Friday, September 2, 2022
42 degrees at 6:00, high of 90.
First we went to a Durango fruit and vegetable stand and bought a few things. All the locals seemed to be stopping by. Roaster green chilis are in season.
The Million Dollar Highway is the section of the San Juan Skyway from Silverton to Ouray. Several reasons for the name are 1. The cost to build it. 2. The amount of gold and silver in the fill dirt and gravel. 3. The breath-taking views.
It is listed on Dangerous Roads website (https://www.dangerousroads.org/north-america/usa/635-million-dollar-highway-usa.html). It is a narrow, mountain road at high elevations with 1,000 foot drop offs with no guardrails. There are also some very tight turns. “The road climbs up to 3 very high mountain passes. Coal Bank Pass (10,640 ft /3,240 m); Molas Pass (10,970 ft /3,340 m) and Red Mountain Pass (11,018 ft /3,358 m). The stretch between Silverton and Ouray, the part everyone goes on about, is only 25 miles in length but takes about 42 minutes. Large RVs travel in both directions often.”
We thought about driving the San Juan Skyway loop, but it is 255 miles, and we have been to the southwestern part of the loop, so we went to Ouray and back. We drove through Silverton again, not wanting to miss anything.
On the way back to Durango, we stopped at Pinkerton Spring, right next to the road. It’s pretty cool with hot mineral water percolating from the ground, leaving its mineral deposits all the way down the mountain. A better chance to get in a hot spring was in Ouray, which directs hot, clear spring water into and out of a swimming pool. I’m sure that would be quite nice in November.
Next up was Honeyville, where they have all things honey, and ship all over the country. We bought some honey-flavored bourbon which was good, and of course some honey and some cinnamon-flavored honey.