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VINTAGRAPH • WPA • WWII • SPANGLES: THE CONTINENTAL CIRCUS

Hip, Hip Ouray: 1939

Hip, Hip Ouray: 1939

October 1939. "Ouray, Colorado, center of a gold mining region and developing tourist center." Nowadays a sort of alt-Aspen without the skiing. Photo by Arthur Rothstein for the Farm Security Administration. View full size.

 

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Location

Using Google Maps and the shape of the mountains as a guide, my best guess is that this was taken from the Million Dollar highway or the hills to the south, looking north up Main Street. This is the best view I could get:

https://tinyurl.com/yaumgcb2

For Great Skiing

Only about 10 miles as the crow flies here to Telluride. But from my time living on the Western Slope? Trust me, in the winter it can be a two hour drive. Incidentally, in the photo the slight jog of the road down on the bottom to the left starts the heavily switchbacked trek up the Million Dollar Highway, one of the true engineering marvels of the West, and still in the right conditions one wild, white knuckle ride and without many guardrails.

Just been curious!

Dave, I've been wondering, do you get ANY sleep of substance? Why, I ask! Because I see you staying up nights thinking of all the quirky, clever, "right-on" titles you're always using!

Kudos! Wish I could think of a clever, quippy something to say here, but I am at a loss!

[Kudos and coffee are what keep us going! - Dave]

Icebox

One of my favorite towns on the continent! The little box canyon occupied by the town of Ouray is aligned north and south, thereby affording very few hours of direct sunlight - especially in winter. That fact, combined with the little burg's 7,800 ft altitude, makes Ouray a really frosty place!

Ice climbing competitions are held annually (January 18-21, 2018 http://ourayicepark.com/ouray-ice-festival/). After an icy afternoon watching climbers scale frozen, piped-in waterfalls, celebrants can warm up in one of the county's several hot springs. The city just refurbished the municipal pool/hot spring and several hotels have private soakers.

One establishment has a thermal spring in a grotto/cave blasted out of the rock foundation. The sulphur-scented trickle heats the "Vapor Cave" up to about 108 degrees.

That'll thaw your frosty bits.

Goober Pea

Room for Rent?

I would ALMOST be willing to bet that I rented a room in the house at lower left for a night while hitchhiking through. That was the 70s! Nothing available to rent in town, but I got the skinny on private people who rented. Nice lady allowed me to stay for a ridiculously low price.

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