We found Telluride in a box canyon at the end of a long, winding drive through the Colorado mountains and forest, with snowmelt-swollen streams running parallel to much of the drive. One of our old New York friends, and Dan’s former roommate, moved there several years ago and offered to host us in her funky little ski shack and show us how the locals do the upscale ski town. After the dry desert, all I wanted to do was watch running water; Telluride in late spring is surrounded by waterfalls (including Bridal Veil Falls, the tallest free falling falls in Colorado), creeks, ponds, and a lingering chance of snow in the air.
With our New York City-length strides, we could walk Telluride end to end in about 15 minutes, which meant a welcome several-days-long break from sitting in the car. Walking to the Bridal Veil Falls trailhead (actually a rocky 4×4 road of switchbacks) added about two miles one way, for a total of ten round trip, but stretching our legs felt great.
A power plant from the early 1900s sits atop the waterfall – the structure that looks like a house in the above picture – and its grounds are closed to the public, so we couldn’t see much of the falls themselves, although we were rewarded with a gorgeous view of the box canyon. I also felt a nice sense of accomplishment, breaking 10,000 feet above sea level for the first time, and on foot.
The next day we took the free gondola up over Station St. Sophia into Mountain Village, to get a lay of the land and some more beautiful views. I of course only snapped a picture of our friend’s cute doggie.
On our friend’s day off, she took us to one of Telluride’s hidden locals spots, sliding down a dirt slope in the Bear Creek area to Little Hawaii. I tried in vain to keep my shoes dry, but the promise of a waterfall prevailed as we all waded through calf-deep freezing water that her friend joked had been snow an hour ago.