Wanderlust- that sense of adventure that lives in many as a burning ember awaiting to be ignited. For those who have this condition, nothing satisfies more than a trip to Southwest Colorado and the San Juan Mountain range. Elite Land Cruisers founder and owner, Todd Gatewood, shares the trip with his family and others each year. "It never gets old, I could go every year and it is familiar, yet different. It recharges the soul and is a great respite from the hot Texas Temperatures."
When you combine classic old west mining towns like Silverton- with it’s narrow gauge Coal powered steam locomotive with the Jet-setting “Mini- Aspen” of Telluride and then ice it over with the Switzerland of America town of Ouray, CO, you have a recipe for adventure.
The area around Telluride, Ouray and Silverton is rich with many miles of old Silver Mining trails that go from the valleys to the peaks of the mountain range serving up majestic views, clean air and a refreshing cool temperatures. These trails are plowed by the counties early in the summer to open the area for those seeking the beauty that only this area can serve up.
The food scene in Telluride includes the best Pizza on the Planet- don’t take our word for it, they have won the World Pizza competition several times. Their Detroit style pizza is something on it’s own to drive 18 hours for (many of us do). It has more accolades and positive press than most many Michelin rated restaurants. Just order the 313 and put the menu down. Trust me.
If you are coming in from the south, spend a day in Durango and be sure and visit the shops along the main drag and the Historic Strater Hotel. Enjoy stepping back in time at the bar and if you can, spend a night at the hotel. Also, dont miss the opportunity to take a ride back in time with the Durango Silverton Narrow Gauge Train ride from Durango to Silverton. You can purchase tickets one way and take a bus either to Silverton or back to Durango.
If your have not been, plan your trip soon. I can tell you this area is a rich playground for those who need to recharge, breath the mountain air, and fill that void inside they call wanderlust.
Pictures by Ken Reiten, Story by Todd Gatewood