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A Day in Ouray

March 17, 2014

Hi guys! I’ve missed you!  I’ve spent the last 6 weeks shuttling back and forth between Vail and Phoenix for work, which has been both lovely and exhausting.  I’m excited to tell you about my adventures in sunny Arizona, but first I’d like to turn the clock way back to the fantastic 24 hours I spent in the small mountain town of Ouray, Colorado.

Ouray

This quaint town is nestled in a narrow canyon near Telluride.  Once a mining town, Ouray currently thrives on adventure-related tourism.  Ice climbers flock to Ouray for its world-famous climbing, while it makes a great summer home base for hikers and mountain bikers.  (Remember my hike here this summer? So pretty!)  It’s also a great place for relaxation, which is precisely why we stopped there following a couple of active days in Telluride.  We stayed in an adorable B&B, The China Clipper Inn.

China Clipper Inn

China Clipper Inn

Our room was no-frills but very comfortable and homey.

China Clipper Inn

And we loved the extra touches like fluffy bathrobes and towels to use at the nearby hot springs or the hot tub right outside of our door.  The rest of the house was comfortable and beautifully done, and we enjoyed lounging by the fire in the living room.

China Clipper Inn

But where the China Clipper really shone was the delicious breakfast.  The setting was gorgeous.  We got to choose between the richly appointed dining room and a sunny nook with mountain views.  I’m sure you can guess which we went for.

China Clipper Inn

Get a better look at that view.

China Clipper Inn

Our chef and host got us started with fresh fruit, coffee and a selection of juices, yogurt and granola while he worked on the main event.

China Clipper Inn breakfastI was particularly touched to see gluten-free granola added to the spread after I’d mentioned that I was gluten sensitive.  It’s the little things!

IMG_2874

Then, he brought out a couple of plates of eggs benedict with roasted asparagus.  I polished off every delicious bite.

Eggs Bene

We walked off a little bit of our breakfast by strolling over to the main street lined with shops.  This town, nicknamed “The Switzerland of America,” is just the cutest.

Ouray

We had a blast popping into the various stores that piqued our interest.  A few of my favorites were the book store, where we each grabbed a new novel.  I could have spent hours browsing the Colorado section.

Ouray book store

Then we stumbled into a room chock-full of interesting rocks, geodes, and knickknacks.  I think it might have been called the Gator Emporium but I’m not sure.

Ouray shopping

Next we stopped into an excellent kitchen store full of gadgets, local foods and other foodie items.

Ouray kitchen store

I could have wandered this street all day.

Ouray

Ouray Brewery

See that sign above the brewery for the Wiesbaden Motel?  The Wiesbaden is a small hotel that is also home to its own private hot springs and vapor caves.  The natural hot springs in Ouray are known for the healing properties of their waters.  And I don’t know about all that, but the hot waters at the Wiesbaden sure were relaxing!  The vapor caves, however, mostly just freaked me out.  They are underground caves that water and vapors from the underground hot springs fill up like a steam room with a layer of water on the ground.  As someone who gets claustrophobic in steam rooms, I only lasted about 5 minutes in the vapor caves before I wanted out.  Sorry, I didn’t take photos in the hot springs or vapor caves to avoid looking like a creeper.

After grabbing a truffle (her) and some ice cream (him) at one of the local ice cream shops, we hit the road for the 4-hour drive home.  We stopped on the way at one more hot spring, a more natural springs that’s apparently popular with locals in the area.  I promised a friend I wouldn’t publish the name to keep this hidden gem hidden – if you’re interested, shoot me an email!

Ouray

If you’ve never been through this charming part of Colorado, I highly recommend it!  I’ll be back soon with some Arizona sunshine for you – have a great Monday!

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