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Ouray Colorado Vacation Guide and Trip Planning Information for SW Colorado

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Celebrate this Labor Day weekend at the Ouray County Fair and Rodeo


From Bronco bustin to tractor pulls, the Ouray County Fair promises family fun!

Ouray county fair prizesSupport the 4H club as they display their hard work all year at the Livestock Show, watch talented athletes display their abilities at the 4H Horse Show, and enjoy all of the traditional fun and excitement of a small town county fair. Running September 1, 2011 through September 3, 2011 and immediately followed by the CPRA Sanctioned Ouray County Rodeo, the weekend will be full of adventure, and family fun.

The Fair and Rodeo events for this weekend are as follows:

Thursday, September 1, 2011: 4-H County Fair

Booth Set-Up, 10 a.m. to 12 noon.

Horse Show, 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Fair Entries Open Class, 9 a.m. to 12 noon.

Judging Begins at Exhibit Hall, 1 p.m.

Tractor Pull, 6 p.m.

Traditional booths and activities from 9:00am to 5:00pm

Friday, September 2, 2011: Fair

Tractor pull ridgway fairgroundsExhibit Hall Open 9 a.m. to 6 pm

Livestock Entries and Weigh-in, 8 a.m. to 12 noon.

Poultry and Rabbit Judging, 12:30 p.m. Goats

Yaks and Bucket Calf Judging, 2 p.m.

Swine Show, 5 p.m.

Sheep Lead, 6 p.m.

Livestock Carcass Contest Measuring, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Carcass Educational Seminar, 3:30 p.m.

Traditional booths and activities from 9:00am to 5:00pm

Saturday, September 3, 2011: Fair

Exhibit Hall Open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Sheep and Beef Judging Begins, 9 a.m.

Round Robin Showmanship and Best Fitted, 1:30 p.m.

Parade of Champions, 3:15 p.m.

Livestock Sale (terms: cash), 3:30 p.m.

Traditional booths and activities from 9:00am to 5:00pm

Sunday, September 4, 2011: CPRA

Sanctioned Rodeo

rodeo bull riderBeginning at 1:00pm at the Ouray County Fairgrounds, come on out and see all of your rodeo favorites:  bareback bronc riding, calf roping, saddle bronc riding, steer and team roping, steer wrestling, barrel racing and bull riding.

The Annual firemans Dance at the Ridgway Firehouse follows at 9:00pm. Come dance the night away to benefit the Ridgway Fire Department!

Monday, September 5, 2011

Begin the final day of the rodeo with Ridgway's annual Labor Day Parade which will travel east on Main Street Monday at 10 a.m. Anyone can enter in the parade and line-up starts at 9 a.m. at the old school house building on west Main Street. The parade ends on the east end  of Hartwell Park, perfect for the next portion of your Labor Day celebration.....

Barbeque at Ridgway’s Hartwell Park starting at 11 a.m., sponsored by Ouray County Rodeo Association. All the proceeds benefit the association to keep the tradition alive.

Head Back to the fairgrounds at 1:00pm to watch the last day of  rodeo competions.

Both days of the rodeo will include extra events with open entry for local teams: Rescue Race, Steer Packing and Bed Roll Race

Admission is $8.00 for adults, $5.00 for children ages 6 through 12. Children ages 5 and under are free
Sunday is Family Day! Only $20.00 for a family of 4!

Obtaining a Marriage License in Ouray, Colorado


If only all of your destination wedding details in Ouray, Colorado could be as simple!

7   WeddingWith so many things that go into planning your Colorado wedding it is sometimes very easy to overlook the most critical of details like your Marriage License!  Luckily, Colorado is not as stringent as some other states when trying to obtain that all important piece of paper to seal the deal.   

cake 2Once you arrive in Ouray and have decided to take the plunge you will head over to our County Court House located at 541 Fourth St. in Ouray to fill out the necessary paperwork for your license.  The Clerks office at the Courthouse is open 9:00 am to 4:00 pm Monday through Friday, which is where you will need to go. (Excluding all holidays)


Your next order of business is meeting the requirements for marriage in Colorado.


