Checking the weather, it looked like I might get hit with some more rain today, but it looks like most of the ride along the Million Dollar Highway from Grand Junction to Durango will be clear. Score!
I started out in the high desert south of Grand Junction with views of the mesas and the labrynthine network of canyons they created as I gradually climbed to Montrose where I split onto the 550 South, AKA The Million Dollar Highway. When I hit Ouray, I found myself wishing I'd stayed there the previous night. Ouray has an eclectic and vibrant downtown area with lots of restaurants and shops and the town itself was nestled at the back of a box canyon, which I had to climb up and out of. The highway got technical at this point with a multiple S-curves to get onto the evergreen-covered plateau and start toward Silverton. The weather cooperated and gave me some great lighting to capture some of the mountains.
I dropped into Silverton and stopped for lunch at Romero's for some awesome Mexican. This is a must-visit when you travel to (or through) the high-elevation mountain town. I tried to beat the rain, but was held up by construction just a mile outside of Silverton. It turned out that worked in my favor because, while the roads were damp, I was met with barely a sprinkle. It was a great 90 minutes to get into Durango. Right behind a pickup pulling a small trailer that was desperately trying to destroy his brakes and stay in front of me. I’m pretty sure I could smell the metal components burning as he rode his brakes on the downward slope.