Sunday, June 28, 2015

Riding high in Telluride

One of Gerry’s co-workers, who is originally from Colorado, told us Telluride was a must-do on our trip. He promised gorgeous scenery and great camping. He didn’t tell us we’d discover one of our favourite towns we’ve visited to date.

Telluride used to be a mining town, but now, sitting at about 10,000 feet above sea level, the remote mountain town is now a ski resort, with ski runs used as hiking and biking trails in the summer.

We got a campsite right on the edge of town, right next to the narrow, crisp river that gave us a cool breeze during the hot afternoons. The campground was actually next to a major park that had a swimming pool, ball diamonds, picnic areas, and a fishing pond, yet we were in such a forested area, you would have thought we were far from any stores or businesses.

One of our favourite things about Telluride is the way it feels like a community. The whole town somehow seems built with the purpose of getting people outside and talking to their neighbours.

There was very little traffic, and lots of bikes and people walking. The gondola, a free service connecting the main town to the mountain village and other stops, offers stunning views of the mountain, plus a chance to get to meet locals and tourists in town for the wine festival. Many people took their bikes on the gondola to ride them on some of the mountain trails while others (like me) left them locked up at one of the many well-used racks at the base.

There are several plazas in the villiage with cool things like giant Scrabble boards and Jenga blocks, bungee trampolines, obstacle courses, and climbing rocks. It felt natural and pleasant to stroll around and relax. Amazing, eclectic restaurants, watering holes, and art galleries felt welcoming and natural.

And though the town’s architecture reminded us of Whistler, it also felt rich in history and much less crowded and commercial than Whistler. We were told that aside from when some of the festivals are on, the town is never really busy, even during ski season when lineups at the lifts are short and pleasant.

In short—we loved this town and have all said it’s a must-return destination.

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