Eli's Western Adventure IV
This episode should have followed the Durango-Silverton train ride, but it didn't and so be it.
We began on the Million Dollar Highway heading north out of Durango, and again, we start with the star of the story, Eli. Here he is posed against a backDROP of the San Juan Mountains. His grandmother was in a near panic, given the precipice behind him.
Looking down into another nearby abyss, we saw the Durango-Silverton Train approaching Silverton. There is a Mini-Cooper-size vehicle that travels behind every train, watching for any issues and picking up stuff that the train passengers lose. It's just far enough behind the train that the passengers don't see it, but from our vantage point we did. However, I didn't include a photograph of it here.
And moving further north, another view of the San Juans representing the quintessential image of the Rocky Mountains.
Before descending from the high road down into the small town of Ouray, there is a lovely waterfall that photographers love to shoot. It was displaying its colors during our passage.
From the San Juans we made our way to some beautiful open countryside between Montrose and Gunnison and south of the Blue Mesa Reservoir to visit a friend of our daughter and son-in-law. This space rivals any of Wyoming's open spaces in its beauty. Here are Indian Paintbrush flowers alongside a rail fence.
A little way down the road is one of those see-into-next-week scenes, something you don't see riding the paved highway. The ground cover is mostly sage brush and there are aspen groves on the hillsides, catching water runoff where they can. Just beyond this image is a 45,000+ acre ranch owned by a family of Ute Indians.
Much of the central Colorado area is one of ranches, some real working ranches owned by jeans- and big hat-wearing westerners. Others are more private, owned by big money. Most have western-style gates - two posts and a cross-bar, often with the name or brand of the ranch on the cross-bar. I posted this image of the Lazy Bull Ranch to show two things: (1) the locked gate which is different from the more open "working ranches" as I loosely call them, and (2) the vastness of the ranch's space although it may have been no bigger than the Ute ranch mentioned earlier. Whatever the size of these properties, they dwarf the hundred-acre plots that people like me grew up on.
That's all for now!
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