  1. You will need to be 18 years or older and bring either your birth certificate or driver's license for your proof of age.  If you are under 18 you must have a parent or legal guardian present.
  2. If you are divorced you will need to provide proof of the dissolution of your last marriage.
  3. Finally, you will pay the $30 fee for your license.  The license is valid 30 days from the date issued.

colorado destination weddingsOne of the best aspects of getting married in Colorado is that anybody can marry you.  You do not need a member of the clergy or a Justice of the Peace to officiate your nuptials; in fact, you can marry your partner all alone under a waterfall or high on a mountain peak, no witness necessary.  Just make sure that your Certificate is returned to the County Clerk and Recorder who issued the license within 60 days of the marriage date


So, it’s just that simple to get a Marriage License here in beautiful Ouray.  Now you just have to make it through the wedding!


Weddings can be not only one of the most beautiful days of your life but also one of the most stressful.  If you are thinking about having your destination wedding in Ouray, Colorado and would like some more information on how to make it happen please feel free to contact us at the Box Canyon Lodge and Hot Springs and Ouray Event Planning.

About the author:   

Nikki Komar works at the Box Canyon Lodge & Hot Springs.  She works with many of our groups including family reunions and destination wedding couples.  She lives with her husband and four children in Ouray.  

Colorado Fall Color Tours: 3 Picture Perfect Locations Near Ouray


Fall is an Especially Beautiful Time of Year near Ouray, Colorado for Photographers

Throughout Southwest Colorado, there are numerous locations for spectacular fall foliage photos.  The San Juan Mountains provide dramatic backdrops throughout the region and near Ouray there is no exception. Here are three spots for great photos in Ouray County:  Ouray County Roads 7, 9, and 14A.  The roads are dirt but you can drive sedans much if not all of the way and there are stunning vistas along the route.  Amature photographers and professionals alike can also enhance their skills at various workshops that frequent the area.

Ouray County Road 7 - Blue Lakes Trailhead

fall foliage ouray county road 7 blue lakes trailhead

Less than one mile from the Blue Lakes Trailhead at the end of Ouray County Road 7 (East Dallas Creek) is a wonderful location for photographs of the Sneffels Range during the fall.  There is a small marshy area and wonderful fences that can be used for some interesting compositional subjects.  

Ouray County Road 9 - Box Factory Park

box factory parkOuray County Road 9 is also known as West Dallas Creek and it passes through the very large Double RL Ranch.  In many places along the road, there are free range cattle grazing so drive slowly.  You can drive for several miles in a passenger car but at some point, a high clearance vehicle becomes a necessity.  There are ample locations for great photos along the route and so drive as far as you are comfortable.  

county road 9 fall foliage

Ouray County Road 14A - On the Way to Cutler Creek Trailhead

cutler creek ouray county road 14aIf you drive Ouray County Road 14A, you get great views of Whitehouse Mountain towering above you.  The red rocks on the lower slopes combined with the aspen trees glistening golden colors provide great photos.  It is not a very popular place to head for photographs but it is pleasing nonetheless.  At a 90 degree corner on the shelf road where the road changes directions from primarily north to primarily east, there is ample room to park.  Head up a small dirt road about 100 feet and find this fun treasure that signals the end of the line!

ouray county road 14a


Of course, this is hardly an exhaustive list of Fall Color Drives in Ouray Colorado but it is a start!

Welcome Fall at Ouray County's Annual San Juan Chamber Music Fest


As the aspen leaves change color in Ouray County, and the weather becomes crisp with the taste of autumn, experience the beautiful sounds of the San Juan Chamber Music Fest.


san juan chamber music fest ourayOuray County Performing Arts Guild (OCPAG) is a non profit organization, bringing quality events in music, dance, theater and other genres to Ouray and Ridgway.

Each year, The San Juan Chamber Music Festival boasts a variety of talented musicians both performing and sharing classical music knowledge. This year share the experience of three incredible artists!


max levinson san juan music festMAX LEVINSON 

San Juan Chamber MusicFest Artistic Director

Celebrating his 10th year with the
San Juan Chamber MusicFest, Pianist Max Levinson is known as an intelligent and sensitive artist with a fearless technique. 

