Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Day 2 – Arches and Shuttles…..

Day 2 started pretty much the same way as day 1, Sunshine, blue skies and the search for coffee and breakfast. Our goal was a diner we had found in the motel’s restaurant guide that claimed to be famous for their breakfast burritos. Unfortunately, being on vacation, we had forgotten it was Sunday in Utah and the place was closed.
Luckily just down the block we came across the Wake and Bake café. Based on the name alone it was a pretty safe bet they weren’t observing any blue laws….turns out they made a pretty good breakfast burrito too.

After filling our bellies and satisfying our caffeine addictions we decided on a drive to Arches National Park. The shuttle to Telluride wasn’t supposed to pick us up until 1:00 so we had several hours to explore the beauty around us.

Growing up in California, I’ve been lucky enough to experience some of our country’s most beautiful national parks, Yosemite, Lassen, Sequoia….but nothing I had seen prepared me for the amazing vistas we were seeing around every corner.
Granted, my preferences tend more towards the granite and pines of the Sierra’s but the stunning sandstone creations we were witnessing were a whole different kind of amazing.

Eventually though, we had to cut the tour short and head back to the hotel to meet the shuttle driver that was to take us to the next stage of our adventure.

Jim showed up in an chevy suburban set up to haul way more bikes than we had in our group, and proceeded to regale us with tales of motorcycle races, work hauling television people out into the desert and general knowledge of just about every small town we drove through for the next 3 hours.

As we pulled into downtown Telluride, it was like someone took the description of every small mountain town rolled them all together and built a town with it.
It’s long main street which is dotted with perfectly restored small Victorian homes, quaint shops and restaurants leads your eye right down the length of the town until your view is entirely dominated by one of the most beautiful mountains I’ve ever seen.

We found our rented condo, checked in, got settled and decided on a walk through town in search of a beer and some food. Wandering through town it became readily apparent that although it had all the trappings of a quaint mountain retreat, the locals were more inclined to wear Gucci and Armani than Levis and Wranglers.

After finding our beer and a really good burger in a small tavern that had the Broncos playing on the big screen above the bar, we decided to take the tram, which is free by the way, up to Mountain Village. The views as our gondola climbed up the face of the mountain were amazing and as the elevation increased, so did the real estate prices. Mountain Village is resort at the top of a mountain made entirely of cash…..

After wandering around the village, which was pretty much deserted we headed back down to enjoy our last night’s sleep in real beds….tomorrow, the adventure really begins…

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