One of my very earliest childhood memories is standing with my two brothers by the Big Thompson River and watching a mitten that one of us had dropped float away in the fast moving current. I must have been four years old at the time. We were staying in cabins that my grandfather’s brother had at his mink ranch in the Big Thompson Canyon at Sleepy Hollow. The point of that story is that I’ve been traveling to Colorado for as long as I can remember – even lived there for six months, once upon a time, for a contract job I had near Denver. And in six decades of visiting this beautiful state I had never been to Telluride. Karen and I made our first visit there last week and discovered what we’d been missing. The first thing we came upon was the farmers market so we found a place to park and headed over. We soon realized what a dog-friendly town this is. If Jake and Peggy had better social skills we could have brought them and taken them anywhere. After the purchase of a dozen farm-fresh, non-GMO, cage-free eggs and taking in the full length of the market we headed back to the car. A sign of our good fortune was that we had parked right across the street from Smugglers Brew Pub. Since it was lunchtime and we had time on the meter we crossed the street and went inside. After tasting a couple of samples we both decided on the Road Rash Red and for lunch Karen had the grilled romaine chicken Caesar salad and I chose the Chic-Filet sandwich. Both the beer and the food were quite good.
Telluride has a free gondola that links it to the town of Mountain Village with a stop in between at Station San Sophia up at 10,500 feet elevation. We took the ride up to the top and wandered around for awhile enjoying the magnificent views. We especially like the view of the Telluride airport from up there. After we returned to the car we drove around town for a bit, spotted a couple of VW buses and picked out one or two places we could live. Since there was one other brewery in town we made that our last stop. Due to their type of license Telluride Brewing is a stand-up-only affair but that was no problem since we couldn’t stay long. Karen had the Smoke Shack Porter and I had the Bridal Veil Rye Pale Ale. While there we met semi-locals, Rob and Ann. We had the best time talking with them and that helped make our first visit to Telluride a great one.