Strongly committed to nurturing young audiences, Max Levinson has been a participant in the Grammy-in-the-Schools program throughout the United States and in other outreach performances across the country. He is on the faculty of the Boston Conservatory, and also teaches at the Killington Music Festival, and was formerly on the applied music faculty of Brown University.

He has recently become active as a conductor, and his performances as conductor of the Killington Music Festival orchestra have resulted in standing ovations and return engagements.

felix fan san juan music festFELIX FAN


Felix Fan returns to the San Juan Chamber MusicFest with the versatility that has made him one of the most sought after cellists of his generation. As a chamber musician, he has performed with Yo-Yo Ma, Gil Shaham and Janos Starker, in venues such as Carnegie Hall, The Kennedy Center, Musikverein and Royal Festival Hall. Fan's recent solo engagements include the San Diego and Pacific Symphonies, Hong Kong Philharmonic, Macau Symphony Orchestra and the Munich Chamber Orchestra.

In 2006, Fan and violinist Cho-Liang Lin recorded Gordon Chin's Double Concerto with Michael Stern and the Kansas City Symphony (Naxos). Fan's interest in contemporary music has led to collaborations with today's leading composers including George Crumb, Tan Dun, Hans Werner Henze, Oliver Knussen, Kaija Saariaho and Charles Wuorinen. Appearances with the Bang on a Can All-Stars has allowed Fan to work with artists as diverse as Philip Glass, Meredith Monk, Terry Riley and Lee Ranaldo of Sonic Youth. In 2008, Fan joined the Flux Quartet.

carol mcgonnel ouray musicCarol McGonnell


First timer to the San Juan Chamber MusicFest, Dublin-born Carol McGonnell brings to us her impressive sophisticated talents on the clarinet.

Recently hailed as "an extraordinary clarinetist" by the New York Times. She is known for the expressive power of her playing of standard repertoire, and also enjoys exploring cutting-edge developments in new music. She recently performed as soloist in both John Adam's "In Your Ear Festival" at Carnegie and in LA's "Monday Evening Concerts", curated by Esa-Pekka Salonen. She has also participated at the Marlboro Music Festival, Vermont and performed at the inaugural concert of Zankel Auditorium at Carnegie Hall.

She has guest curated the music programme for the Kilkenny Arts Festival and is on the advisory board of the Argento New Music Project. Carol is artistic director of Music for Museums, in association with the National Gallery of Ireland and including museums such as the Metropolitan Museum, the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum and the LA Getty. She studied in Ireland with Brian O'Rourke and in New York with Charles Neidich. She is currently one of the 16 handpicked fellows of the first phase of the Academy, a programme of Carnegie Hall, the Juilliard School and the Weill Music Institute.


"Musical Journeys"Friday - September 16, 2011 
Classical Cafe
4H Center 7:30

Tickets - $20 (presale) / $22 at the door, $5 Students

Gershwin Preludes
"Claire de Lune"
Beethoven Trio
and more

Kick off the annual San Juan Chamber Music Festival at the 4H Center for a Classical Cafe.  You will be able to experience world class musicians Max Levinson, Felix Fan & Carol McGonnell in a one-of-a-kind informal cafe style setting and learn much more about the music of the evening.

Master Classes Saturday - September 17, 2011

Class Fee: $20 Scholarships are available, please email for questions and registration.

Join Carol McGonnell with clarinet, Max Levinson on piano and Felix fan on the cello for an opportunity for serious music students to work one-on-one with a world class musicians in perfecting a prepared piece. Location TBD

Sunday - September 18, 2011
San Juan Chamber MusicFest Concert
4H Center 7:30

Tickets - $20 (presale) / $22 at the door, $5 Students

Enjoy the All Brahms Concert Trio in a minor cello Sonata in E minor.

Tuesday - September 20, 2011
Home Salon Concert & Dinner
High Creek Ranch in Ridgway

"The American Century"

Tickets - $75 -- Call 970-626-2970 for reservations.

Imagine being in one of the most beautiful homes in Ouray County, dining on elegant cuisine and being entertained in the most intimate of settings. This is a very special event that happens only once a year.


