Sunday, October 11, 2015

I am somewhat at a loss for words about this drive we took over the “Million Dollar Highway”, October 8, 2015.
  The little I can offer is it is so named for the wealth of silver, gold and other metals taken from these mountains back in the wild west mining days of the mid to late 1800’s.   It is a million dollar sightseeing experience also. We had a magical day as well as a majestic one. The day was magic for weather, clarity and beauty of the day itself and majestic for the views of the fantastic white peaks from the recent snow that was holding solid up on the high country presiding above our path of pavement. We were fortunate enough to see this alone, but…a plus, we hit it at the brief color season for autumn in Colorado. This is when the aspen tree groves that live around 9,000 to 11,000 feet above sea level in this country turn autumn color. Oh the yellow, orange and gold. Aaahhh…
Our drive took us on a loop from Mancos, Colorado to Durango then up and over to Silverton, then on to Ouray, then to Telluride, then over and down to Dolores. From there, a loop back to Mancos and back home to our campsite and Vilia, home, as our Vilia has now so solidly become,  home.
Cathy will post photos of this tour. As I opened, it is hard to describe with words. Cathy’s photos will tell a much better tale than my narrative.

I was reminded by a roadside info sign at a viewing turnout that aspen groves, or stands all grow from the same root system. In essence a stand of aspen that can cover many acres is all one plant! The root system, being underground, survives forest fire. Some of these root systems are 10’s of thousands of years old! There is one in Utah that is 80,000 years old. Imagine what it has been through in its life…

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