Sunday, August 30, 2015

Hooray for Ouray!

August 30, 2015

We had a very nice, fairly low-key day today in Ouray, CO. I slept until about 8:30. Joe said he woke up several times earlier, because he was having anxiety dreams as an aftermath of the flood of testosterone during his drive over those narrow switchbacks yesterday. So we took it easy in the morning. We put out our mat so Cassie wouldn’t have to lie on gravel. I ate my breakfast outside, and sat in the sun reading for a little while. Then we decided to take a walk and see Ouray. We are only about two blocks from the center of town—which is not very big to begin with!

We took Cassie with us and walked over the Uncompahgre River, which as I wrote yesterday is running directly through town and beneath our bedroom (it was lovely last night!) At the end of the bridge, we met a guy with two dogs, who told us that there was a dog park just one block around the corner. We made a note of that for later, and walked one more block to the main street. There are numerous benches all along the street (which is the same Route 550 that we followed all day yesterday), so whenever I found a store to browse in, Joe and Cassie sat down and people-watched. We strolled slowly down two blocks, then back up the other side of the street for 4 blocks, then back across again, and that was the whole town! I had an ice cream, picked up a few small odds and ends, dropped a postcard in the Ouray post office box, and we bought some dog food, the one
A great example of how steep Ouray's streets are!
item we really needed.

Ouray is a little Victorian town known as the Switzerland of America. I have never been to Switzerland, but I assume it's because the mountains tower over the town. There are only a couple of blocks on each side of the main street, many of them are unpaved, and they are STEEP. All the cars are parked at steep angles, and the entire town runs downhill from south to north. The photo of the old Beaumont Hotel shows how steep the street really is. Our RV park, which is just along the river, is on the only horizontal street I have seen. The mountains rise just behind us here, only 3 blocks off the main drag.

It rained briefly twice during our walk, but we took shelter under awnings—the rain didn’t last more than about 5 minutes each time. However by the time we got back to Sam, I felt it was gray enough that taking a nap rather than pursuing any more sightseeing nearby was my entitlement! We had a light lunch, and then settled down with our  books.  Just then, I finally heard from Ben and Miriam. They were on their way to see us in Ouray, and expected to arrive at about 3:30. Perfect! I had time for a 45 minute nap. 

At about 3:40, Ben, Miriam, Naama (age 3) and Yael (age 1) arrived, along with their dogs Isis and Sampson. After hugs, we decided to walk to the dog park and let the dogs play. We all enjoyed ourselves and Naama and Joe enjoyed eating apples off the tree which was growing inside the dog park. Then we went back to the RV, encountering yet another short rainfall. We had intended to go to the hot springs pool, but by then it was getting a little late to take full advantage of the water slides and other kid-friendly features, which close down at around 5pm. So we sat and visited in the RV until it was dinnertime.  Sampson stayed in the car, but Ben tied Isis to our picnic table, and she and Cassie crawled under the camper during the occasional rain.

I had asked Ben how they managed with food, because they only eat kosher meat, and they have been away from home for a couple of weeks camping. They bring some meat from home for the first few days, but Ben mentioned that he “hadn’t had meat in a VERY long time”, so we made them an offer they couldn’t refuse—kosher hot dogs we’d brought along with us. We had two packages in our freezer. Joe took over at that point, cooking the hot dogs on the grill and putting a great salad together to go with them. I had a bag of corn chips, and altogether it was a feast! We ate inside, because it had sprinkled several times again during the afternoon and we were concerned that it would start raining during dinner. (I should say that we can’t put our awning out—for one thing there’s a tree in the way, and for another, the corner with the back end of the awning is suspended over the river!) Anyway, we managed to all fit in somehow, including Yael’s portable camping high chair. It was our first dinner party in Sam, and I think hope the kids enjoyed it as much as Joe and I did!

After dinner, we said goodbye--  but not for long. I looked at the map to Big Cimarron Campground, where they are currently camped, and we are going to join them there tomorrow and stay for one night. By then, it will be time for us to start meandering eastward again. After tonight, I am not sure when we will have an Internet connection again--there is absolutely none at the Big Cimarron Campground. But I'm sure we'll find something again soon after we leave here.

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