Ouray Colorado Octoberfest - Kegs of Fall Fun Oct. 8, 2011


Ouray Colorado's Oktoberfest Serves Up Kegs of Fun this Fall!

ouray colorado oktoberfestOn October 8, 2011 beginning at 6pm at the Ouray Community Center, the 47th Annual Jeep Raffle and lively Octoberfest brings revelers to town to celebrate the harvest and enjoy some fantastic fall foliage.

Austrian Connection, a band from Westminster Colorado, headlines and their classic german folk songs entertain party goers.  Folks dressed in traditional german costumes can participate in a costume contest, so remember to pack your lederhosen or dirndl. oktoberfest ouray colorado

A fantastic assortment of german dishes compliment drafts of Ouray County microbrews from one of the local breweries. Prizes from many shops and restaurants in the area are given away throughout the evening, with the drawing for a brand new Jeep Wrangler as the grand finale of the celebration.

Combine your trip to enjoy the Oktoberfest with other activities that let you explore the San Juan Mountains in October! Drive the Million Dollar highway for an easy beautiful scenic drive through a photographers paradise of fall foliage. Or, hike one of the many trails accessible in town for a more close up experience. Cascade waterfall is a spectacualr sight surrounded by a rainbow of leaves. After a day spent experiencing the variety of colors of fall in the Southwest Colorado, explore the shops and sidewalk sales on Main Street in Ouray before heading over to the Community Center to celebrate Oktoberfest in the Switzerland of America.  At the end of a day full of adventure, beauty, good food, music and spirits, its time to relax with a long soak in the natural mineral hot springs under the stars to complete the best Oktoberfest celebration around! 


Ouray Colorado Music Festival- Grillin & Chillin at the Park


Live music, great food and a variety of microbrews from breweries all over Southwest Colorado are just a taste of a great afternoon of family fun at Fellin Park  in Ouray, Colorado, August 27, 2011.

The annual Ouray County Music festival, or Grillin and Chillin, as it is fondly refferred to looks to be one of the best yet. Presented by the Ouray Chamber Resort Association, and local businesses, the festival begins at 2:00pm and follows a wave of entertainment until 8:00 in the evening.

Eleven local breweries will be sharing their recipes for some of the most tasty microbrews around. For just $25.00, you can sample every brew in your own commemorative tasting glass, and ply the brewers for their secret recipes. three of the brewers presnt hale from Ouray and Ridgway; Colorado Boy, Ouray Brewery and Ourayle House. Try them all and challenge your friends to pick the best!ouray music festival

If beer isn't your forte, head on over to the Mosaic Community Foundations booth, and put yourself to work blending you own margarita or or other frosty beverage on the world famous human powered blender-bike, "Glenda the Blenda".

You'll be tapping your feet and dancing about the park as the kids enjoy a zipline sponsred by San Juan Mountain Guides, and are invited to help decorate a large mural to name just a few activities. Bring a blanket, and sit on the grass as you enjoy a decadent array of BBQ and side dishes created by local restaurants and non profit organiztions alike as they vie for the title of Best BBQ in Ouray County.

Of Course, don't forget the music! in addition to several incredibly talented musicians from Ouray and Ridgway, OCRA is proud to announce there will be three national recording artists performing in the festival this year.ouray colorado grillin n chillin   fun in the park

Hailing from just south of Atlanta, Georgia... Michael Tolcher  smoothly blends many genres of music to form his own powerful, hooky, and senses-pleasing sound. With his upbeat tunes, we begin the festival. 

Michael and Scott Harte of The Harters  join us next, taking a break from a much deserved vacation after touring with Alan Jackson, to please the crowd with their inventive melodies and imaginative lyrics which they describe as the sounds of home.

The evening ends on a high note with the poignant lyrical composition, powerful vocals, and dynamic production of progressive Country singer Kyle Jennings

All in all, the day and evening will be an adventure of sound food and fun, and not to be missed! Surely a great time in the San Juans.

Western Heritage in Southwest Colorado: Ouray County Ranch Tour


Celebrate Western Heritage in Ouray County at Historic Centennial Ranch and Raise Funds for Ouray County Historical Society During the Fall Foliage Season!

centennial ranch barnLove Western Heritage?  Fascinated by Ranching History? Want to show your children how life on a working ranch used to be?  Join us at the Centennial Ranch, 2 miles south of Colona on US 550 just 20 miles north of Ouray.  Bring the family and enjoy a golden autumn day on an authentic Western cattle ranch!

