Ridgway—we had never heard of the town built in the Uncompahgre Valley at the foot of the San Juan Mountains in southwestern Colorado. But since we arrived at this old railroad town about lunch time, driving from Ouray to Telluride, we decided to stop and look around.
|You can't miss the soaring eagle in Ridgway's historic section.|
Founded by Otto Mears, the Russian immigrant and entrepreneur who built the railroad that went through the town, Ridgway almost disappeared when the trains quit coming in 1950s. But loyal citizens worked hard to keep this town of 700 inhabitants going, revitalizing its western heritage and adding modern offices and recreational facilities.
|Relics from the past on display|
Many original 19th century buildings along dirt roads (The only paved street is Hwy 62, also called Sherman Street, that runs through town) have been renovated and now serve as restaurants, shops, and offices (a new fire station now serves the community). National Register of Historic Places plaques were a common sight. This pleasant community is a throwback to a simpler time, a fact that—along with its authentic buildings—has made Ridgway a favorite location for filming Western movies.
|RIGS outfitter provides many different|
|Original buildings frame dirt roads in Ridgway|
We then ambled over to Kate’s Place, a lovely al fresco bistro that specializes in using fresh, local ingredients. Since it was Sunday, the restaurant serves breakfast until closing time at 2:30, and the fluffy pancakes delivered to a nearby table were tempting. But we opted for lunch fare, and Larry ordered a Reuben sandwich with home fries. I had a cup of creamy corn chowder followed by a hot roast beef sandwich. Both were delicious.
|Dine in the outdoor courtyard of Kate's Place,|
just right of this historic building.
Photos by Beverly Burmeier