The Annual Trip to Telluride, v. 2012

This year’s trip to our beloved Telluride was yet another great visit. The weather was as mixed as fall in Colorado can get. We started with dreary, drizzly days early in the week and ended with warm, bluebird days.The aspen color change was a little later this year so the week began with more spring green than usual. But by the time the sun came out at the end of the week, most aspen stands were really turning it on. We did our standard off-road trip over Last Dollar Road and saw all the spectacular views that make up that trail. We didn’t find the horses we found last year so the just-bought bag of apples went mostly unused. We would find out later that someone wanted those apples much more than we did.

There were a couple of exciting adventures this year. The first was when Shannon’s masseuse gave her a tip about an ad in the local paper where someone was looking for a year-round caretaker. It made for a couple of exciting days after crafting and submitting our application letter. Our minds reeled at the possibility of being year-round residents of Telluride and how we would make it work, which is considerably easier now that Shannon’s working from home. This first adventure ended when we got a response that stated pets were not allowed. We retracted our application as I’m not willing to give up my dog yet.

The second exciting adventure involved the aforementioned apples in my car. Upon returning from the Last Dollar Road excursion, we unpacked the car and wouldn’t touch it again until the next day when we would pack it back up for a last days hike. That next morning, I found the driver-side passenger window missing. At first I thought I might have left it down for the night because there was very little trace of glass on the ground. But that was quickly dis-proven when I found most of the glass inside the car. I made a cursory review of the interior and found that nothing of value was missing. Things like our fly rods and several bags of gear were all right where they had been left the night before. I went to the front desk to report the suspected break-in and they called the Mountain Village police. Theories spun out of control as to how and why the window was broken including someone mistaking my car for theirs and breaking the window because their key didn’t work. The police officer arrived and solved the crime practically without getting out of the car. Shannon relayed a theory or two and he politely listened. Then he walked over to the edge of the parking lot and picked up a red mesh bag that used to contain apples and asked if she recognized it. Sure enough, a bear had smelled the apples in the closed up car, stood on the step rail and pushed the window in to get to the apples. As the car was covered in a thin layer of mud, you could clearly see where the bear stood on the rail, where his belly/chest rested on the car door as he leaned in to get the apples and where he slid his front paw down the front door on his escape. I felt foolish as I’ve lived in Colorado long enough to know better than to leave fresh food in the car in the mountains. Fortunately, the Mountain Lodge was super accommodating (as usual) and parked our car in their garage so we could go about the days activities without worry. The drive back to Denver was a little louder than normal but the taped on clear piece of shower curtain did a good job keeping the wind and weather out.

Despite the window misfortune, we still found it hard to leave Telluride for home again. It will always be our favorite place in Colorado and one day it will be another home for us.

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