Ouray, Colorado

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Left Ouray this morning as I’m heading back to the northcoast. Ouray is a little town about ten miles into the San Juan Mountains on the northside. Though surrounded by towering mountains, Ouray does not require driving over a 10,000 foot pass to reach it (unless you come from Silverton to the south), but constitutes a quick and easy drive straight up a deep, narrow canyon that opens up to the foothills surrounding the northern edge of the San Juans. At one time, Ouray was a mining town; but nowadays, it appears to be largely a tourist trap. It’s a great summer start-up point for jeep trips into the San Juans.

One thing I did notice about Ouray: a great many properties, both commercial and residential, were up for sale. The recession is hitting this town hard. Prices for houses are still, as far as I could gather, much higher here than in most of the rest of the country. It is a beautiful place to live; and it does live up to its name of “Switzerland of America.”

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