Wednesday, August 19, 2020

A Million Dollar Drive

The drive between Ouray and Silverton is part of the Million Dollar Highway.  It was built in the 1880s by Otto Mears to ship out ore from the silver mines in the area.  It passes over Red Mountain Pass at 11,018 feet.  There are no guardrails or shoulders.  The 25 miles of that road take about 42 minutes of drive.  The trip is a real delight to passengers.  I was very glad John was driving and I was doing the looking and photographing.

You can clearly see in the next two photos timberline or the tree line.  There is an altitude where there is not enough oxygen for trees to live.  

This is the visual on our GPS (really directions from the Map app on our phones).  Notice the hairpin curves in the road, as well as the information that the next 18 miles will take 34 minutes to drive.

As you can see, there isn't a shoulder  on  the right side of the road to allow a disabled vehicle to pull off.

Here you can see the drop off on the right side, unprotected by a shoulder of guardrail.

Another reminder of the curving road ahead--15 miles per hour, please.

 We have been on this road, either one-way and two-way, 3 or 5 times in recent years.  We never tire of the beauty.

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