2017 Sept 4 – Montrose, CO (Ouray Museum, Ridgeway Rail Museum, Black Canyon)

We had a jam-packed day.  We left our hotel in Montrose at 10 and didn’t get back until almost 9:30.  In the interim we toured two museums, hiked to a waterfall and went through a national park.  Needless to say I took tons of photographs.

The Ouray Historical Museum is located in the old Miner’s Hospital. It is three stories of exhibits in 28 rooms, plus two cabins and a barn.  We were there for over 2 1/2 hours.  Here begins the tons of photographs.

Scattered throughout the museum were photographs of the early days of the Bear Creek Pass that we negotiated between Durango and Montrose.

There were also a couple of photos of the box canyon at Ouray from the early days.

Notice that the High Bridge at the top of the Box Canyon has been in place, albeit in a much simpler form, for many years. The reverse turntable on the Silverton Railway was slick, We just navigated our way through all the rooms on the first floor, which had very diverse exhibits. Our neighbours had a cream separator much like this one.  We got our milk and cream from them every day. It is completely wrong that a sports sweater from 1969 would be in a museum.  We graduated in 1969 and that was just a few years ago.  Certainly not museum-worthy!

These glass insulators for the power lines are also very familiar from my youth.  Where, oh where, has all the time gone?

Many of the rooms on the second floor were displays from the building’s years as a miners hospital. Pretty ingenious teeter-totter – use the mule as the fulcrum. It was interesting to see that most of the wedding dresses in this room had a photo of the bride who wore it.  That was a nice touch.

The basement of the museum contained the hospital kitchen, just as it would have done originally.   This meat grinder is a few years older than my mother’s but it looks very similar.  And I still use it.

There was a large room in the basement devoted to all the different minerals found in the various mines in the area.  There we hundreds of samples. I have virtually no idea what many of them are, but I liked all the colours. And in a little room were two display cases filled with plain-looking rocks.  On the wall were instructions to close the door, turn off the light, and turn the dial on the timer which turned on an ultra-violet light and displayed the gorgeous glowing colours in the rocks. The jail was also  in the basement and a sad story as well. Outside there were two old cabins from early pioneers to the area; both of which had been moved to the museum site. On the way out of town you can take a short hike up to Cascade Falls.

This nice miner statue is located at the hot springs pools on the north end of town.

Between Ouray and Montrose is the community of Ridgway.  There were having a rodeo on the Labour Day weekend. We stopped at the Visitor’s Center and did a quick tour of their railway museum. I looked at all the railway cars while John went over to the tiny Lion’s Park and found a geocache. Our last stop of the day was east of Montrose 11 miles and then up a side road for 5 miles to the Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park.  The Black Canyon is so-called because it is so deep and so narrow that the side walls often look black or are black due to the shadows.  I took tons of photos here because it was so unique but it was very hard to give any type of perspective on this 2000 foot deep canyon.  At it’s narrowest point it is only 40 feet across. The Visitor’s Center is perched on the cliff side. Look at the photo on the right and see the huge chunk of rock that broke off and got stuck in the crack as it fell.

This looks like a reclining dude in the rock’s striations. We left the park almost at sunset and had yet to drive back to Montrose.  It was about 8:30 by the time we got to a restaurant for dinner and when we got back to the hotel it was soak in a hot bath and go to bed time. Sure was a good day though.

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