This year, as a benefit for the Ouray County Historical Society (OCHS), the owners of the Centennial Ranch have opened the ranch to the public for two days (September 24 & 25 from 11am - 4pm).

This ranch was placed in a conservation easement through the Colorado Cattleman's Land Trust in 1994 in order to conserve its open space, wildlife habitat and traditional ranching lifestyle.  

The ranch was homesteaded in 1879 and was owned by one family for over 100 years – hence the name “Centennial” Ranch. Purchased by the current owners in 1992, all existing structures were refurbished and restored to capture the romance of the western traditions and heritage that are so rich in this part of southwestern Colorado. A few new structures were added including a rustic line cabin right on the river, an authentic replica of cabins often built along the perimeter of large ranches.

The 400-acre property occupies a rugged stretch of the Uncompahgre River  canyon. Here, the legacy of Western Slope ranching is preserved in every detail: from the spruce-log line cabin to the gleaming bits and spurs hanging in the tack room of the Centennial barn.

Visitors will be provided a 20 page handout with continuous self-guided tours that showcase meticulously restored and recreated structures. Those include the rancher's stunning, timber-frame home, detailed with medieval-style, hand-forged ironwork. The line cabin is an authentic cowboy shelter, complete with cast-iron cookstove and rustic furnishings. 

Visitors also will tour the calving shed and the main barn, which houses draft horses and a trove of western relics and implements. All buildings were constructed with salvaged or recycled materials. The entire spread has been featured in the June 2004 issue of Architectural Digest.

A traditional simple cowboy cookout lunch is included in the price of admission including chili and hot dogs.  Admission is $15/adult ages 19 and under is FREE!  You can purchase tickets at the Centennial Ranch Gate the day of the event.  Centennial Ranch is located along US 550 about 2 miles south of Colona, just a few hundred feet south of mile marker 115.


Events in Ouray Colorado and Ridgway: September 2011


Events for September 2011 in Southwest Colorado Mountains: Ouray and Ridgway

Ouray Colorado Fall FoliageFall typically brings warm days and very crisp nights and incredible expanses of aspen trees turn to gold; photographers flock to the area to find beautiful landscapes while snow might blanket the highest peaks in the area.  It is a wonderful time of year and one not to be missed!  Other events and exhibits that take place in Ouray and Ridgway during September 2011 are included below.

August 19 - November 19: Special Exhibit at Ouray Museum:  "A Century of Ouray County Farming and Ranching History 1875-1975" - The Ouray County Historical Society presents it first special exhibit of the 2011 season. Learn about the various types of ranching and farming that took place in Ouray County during the counties first 100 years.  

September 4 - September 5:  Ouray County Fair and Rodeo:  Traditional 4-H County Fair and sanctioned Rodeo events:  Ouray County Fair & Rodeo typically includes the 4-H Horse Show with Western and English divisions, timed events such as barrel races, pole bending, flag races, and keyhole. A local favorite is the Antique Tractor Pull with past years having over 30 tractors vintage 1955 or older.  A variety of 4-H animal categories are judged at the 4-H Barn each year including poultry, goats, sheep, lamb, swine, steers and heifers, bucket calves, and even rabbits. There is also a Round Robin Showmanship (including the champions of the 4-H Dog Show). The Parade of Champions and the Livestock Sale are not to be missed.  The County Fair has exhibits in numerous categories including baked, canned and dried foods; needle and fancy work; floriculture and produce; and photography.

September 10:  Imogene Pass Run:  Ouray to Telluride:  Rugged 17-mile race from Ouray over 13,114 ft. Imogene Pass to Telluride. One of the top mountain races in the US. Pre-registration only. 15-years and older.

September 10: Ouray Art Walk - Second Saturdays - 5pm - 8pm.  Shops and Galleries that are participating include Window to Yesterday, Skol Gallery, Ivory's Trading Company and Gallery, San Juan Art Galleries, Dreamtime Gallery and Studio, Ouray Silversmiths, Ouray Glassworks and Pottery Company, Painting Marmot Art Supply, and Silver Linings.  Many of the shops and galleries are offering refreshments, demonstrations  and/or music at this time.

