Friday, 4 August 2017
Day Nine - Ouray to Durango via The Million Dollar Highway - 70 Miles
Yesterday I wondered if it was possible to overdose on incredible landscapes, and if it were, today would be the one that pushes me over the edge.
Today's drive was along the 'Million Dollar Highway' - no one's quite sure how it got that name. Was that what it cost to blast this road into the side of Uncompahgre Gorge to the summit of Red Mountain Pass? Or is that what they earned from the many silver mines this road gave access to?
I do know for sure it's the amount you'd have to pay my wife to travel on it (she's not good with heights).
It's only 12 miles long, but it's an incredible, exhilarating drive, taking you to the pass at 11,000ft (that's two and a half Ben Nevis). At the top there's a still operating mine and an atmospheric ghost town.
It's another 60 odd miles down to Durango, and no less stunning. Pine trees, alpine meadows, small cabins nestled into the hill sides. The road still had its fair share of switchbacks, but was an easy, wider drive.
That's it for today - an early night, as I have to be at the train station by 8.15am!