San Juan Skyway

View along the San Juan Skyway south of Ouray.

Today we drove on the 236 mile San Juan Skyway, mostly. It was a spectacular ride, but too long to do in one day. We prefer to take our time stopping along the way and this was too many miles to do that. Nevertheless, it was a beautiful ride and our favorite parts were Ouray to Silverton and the part before and after Telluride. We wound up veering off the paved path because of a bear. We both saw a bear running full speed through a meadow and turned around to see if we could see it again. We didn’t. We were ready for lunch and there was a sign for a picnic area along the West Dolores River. We never found that picnic area, but found a US Forest Service campground where we stopped for lunch. At this point, we could turn around and go back, or keep going forward hoping to hook back up with route 145. I had seen a sign that suggested we could hook back up with 145 but we did not have maps or cell phone service to validate. We decided to go for it in spite of the number of miles we had already covered.

I’m glad we did. The route was paved most of the way but eventually became a dirt road. It was in great condition for many miles before it wasn’t. At that point, it appeared we were within 4 miles or so of Route 145 so I held Dart on my lap while we bumped our way through the last stretch. It was beautiful, so we have no regrets taking that detour. I think it would be spectacular in the fall when the Aspen leaves change color.

Somewhere on this dirt road we took off of Route 145 along the West Dolores River.

As soon as we got back to the campsite, Dart immediately crawled under the RV and went to sleep. I don’t think he sleeps well while we are driving and now that he is older, he likes his sleep. He also loves his little “porch” under the RV. He gets a great 360 degree view of the campground and it is shady under there. Even when it is hot, he would rather be under the RV than anywhere else.

We have determined that we can bring the RV through the 3 mountain passes necessary to get to our next destination. To make things easier, Regis will drive the motorhome while I drive the Jeep and we will hook the Jeep back up for towing after we get past the third mountain pass.

Along the dirt road we detoured on off of Route 145.
The view of Route 145 as we were making our way back to it.
Route 145 near Telluride.

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