September 10:  Cowboy Mountain High Concert:  Diamond W Wranglers performing "Cowboy Mountain High" concert at the Wright Opera House in Ouray. This performance is a tribute to John Denver. This western singing group has performed several times in Ouray and their audiences thoroughly enjoyed their music and humor.  7pm at the Wright Opera House

September 14 - 20:  San Juan Music Festival:  A yearly Chamber Music event under the artistic direction of world renowned and highly acclaimed concert pianist Max Levinson. The festival features evening concerts in Ouray and Ridgway plus a special Salon and Master Classes for piano, violin, and cello.

September 15-18: Ouray County Railroad Days . This weekend event includes a Museum open house, rides on Motor #1, a Narrow Gauge Railroad Symposium, hikes from Red Mountain Pass to Guston and from Guston to the Albany Smelter on the Silverton Railroad Grade, and guided tours tracing the routes of the D&RGW from Ridgway to Ouray and the RGS from to Lizard Head Pass.

September 24:  Ouray Trail Run: 9:30am Ouray's Fellin Park next to the Ouray Hot Springs.

September 24 & 25: Centennial Ranch Open House - The Centennial Ranch will have an Open Ranch on Saturday and Sunday September 24-25th, lunch included in the admission price $15 per person, teenagers (under 20) are free. See a working cattle ranch including the ranch house, barns and line cabin. OCHS Mining Heritage Quilt Raffle Drawing Date: September 25, 2011, during the Open Ranch Event at Centennial Ranch.  Centennial Ranch is 2 miles south of Colona on Highway 550.  The event runs from 11am - 4pm each day.

September 24:  Play:  Molly Sweeney at the Wright Opera House, 7:30pm.  This play is performed by the Timshel Theater Company from Montrose, Colorado.  Molly Sweeney examines the terrible consequences of a modern medical miracle. Told from three very different perspectives, the play raises the issue of who and what determines the quality of our lives. 


Ouray Trail Run: 14 Mile Loop Circumnavigates Best Town in Colorado


Ouray Trail Run




Southwest Colorado Trail Run in September

The Ouray Trail Run returns for the fourth year on September 24, 2011 and will be a 14 mile undulating loop on trails around Ouray.  This event covers some challenging terrain.

While running the route, people will enjoy many trails that serve as hiking trails throughout the year.  The first major ascent heads up the Silver Shield Trail and heads back down the Twin Peaks/Oak Creek Trail.  The best views on the entire loop happen near the intersection of the Silver Shield trail and the Oak Creek Trailhead.  The Ice Park Loop serves to give the runners a short break until the runners head over to the Baby Bath Tubs / Portland / Cascade Falls section.  

The race scenery will include some fantastic fall foliage and plenty of coniferous trees to make it absolutely beautiful.

The Box Canyon Lodge & Hot Springs sponsors this event; we would love to invite you to attend.

There are other trail running races in Ouray throughout the summer and fall so make Ouray your Trail Running Headquarters!

