Another day in Telluride

I wake up happy, not being disturbed by anyone about camping here by the road. I drive to the town of Ouray, it’s very small and everything is still closed this early in the day. When I drive out of town there is a fork in the road. I can continue straight to get out of this area or take a left to go back to Telluride. I stop my car and think for a moment. I have a strong feeling to go back to Telluride and turn left. About an hour I drive back into the familiar streets of Telluride and park my car near the coffee place where I sit down to work and write a bit. This time I came prepared to the coffee place and brought my powerbank, since they don’t have power outlets and so I can sit here a bit longer than last time. Just like the previous time I was here, there are super friendly baristas and they have nice 80s music playing in the coffee place. After my first cappuccino the barista offers me a second one for free and I’m already happy that I decided to come back to this town. When I’m done with work and writing I walk to the bookstore next door and get myself a little souvenir of Telluride. The lady behind the counter gives me recommendations for the best hikes in the area. I look up one of the hikes she recommended and drive there. I have breakfast in my car and start hiking. It turns out to be one of the beautiful hikes I’ve been on. There is a bit of rock climbing, but not too challenging and there are many waterfalls. I’m meeting a friendly couple from Denver called Mike and Sarah and we hike up together for a while. When I tell them about home and how I live in a super small apartment which helps me to afford going on long journeys like this one, Mike replies with “You can’t get any bigger place than this!” I love that perspective. Of course I’d like to have a bigger house, but if I have to choose between a bigger house or these grandiose adventures, I choose the latter.
At the top of the hike is a big waterfall and after enjoying the view a bit I start the hike back down. I meet two friendly girls named Sarah and Tizzy. They proposed to each other last winter on this hike and are back now. The trail was covered with snow in the winter and the waterfall was frozen, they tell me. Very different than now. Today is Sarah’s birthday and she tells how she’s doing something special each year on her birthday, I like that. We stop at one of the waterfalls on the way down and get our feet wet. The water is super cold and refreshing and we stay there for a moment before we continue the hike. Before we know it, we’re back at the start of the hike. I’m so happy that I came back to Telluride and to meet so many friendly people on these hikes. As we say goodbye, they thank me for “being completely yourself”, what a beautiful thing to say. I drive back to town where I walk a bit through the main street. Then I decide to take the free gondola up the mountain, since I hadn’t done that before. I meet more friendly people at the gondola and they give me a tip for another beautiful hike just out of town. At the end of the gondola I go to the supermarket that’s located right next to the station and get myself a refreshing lemonade before I take the gondola back to town and walk to the other hike. This one is a lot easier. It’s still going up a lot, but the trail is wide and smooth. The hike goes mostly through the forest and there aren’t many people here, so it’s very relaxing. When I’m almost at the top I do feel that it’s my second day of the day as my legs are getting a bit tired. Fortunately, just as with the other hike, there is a huge waterfall at the top. A great reward for an uphill hike. I sit down on a big boulder to enjoy the view and to read and write a bit. The hike down is very easy and goes a lot faster. When I’m back in town I get myself a well-deserved beer in the saloon. I look at some of the camping apps that I have on my phone and see a dispersed campsite not too far out of town. Dispersed camping means there is a campsite out in nature, usually a national forest, where you can camp for free. I drive there via a gravel road and the further I get, the better the views. When I arrive at the campsite there are already several campers, but there is a perfect open spot left for my car. I park backwards so I have a beautiful view of the mountains from my bed. I enjoy the scenery until it gets darker and colder and then go inside to watch a movie. Before I go to sleep I look up to the sky and see so many stars. This is definitely the best campsite so far and way better than I could have expected. I am so glad that I decided to come back to Telluride, this was absolutely one of the best days of my vacation so far.

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