Our rental Jeep from Ouray is not nearly as nice as the one we rented in Moab which had an awesome lift kit, a clean interior, GPS, all its windows, a non-leaking roof and floormats. In this jeep, with no rear or side window panels and no floor mats for insulation we find ourselves wet and cold from the waist up while our shoe soles form melted puddles on the hot floors. It was 90 degrees and sunny when we left home yesterday to get the Jeep, but my shorts, tank top, flip flop ensemble was little comfort on our ride to the basins last night at a breezy 50 degrees and 12000+ feet. Determined to be better prepared, today we bring towels to protect our feet from the floors and layer on the clothes.
Our preparations prove prudent because about lunchtime the rain begins in earnest and with no rear windows and a leaky roof we have showers both inside and outside the Jeep! Wisely we get off the mountain and onto scenic highway CO 149 headed to Blue Mesa Reservoir (and sunshine) before snowfall starts at the higher elevations.
The off road portion of our ride today begins on the Alpine Loop just off of Hwy 550 (the Million Dollar Highway) south of Ouray where we ascend to Engineer Pass. Storm loves exploring old stuff and each stop at the tumbled down mines along this route are a playground for him. I lose him for awhile at Mineral Point, but soon discover him in the bullet riddled shed shown on the right.
In order to capture just a fraction of this ride’s wonder, I compiled my favorite GoPro movies and pictures from the trip. Be sure and bump up the video quality to 720HD and make it full screen if you can for best viewing.