Ouray's Own Mountaineer Shows Private Collection of Photos in August


Kelvin Kent Shares His Private Photo Collection As Fundraiser in Ouray, Colorado

Ouray Colorado is home to many accomplished mountaineers of all ages.  If you are lucky enough to be in town in on August 19th, you can see an incredible show from one of those accomplished mountaineers.  He has also written many hiking books for Ouray!  
mountaineer resized 600How do you get a famous expedition up some of the most challenging mountains in the world?  The logistics of two historic Himalayan climbs will be recounted by Kelvin Kent along with an exclusive selection of extraordinary photos from his private collection in a program on Friday, August 19 at the Wright Opera House in Ouray.  Kent was a member of Sir Chris Bonington’s legendary teams attempting the South Face of Annapurna and the Southwest Face of Everest 40 years ago.   
As a member of these teams, Kent’s involvement was primarily in the field of logistics. Although he made carries to camp 4 on both climbs, his main work was in charge of all porters and supplies from arrival in India and Nepal to the various camps on the mountain. This included running base camp, radio communications, looking after a four person commercial TV crew and managing the flow charts for getting the right equipment to the right place at the right time.  After the expeditions, Kent assisted Chris Bonington with writing the books and honoring all obligations with the media and sponsors.
This presentation was made last November in London when Kent and Bonington participated in a program commemorating the 40thanniversary of the climbing of Annapurna. Also part of the program was the leader of the British Army expedition which was climbing the mountain from the north side at the same time (and for which Kent provided joint communications. This prestigious event was sponsored by the British Alpine Club and Mount Everest Foundation and held at the Royal Geographical Society.
Kent provided a preview of the London presentation last October at an opera house event.  Due to the season, many residents were unable to attend and the decision was made to repeat it during the summer of 2011.  This event will be a fund raiser for the Friends of the Wright Opera House to help purchase a sound system. 
The program begins at 7:30 pm.  Advance tickets are $15 and available at Buckskin Books, Khristopher’s Culinaire, Mouse’s Chocolates, Cimarron Books & Coffee and, in Montrose, at Ouray Silversmith.  Tickets at the door will be $20.  For information or to have advance tickets reserved at Will Call, contact Joyce Linn at (970) 325-4235 or email  
As always, we can reserve your tickets for you in advance and have them waiting for you at the door (even if you don't stay with us!).
About this Presentation:  In November 2010 Kelvin joined Chris Bonington in London to help present a program commemorating the 40th anniversary of the climbing of Annapurna. Also part of the program was the leader of the British Army expedition which was climbing the mountain from the north side at the same time (and for which Kelvin provided joint communications). The event included historic references and slides from the legendary Maurice Herzog who led the French Annapurna expedition (north side) in 1950 and became the first team to conquer an 8,000 meter peak.  This prestigious event was sponsored by the British Alpine Club and Mount Everest Foundation and held at the Royal Geographical Society.   

Diamond W Wranglers Treat Ouray and Southwest Colorado to Great Music


Great Music in Ouray & Montrose this September

Throughout the year, Ouray Colorado plays host to many wonderful musical performances.  This year is no different and people vacationing in southwest Colorado can experience Cowboy Music at its finest in September.  

Diamond W Wranglers entertain in ourayThe Diamond W Wranglers are returning to Ouray & Montrose September 9, 10, & 11, 2011 for performances of “Cowboy Mountain High”.  Come along for the ride!  You’ll clap your hands, stomp your feet, sing along and laugh all through the performance, we promise!

The music they will be performing is a mixture of traditional Western music that pays homage to several Western greats along with their New West originals like “Deep In the Saddle” and “Seven Nights”.   You’ll also enjoy the group’s rendition of several of John Denver’s popular songs.  “Deep in the Saddle”, written by the group’s arranger Jim Farrell, was the title song of the album that received the Will Rogers Award for “Western Music Album of the Year” from the Academy of Western Artists in 2008.  The Diamond W Wranglers were acknowledged in 2010 by Western Way Magazine for the release of their CD “The Old and the New” as “continuing to establish their standing as some of the most accomplished creators of music on the planet”. 

The Wranglers led a troupe of Western entertainers to Carnegie Hall in New York City twice to sell-out crowds.  They were the first musicians from the western hemisphere to perform cowboy music in China as well as the first musicians to have a concert ON the Great Wall of China.   They performed recently at the Country Music Hall of Fame in Nashville, the Roy Rogers-Dale Evans Theater in Branson, and at several shows in Germany and throughout the western U.S.


Friday, September 9, 2011: – “Cowboy Mountain High” at the Montrose Pavilion, 7:30 PM - Tickets $20     With a special guest appearance by Paul Nystrom

Saturday, September 10, 2011: – Ouray Elks Lodge #492 Western Style BBQ (Elks benefit)-5:30 PM at the lodge.  Tickets -$20

Elks Grillmaster Danny Wesseling will feature Smoked Beef Brisket, Pork, Chicken and Sausage with baked potato, corn-on-the-cob, BBQ beans, Caesar salad, cornbread and delicious peach cobbler.

