February 20, 2007
Durango to Montrose
It snowed yesterday - a nice, white blanket presents itself today

Mural - Downtown Durango, CO

Mural / Ad - Downtown Durango, CO

Mural / Ad - Downtown Durango, CO
As I pulled to the curb to take this shot there was an older gent out shoveling snow. I asked his permission to take the photo and he stepped aside.
Hindsight says - missed opportunity as he was probably the original proprietor of the store - should have asked him to be in the photo too.

Here I am "killing time" and processing a mental decision.

It snowed yesterday in the mountains (there are three passes to ride over - Coal Bank, Molas, Red Mountain). The Colorado roads website (www.cotrip.org) has all three on restricted travel status. I need either 4-wheel drive (which this car isn't), snow tires (all weather tires don't cut it), or chains (don't yet have).

Well, I stopped by one of the auto parts stores for a set of chains (odds are good that I'll need them sometime in the next year) - they're out of my size. The crew at the parts counter was a bit skeptical that all three passes were restricted. They pointed me to the 'other' parts store in town. I found it but decided to not check right away. There's a big, electronic highway status sign not too far out of town. With the ample sun and a few hours in the morning for the road clearing crews to work I'm guessing things will be cleared off and open. I headed out of town. The big sign was dark - no warning - WooHoo!! Enough gas+ to easily make it to Montrose so fuel shouldn't be an issue.

The roads started out a bit wet but ended up being clear and DRY - amazing. The sun was really heating things up.

Coal Bank pass, check. Molas pass, check.

Dropping down to Silverton and heading out of town I came across a conventional set of signs - foreboding signs. I was not permitted to pass unless I had a 4-wheel drive, snow tires, or chains. In front of me was a clear, dry roadway.

The scofflaw I am - I pressed on...

The elevation would jump several thousand feet and conditions could change. On the "cliff-rock" section of road a portion of it is on a north face that does not get sun. Would I have to turn back? How close would fuel run? Would Mr. Officer give me a ticket? Some questions, yes.

We shan't let those mental tidbits get in the way of some good photos!

A shot or so more as I'm "delaying" in Durango.

Heading North - the big electronic highway sign, turned off, is behind me.

This is perhaps my favorite pic of the day.

A parking area for outdoor enthusiasts. Back country skiing perhaps?

Anyone recall the Christmas time Norelco? commercials of the razor (& snowman?) bobbing up and down the hills in the snow?

Road cleaning crews at work!

Looking down at Silverton

Wide photo - scroll right
I count 1-semi truck (center) and 1 SUV (far right)

Ouray, CO

Jump to Montrose CO
I've been kicking about town for the day. This area is southwest of town looking east.

Cerro Summit
After a nice "fat tuesday" dinner (steak & veggies) I washed the car and headed east on US-50 hoping to get a good night shot of the Montrose city lights. Was not to be as there is a low row of hills that block the lights when at the summit. After shot of the moon and some stars I headed back to town.

From the summit to the parking spot at the hotel it's 13 miles. I pushed on the gas pedal to get out of the summit parking lot and up to speed heading down the hill. From there I didn't touch the gas pedal until the next morning - able to coast the full trip down the hill, into town, and into the parking stall.


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