Julie Lyles Carr: My Way, Ouray

Monday, August 27, 2012

My Way, Ouray

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I gotta admit, after driving for hours and hours and hours to get to Telluride, I was a little skeptical to get back in the car.

But my friend Dre is nothing if not adventuresome and she couldn't wait to load us all up to head to Ouray, Colorado. It's just a hop-skip-and-8of8-only-had-to-pee-once-on-the-road-trip-over from Telluride. And you get to drive past Ralph Lauren's amazing ranch.

Which kind of makes you feel a little neighborly with him.

Even if I was disappointed that I didn't see itty bitty guys on polo horses riding across his lands...



But I digress...

Ouray is a beautiful little town, one of several burgs that appeared during the height of Colorado mining during the 1800's.

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I wish there was a way to photographically express how majestic and towering these mountain faces were over the valley.

At one end of the canyon is a deep chasm. We peered out over the side, hanging on to the viewing platforms.

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See that hot mama in the cowboy boots and amazing hair and sassy shorts? That would be Dre. Whose cabin and family we had invaded. Whose middle name is Adventure. I looked like a slouch the whole trip, she looked all kinds of adorable and accessorized, even when we were hiking to 13,000 feet.

I have got to up my hiking fashion game.

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They call Ouray the Switzerland of America and it's shots like this that make me see why...

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Look at that sky...

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During the winter, climbers like to take on this gorge to test their climbing skills with ropes and crampons.

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I'm perfectly happy to let them do that...and to promise to stay out of their way.

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All kinds of gorgeous...and deep.

8 of 8 was all kinds of a pistol that day. He made me a nervous wreck, spinning like a top alongside the steep path. Good thing his oldest brother was determined to hang on to his squirmy self.

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7 of 8 was quite happy to take in the view, enjoy the breeze and collect a few rocks...

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3 of 8 got to take a little time to look super cool and do some rope climbing.

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He was the oldest kid on the trip, given that 1 and 2 of 8 weren't able to go with us due to work and school commitments. 3 of 8 was simply incredible, helping corral kids, deal with his squirrely youngest brother and playing protector to all the sisters, both biological and friend.

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We hit town after our little hike for an amazing lunch at a local bistro. And there may or may not have been a little retail therapy afterward...

But in addition to gorgeous views and great food and awesome shopping, Ouray has another awesome little feature. The whole place is running with hot springs. And they've figured out a way to capture this magic. And channel it into a huge set of pools. Where kids can go to swim and steep like tea bags and get worn out.

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Ouray just kept getting better and better...

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We let the kids steam and soak in the mild afternoon climes...

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Goodness. Austin, Texas, I love you. But I have a roving eye for Telluride and her sister towns like Ouray.

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And I'm a little partial to the hot springs pools at Ouray because I got one of my favorite shots of 5 and 8 of 8 there. Ever. Look at these brothers...

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I.Melt.

The afternoon began to wain.

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And too soon it was time to hit the road...(don't these guys look like long lost brothers?  The one on the left belongs to Dre, the one on the right to me...)

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We headed back to the cabin with a van full of warm, tired, happy kids.

And you'll be happy to know that I blew Ralph as-in-mister-Lauren a kiss as we passed back by his little ranch.

I can feel in my heart that he appreciated it....




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