Suzie and I were on our honeymoon in November of 1976 in our ‘72 Fiat 128. Why we decided to go to Telluride, Colorado, I have no idea as neither of us are or were skiers. But we share the curiosity of finding out what’s on the other side of the mountain, so we spent a night in Telluride.
At that time Telluride was, in a sense, undiscovered. That is, relative to Aspen. Today it probably can boast of an equivalent number of APSM (Assholes Per Square Meter) as Aspen. But then, early morning life began with good ole boys in their 2 and 4wd Ford pickemups, an idle Dodge, a CJ, and a Montego.
Hardly a Cartier-Bresson decisive moment, but none the less, an interesting slice in time.
Those are REAL pickups, not Cowboy Cadillacs!
I just knew that when I clicked the link, someone would have mentioned that very thing. Nice to see that I was right.
Take the mountains out of the background, sprinkle in some snow, and this could be a current photograph from the small towns here in far north Minnesota.
That hotel looks as back-to-basics as those trucks were. Certainly no mints on the pillows there. Beef Jerky maybe?
No, beef stew.
Makes me wonder: where’s the next big, beautiful place with a low APSM index?? Actually I wonder that regularly.
Your answer for the next big, beautiful place with a low ASPM index is Iron Mountain, MI. End of story.
Before the Californication.
We visited Telluride in 1981 (in a thrashy rental Escort), just shortly after it had been discovered. It largely looked like this still, but there were clear signs of early gentrification in process. It was inevitable, as it is in a spectacular location.
Dad and I spent several hours around Telluride two years ago. I found it much nicer than Aspen; Aspen benefits highly from being a freeway-drive from Denver. Telluride is a hardier drive from just about anywhere.
Looking through my pictures I found a shot in front of the same building (Sheridan Hotel), with a handful of cars to boot:
That’s $^&%ing stunning.
It really is. Even better in person, of course. It seems very Alpine, at least from what I’ve gleaned watching Top Gear. Kind of in a bowl of mountains, with only one way in and out, although there is a 4×4 route up through the mines.
Here’s another shot looking back:
Here’s some sprawl seen from the ski-lift:
I first arrived in Colorado in late 2008 and I would have loved to have seen it in the 1970s and 1980s before the Californication became more widespread. At least with Californication there comes more acceptance of people’s differences (homosexuality, marijuana, biracial relationships, etc) that I do not usually see in places like Wyoming and Montana. If only there was a nice balance between “podunk country living” and Californication since guns and legalized prostitution are nice (since this is the land of the free home of the brave) and so is public transportation and being liberal minded.
Colorado outside the Front Range Corridor is even more beautiful with places like Leadville, Idaho Springs, and the High Plains West of Kansas.
I’ve always been a fan of Leadville. Getting a good night’s sleep at that altitude can be a bit challenging though.
Never thought of that. Going to assume the lack of oxygen which leaves folks short of breath makes it hard to get a nice night’s rest. The highest elevation I have ever slept at is 7-8K feet.
My family often vacationed in Colorado, and we discovered that even a thousand feet or two makes a substantial difference in sleeping. We stayed near Leadville a couple of times, and our sleep was always very light; later we moved vacations to Buena Vista, a bit to the south and lower down, and the difference was very substantial. Obviously, the locals get used to it.
Great photo! Here’s another shot from wikipedia, almost the same spot from 1979 with some more vintage iron.
Very nice ! .
I am sorry to hear Colorado isn’t still the wonderful blue collar place it was when I passed through many times in the 60’s , 70’s and 80’s .
All the great places in the West have gone down the same road. Sun Valley, Jackson Hole, Crested Butte, Santa Fe, Taos, etc. Telluride was an awesome place when I first went there. Took a ski trip one winter to Keystone, Wolf Creek Pass, Crested Butte, then Telluride and drove up to Bend, OR. I first went to Bend in 1977 and the population was only 15,000. Now it is close to 75,000…completely Californicated, expensive but still beautiful. My first home there was on a 1/4 acre lot, now the contractors build homes on postage stamp lots. I finished college at the Univ. of Oregon in Eugene and moved to Santa Fe in ’81….too late…real estate prices through the roof. Moved back to Bend in ’85. What can you do? People love to travel and when they see a great place, many of them go back home, pick up their belongings and move. Bend is full of well educated people doing manual labor to survive.
PS. I love how Edward Abbey described Telluride in his book THE JOURNEY HOME. If you haven’t read it, it is a great read just like all his other books. I think I have read DESERT SOLITAIRE 4 times.