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Peter Bowden | profile | all galleries >> Colorado and New Mexico 05 tree view | thumbnails | slideshow

Colorado and New Mexico 05

Photos from our trip including Black Canyon of the
Gunnison, Ouray, Colorado, Mesa Verde National Park, Chaco
Canyon World Heritage Site, Bandelier National
Monument, Taos, and Taos Pueblo
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Our recent road trip started at the Denver Airport and took us to Ouray Co., Mesa Verde N.P., Chaco Canyon N.M., Jemez Springs N.M, and Taos N.M. before returning to Denver.  Here we are starting out on the first full day as we drive from Colorado Springs to Ouray.  

We arrived in Denver on Friday at 9pm, grabbed our rental vehicle.  We’d booked a Jeep Grand Cherokee but they ended up giving us a Chrysler Pacifica.  That pretty much eliminated any possibility of trail driving but what can you say to the rental agent, “How are we supposed to go off road in this thing?”  The Pacifica was large, fast and luxurious so it was a lovely ride all in all.

We left the airport and found the 470 toll road that bypasses the Denver Metro area.  They sure hammer you with the tolls though…it seemed like we were stopping to pay a buck and a half every five miles or so.  We finally hooked up with I-25 south and drove an hour or so to Colorado Springs to spend the first night.  This was the only night we hadn’t booked a room in advance and that was too bad since there was a huge hot rod show in town and the only room to be had was one at a Hilton so we ended up spending $100+ on a suite.  It was very nice but far more than we needed for a few hours of sleep after a late arrival and before an early departure.  A very nice breakfast was included so that saved us some time and got us off to a pleasant start.
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Our recent road trip started at the Denver Airport and took us to Ouray Co., Mesa Verde N.P., Chaco Canyon N.M., Jemez Springs N.M, and Taos N.M. before returning to Denver. Here we are starting out on the first full day as we drive from Colorado Springs to Ouray.

We arrived in Denver on Friday at 9pm, grabbed our rental vehicle. We’d booked a Jeep Grand Cherokee but they ended up giving us a Chrysler Pacifica. That pretty much eliminated any possibility of trail driving but what can you say to the rental agent, “How are we supposed to go off road in this thing?” The Pacifica was large, fast and luxurious so it was a lovely ride all in all.

We left the airport and found the 470 toll road that bypasses the Denver Metro area. They sure hammer you with the tolls though…it seemed like we were stopping to pay a buck and a half every five miles or so. We finally hooked up with I-25 south and drove an hour or so to Colorado Springs to spend the first night. This was the only night we hadn’t booked a room in advance and that was too bad since there was a huge hot rod show in town and the only room to be had was one at a Hilton so we ended up spending $100+ on a suite. It was very nice but far more than we needed for a few hours of sleep after a late arrival and before an early departure. A very nice breakfast was included so that saved us some time and got us off to a pleasant start.

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Blue Mesa Reservoir, Colorado



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Blue Mesa Reservoir, Colorado

Blue Mesa Reservoir, Colorado



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Then we went past the Blue Mesa Reservoir; a brilliant splash of blue in a desolate, arid landscape.
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Then we went past the Blue Mesa Reservoir; a brilliant splash of blue in a desolate, arid landscape.

We stopped for lunch in the town of Gunnison at what seemed to be a popular local Mexican joint.  I forget the name but it was the kind of place where you stand in line to order and then they call your name when your order is up.  As expected, the food was great.  We both thought that Gunnison seemed to be a nice little western town and we enjoyed our brief visit.
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We stopped for lunch in the town of Gunnison at what seemed to be a popular local Mexican joint. I forget the name but it was the kind of place where you stand in line to order and then they call your name when your order is up. As expected, the food was great. We both thought that Gunnison seemed to be a nice little western town and we enjoyed our brief visit.

Desert Photographer


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Desert Photographer

Desert Photographer


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Black Canyon of the Gunnison, Colorado


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Black Canyon of the Gunnison, Colorado

Black Canyon of the Gunnison, Colorado


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Twisted juniper, Black Canyon of the Gunnison, Colorado

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Twisted juniper, Black Canyon of the Gunnison, Colorado

Twisted juniper, Black Canyon of the Gunnison, Colorado

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Twisted juniper, Black Canyon of the Gunnison, Colorado 
We continued long Rt.50 to Montrose.  We decided that it might be nice to have a beer when we arrived at Ouray so we stopped for gas at a convenience store.  This is where we learned that you need to go to a beverage center to get beer and the clerk directed us to one that happened to be on Rt. 550, the road we needed to go on to reach Ouray.  The fellow in line behind us was glad he overheard us since he needed beer and they won’t sell it to you on Sunday (it was Saturday).  When we got to the beverage center, there he was stocking up.  We left Montrose and headed on down 550 toward Ouray.
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Twisted juniper, Black Canyon of the Gunnison, Colorado
We continued long Rt.50 to Montrose. We decided that it might be nice to have a beer when we arrived at Ouray so we stopped for gas at a convenience store. This is where we learned that you need to go to a beverage center to get beer and the clerk directed us to one that happened to be on Rt. 550, the road we needed to go on to reach Ouray. The fellow in line behind us was glad he overheard us since he needed beer and they won’t sell it to you on Sunday (it was Saturday). When we got to the beverage center, there he was stocking up. We left Montrose and headed on down 550 toward Ouray.

Ouray, Colorado
Ouray, Colorado

Ouray, Colorado

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Ouray, Colorado vapor cave
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Ouray, Colorado vapor cave

Ouray, Colorado vapor cave
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