|Mountain Lodge condos are the perfect summer getaway|
|Rocky Ridge Trail in Mountain Village|
At the fork in the trail, we take the steeper path to the right, but it’s not so bad. Part of it is challenging, but mostly it’s a good, forest trail. Of course, we stop often to take pictures of aspen groves, distant mountains, and blooming flowers.
Later, we take gondolas to Telluride for lunch, riding the full fourteen-minute, three-segment trip that requires a change at Mountain Village station. Larry has scoped out the BrownDog Pizza Parlor on Colorado Street, and we head there after a short walk along the San Miguel River Trail. After stuffing ourselves with the meaty pizza covered in pepperoni, Italian sausage, bacon, Canadian bacon, and cheese, we understand why Brown Dog was a gold medal winner at the 2013 pizza contest in Hawaii.
|Wildlife like this deer can be seen on various trails.|
|Caught in the rain in an aspen grove|
|Larry likes a challenge when hiking!|
|Destination achieved--a beautiful waterfall|
The waterfall emerges--a long stream of tumbling water splashing into a clear pool. It looks tempting, but we know the water is too cold for wading, so we admire expansive red canyon walls, a lovely slice of mountain beauty. On the return we detour a bit on the Jud W. Trail, to take in a quick overview of the city.
Of course, there are many paths and trails in the area, from easy to challenging. Telluride attracts visitors to many festivals in the summer because it's just a great place to enjoy fresh, crisp air and stunning mountain scenery.
|Riding the gondola system between Mountain Village and Telluride|
A note about the Telluride gondola: It is the only free public transportation system of its kind in the world. Completed in December, 1996, it is amazingly efficient—there was hardly any wait in mid-July, although it might be more crowded during winter ski season. Environmentalists consider it successful since 2.25 million people ride it annually, thus lowering pollution and noise in the area. Because the gondola is used extensively by locals as well as visitors, it saves car mileage between the towns of Telluride and Mountain Village, earning it the nickname of “the most beautiful commute.”
Photos by Larry and Beverly Burmeier