Saturday, September 10, 2011: “Cowboy Mountain High” follows the BBQ at The Wright Opera House, Ouray, 7:30 PM. Tickets - $20   With a special guest appearance by Alice Billings

Sunday, September 11, 2011: –  Dinner show at the Historic Western Hotel , Ouray, 6PM, Tickets - $50 

Featuring Gourmet Chef Rosemarie’s presentation:

  • Wild mushroom soup OR Pumpkin Bisque; Mixed greens, cucumbers, tomatoes with basil vinaigrette
  • Stuffed Pork Tenderloin Wellington with garlic mashed potatoes and roasted vegetables OR  Baked Salmon with Beurre Blanc Sauce with a wild rice medley and roasted vegetables
  • Dutch apple pie, triple chocolate cheesecake OR baked pears in red wine sauce

Following dinner is a special performance by the Diamond W Wranglers (Seating limited to 60) 

Call or email now for advanced ticket purchase and reservations.   John or Virginia Ast – 970-325-7255/970-901-8515; 

Mountain Pass Driving Tips When Driving to Ouray


driving near ouray coloradoHow to Drive in the Mountains in Colorado

Ouray, Colorado is a tiny, picturesque Victorian village nestled into a valley surrounded by rugged alpine peaks rising from the very edges of the town.  Getting to Ouray is most of the fun and there are many scenic drives in the area but if you haven't driven in the mountains before, here are some tips to help you enjoy the alpine driving experience.

Driving Uphill:

  1. Monitor your temperature gauge in the vehicle to make sure you don't overheat
  2. Turn off your A/C and roll down the windows when on the steep roads on warm days
  3. Be alert and anticipate the movement of other traffic around you based on the other vehicles speed.

When going up, the car engine is very taxed, especially if you are trying to maintain the speed limit of 65 miles per hour.  If you have a 4 cylinder engine in your car, you will probably need to be in the right lane and you won't be going the speed limit as the car cannot go that fast on those grades.  If you have A/C and it is summer, you may want to turn it off to give your car more power.  Going up, it is always good to watch the temperature gauge since some very hot days can make it harder to cool the engine.  If you have a 6 cylinder car or a V8, then, you will be able to go drive your vehicle at or near the speed limit going uphill. I still suggest you monitor the temperature gauge. If you are towing ANYTHING, then it is even harder on the vehicle.  Stay right and go slow. Big semi trucks are a bit of an impediment as they only go 20 miles an hour on those grades when full so be sure to look ahead of you and be alert.

Driving Downhill:

  1. Downshift rather than use your brakes
  2. Don't go faster going down than you can going up
  3. Keep plenty of distance between your vehicle and the vehicle in front of you

When going down a hill, the biggest concern is riding the brakes. If you keep your foot on the brake the whole time, the brakes get hot and will lose some ability to work.  Plan to downshift to help control your speed.  Automatics typically have Low 2 and Low 1 gears.  Of course you can use your brakes, just don't use them all the time.  If you start to smell them, it is wise to pull over and let them cool off if you have a long way to go.  Be careful of dropping into first gear as that is hard on transmissions if you are going too fast.  Let the weight of the car get you down; don't use the gas pedal very much on the steeps.  Keep plenty of distance in front of you and the next car and be aware. Take your time. You will be fine.

Whether or not you are driving on paved roads or dirt roads, the concepts are the same but the traction of the tires is not.  Drive even slower on dirt roads and be mindful of the weather conditions around you.  Roads that seem dry and safe can quickly become slippery when wet and storms can sneak up on you.

Here are some additional tips on how to enjoy a fun filled vacation in Colorado safely


Imogene Basin Near Ouray Colorado Wildflower Update 2011


Colorado Wildflower Update 2011: Imogene Basin in Southwest Colorado Near Ouray

August 3, 2011

The wildflowers in the basin are filled with buds and there are so many different varieties covering the hillsides.  Pretty flowers grace the lower area near the Mayflower Mine above the turn off thru the Camp Bird Mine.

As you go higher into the basin, there are more and more flowers, albeit a bit shorter, but nonetheless abundant.

Here are some pictures from today:


reflections near imogene ouray


reflections near imogene


jeeping imogene pass

imogene basin 080311

imogene basin 080311 1

imogene basin near ouray co

For more information on wildflower trails and sightings, please see the following links:

Last Dollar Road

Yankee Boy Basin Near Ouray Colorado











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