and inattentive parents. "Uh, excuse me ma'am, your son is behind you, underwater, and turning blue. Would you mind picking Junior up and keeping a better eye on him cause he doesn't quite understand the concept of drowning yet."

The worst part about being Gallery Boy is the aroma of burning meat that wafts in my door from the burger place next door. Nothing sets my stomach to growling like meat on the grill, in fact, it's happening right now (growl). Suzanne's "Deep Fried" post didn't help, either; it bordered on mean.

The upcoming photo was taken in 2006 near watercolorist, wilderness guide and outfitter Jimmy Simpson's  Num-Ti-Jah lodge. The lodge's interior is rustic, warm, and inviting, with some of Simpsons original art decorating the walls. There is no electricity so today's tourists must survive on a lone generator that runs 24/7. The fuel and maintenance costs alone must be through the roof. Still, they had internet service. I've always liked the photo, the way the Coke machine looks like it's part of the pine tree, and the typical tourist gal with her camera... who doesn't bother walking a few steps closer to the lake in order to get a better photograph.  

Bobbie and I were on our way to Jasper, a good ways north in Alberta, Canada. It was such a great trip, looping up on the east side of the northern rockies in Alberta, then back down on the west side in British Columbia. Jasper was idyllic…cabins trimmed with lush flowerbeds and vast manicured lawns. It reminded me of the neighborhoods in Victoria, B. C..

We stopped somewhere beyond Jasper in order to do a hike up to a remote lake. Way back in the wilderness, but short of our destination, we saw the biggest bear in the world paralleling our trail alongside us. It was way too close for comfort, so, needless to say, we turned around and tippy toed the hell out of there. 

I could reprise that trip…maybe stay at the lodge the next time around…maybe break out the watercolors.

Taken near Jimmy Simpson's Num-Ti-Jah Lodge, Along the Ice Field Parkway, Alberta, Canada
Red Roofed Num-Ti-Jah Lodge
Window shopping and trolling Leavenworth, Washington. for Chocolates and other goodies, 

Contemplating the Abyss

Male Grouse…an oxymoron? 

Why not throw Zion's climb to Angel's Landing in,  just for kicks….

Old Bristlecone Pine clings to colorful slate: Bear Creek trail, above lovely Ouray

"The hills are alive…."

Bobbie exiting "Skyrocket" gorge, above Lovely Ouray and right across from our house—do not attempt if there is the slightest chance of thunderstorms

Pausing to take in Chimney Rock...

Marathon Man Leonard and Bobbie

The climb to Mount Abram…Red Mountain in background, always on fire, or bleeding, which ever you prefer

Pacific gulls…Oregon. I could watch them all day—given the proper beverage :)

Pausing in Mount Saint Helens area

Back In Colorado

Back to Washington

Mount Rainer playing "peekaboo" in the clouds

 Mount Rainer Rendering: Watercolor on Yupo (mark)

Bobbies watercolor rendering Rainer: Watercolor on Coldpress paper


  1. ohhhh that Million Dollar Highway … on my knees! how I entered into another dimension … that's pretty dramatic talk … but I did! I'll never forget that feeling …

    and, oh baruther … your photography ~ pictures… breathtaking as always

  2. Laverne here:

    Brings back some really good memories for me, and to get to see them again through your lens.....simply unbelievable. Lovely Ouray is really lovely....thanks, and glad you are better....Stay well....

  3. We are heading to Jasper at the beginning of Sept. I'll have to check back through your blog.

    Love, love the two water colors of Mount Rainer:)

  4. Thanks for the trip to all those beautiful places! We'll be checking out Mt St Helens in a few weeks...can't wait!

  5. Mark, Here is a great clip of the highway 550 rockslide and how they dealt with it... http://kdvr.com/2014/03/26/cdot-documents-recovery-after-red-mountain-pass-rockslide/

  6. Leavenworth Wa..Really? What a tourist trap..The Safeway gas prices are 10-15 cents higher than Wenatchee, the 76 Station on the west end of town is 20 cents or more..They just screw the tourists. Now if you take a left from the 76 station and travel up the Icicle River..There you would find paradise with campgrounds your rig could fit in and hikes up to very beautiful places. And if you want the best fudge or peanut brittle the Alpen House up the Tumwater Canyon is the place to stop.
    This is my hood and I know what I'm talking about. If you ever get back up this-a-ways.
    I just got back from a road trip to Montana and Idaho hot springs,gave up on the docs...Not drilling into my spine.
    Take Care Folks,

  7. You make me laugh. You've been to New York...Call them up and have some burnt meat delivahhed. ;-)

    Watercolors...so different, but yet both so beautiful. Love the cloud in the road!

  8. Your first picture is so inviting....
    Thanks for sharing the memories!

  9. Your post did quite the zipping around....Glad you posted the locations...There is always so much to see and the diversity is amazing. No matter where you go you seem to find just the right pic!

  10. Great post, especially the photos - as always.
    I'm glad they finally finished the work on 550, when we came through on the way to Durango last month, we were forced to wait on the roof of the Ouray Brewery for a couple of hours till 6:30pm or we'd finished our beers, whichever came last, and then of course on our way back we had to spend 3 nights at the Amphitheatre Campground - couldn't help ourselves. Next time we are passing we'll be forced to stop in Ouray, even if the pass is open, there's a bunch of trails we carelessly left unexplored...

    1. and let us know you are here next time. we like beer and trails :)

    2. Thanks Mark, I bet you know where the best examples of each are to be had. All the best for your continued full recovery.


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