Montrose to Silverton

While camped at Black Canyon we took a day trip to Silverton.  We had talked about driving through there on the way from Cortez to Montrose.  However, the road is deemed by many experienced RVers as being precarious and we are not experienced (yet).  Instead, we took what was actually a shorter route out of Cortez to Montrose through Ridgeway.  We really wanted to check out both the road over Red Mountain Pass and both Ouray and Silverton.  Tom was happy shooting from his familiar passenger side while I drove.

As we drove down off the plateau surrounding Black Canyon . . . looking across at a wonderland!

So green.  So awesome!

Looking down on Main Street in Ouray on our way out of town headed south to Silverton.

The owner of a restaurant where we had breakfast gave us some advice on sites to check out in Ouray.  One was Box Canyon at the Ouray Park.  I envisioned a lovely waterfall with wildflowers . . . Ahem, not so but much more dramatic in its own way and doggone difficult to capture!  It turns out that the waterfall comes down a very steep internal wall.  To get to where you can see it you traverse a walkway clinging to the side of a steep rock (above).  Across from the walkway is where the swifts build their nests.  The sign at the entrance to the park said they had arrived but we did not see any.  Yes, that is me out there on the walkway trying to get my tripod set up on what felt like an unsafe place.

Here is one interpretation of the waterfall as it comes from behind the rock.  The sound is frightening and there is water spray everywhere.  I wanted a fast shot to show the drama but simply could get my camera set up to capture the speed and force of the water. 

Tom's interpretation.

Tom dared look up.  Not me!!  I just wanted out of that thundering crack!

Streams and rivers are running with a lot of force this spring in Colorado.  I wish I could include the roar for you.  By the time we got to this stream the weather was looking ominously like snow was on the way.

We had a bit of a discussion about this composition.  What is the subject?  The aspen?  The stream?  Yes!  We have too much fun!

When we stopped for lunch in Silverton Tom struck a conversation with these two men who had come up on the Durango to Silverton Railroad.  The guy on the right was doing some work inside the boiler.  They were fine having their photos taken.  Tom also asked them about the great train photos on the wall.  They told him that the railway has their own photographer and she has great access to all train operations.  You can see her photography at

We drove around Silverton.  I was surprised at how rustic it all seemed.  The only paved street is the main one through town.  The railway station actually looks bleak, austere and not impressive.  I wanted COLOR!  Vibrance!  Well this is what I found. . . .

Tom did a little better.

The mountains in the area have some great color.  I am not a geologist but suspect these are tailings from mining copper, silver and gold in the past.

Color reflections in a pond beside the road.

While we were in Silverton the snow started falling in earnest.  All I could think about was the narrow road back!

Falling heavily . . .

Uh oh!  The snow was beginning to accumulate.  We were still driving through road construction on the summit.  I am still a desert dweller so I admit to being a bit nervous.  Not Tom, however.  He just clicked away and smiled . . .

We made it back to the campground just fine.  My nerves settled and we were grateful for the opportunity to explore and share our experience.  We also knew that we would not be driving through Red Mountain Pass any time real soon.  Thanks for joining us.