Saturday, July 3, 2010

The San Juan Scenic Skyway

One week of our summer vacation was spent in southwest Colorado. We stayed in Mancos, just east of Cortez, just outside of Mesa Verde National Park, and about 45 minutes west of Durango. We could see up into the National Park from Mesa Verde RV Resort and visiting Mesa Verde was great...but...our favorite day in Colorado was spent driving to Durango and up a portion of the San Juan Scenic Skyway to Silverton. It was soooo gorgeous!!!

The whole drive was filled with ooohs and aaahhs...looking at gorgeous forests of pine and aspen, mountain peaks and vistas...here's a stop that was at 11,900 feet of elevation. A sign said we were breathing some of the cleanest air in the world at that point. Aahhhhh...It was awesome!!!


There were waterfalls, streams, lakes and ponds along the way...


And wildflowers...could this be the wild strawberry we had read about?...


Thistle...wicked thorns but so pretty...here's a bud...


and an open thistle blossom...




These were several feet tall and amazing...


Especially, close up...


I'd never seen these before...


Here's a close up of the flower...


Dainty little yellow flowers...


Great big yellow daisies...we saw these here and there and even meadows full of them...


I had no idea that dandelions could grow at 11,000 feet! There were tons of them and they looked very happy at that elevation...


These are so cute...they look like tiny little bouquets of rose buds. Each bloom is only the size of my thumbnail...


Small hanging blue flowers...


Tiny little purple buds...


Little red and green buds...


These are several feet high and there were meadow like areas with large bunches of them...


This was on the side of the road, between Durango and Silverton. It's for Pinkerton Hot Springs. The nearby sign said they "offered swimming, music and dancing in the 1920's..." I'm not sure if it's still in business today but the hot springs are definitely still flowing. We're thinking that they may have built up some rocks around this spring to make it more noticeable from the road and that over the years minerals built up on them.


We think that all the colors are from minerals except the dark green, which seems to be algae.


We're almost to Silverton!

1 comment:

Erin said...

Very pretty sites! It looks like you guys are having a wonderful time on your travels.