Back to Sea Level

Family vacation 2023 in Telluride, Colorado, is in the rear view mirror. We are back at home on the creek and the marsh is a beautiful shade of early summer green, but as usual, I can’t resist posting a few random photos of the week we just wrapped up. We’ve had some epic family trips over the years and this is up there with the best. Family vacay is a special tradition for us, but we have to give credit to a very wise woman for helping us see the importance of starting the tradition. My cousin’s mother-in-law, Mother Kunz of Erlenbach, Switzerland, told us that it’s best to give with warm hands instead of cold hands. That expression stuck with us. It was probably the best advice we have ever been given and we had the good sense to take it to heart. We’ve spent a princely sum over the years taking our family hither and yon, but we have received a king’s ransom as a reward.

Our first stop after we picked up the clan from the Montrose, CO airport was at the Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park. It’s not a busy park in the national park firmament, but it’s worthwhile to see when in the area. It’s incredible what water can do given a long span of time.

We rode the gondola down to Telluride from Mountain Village and back too many times to count. The boys chanted “slingshot” every time we left the station. It does kinda feel like you are being shot out of a sling, to be honest! What a wonderful way to get to town; no need to take the car and look for a place to park.

We took lots of hikes. Thankfully, the weather was perfect.

We drove to Ouray one day and went to see Box Cañon. It reminded us of seeing an underground waterfall in Switzerland’s Lauterbrunnen Valley many years ago. Box Cañon is definitely worth your time if you are ever in Ouray, Colorado.

Little boys who don’t see much snow didn’t care if the white stuff was more like ice.

We went out late one night hoping to get a good look at the night sky from the San Sophia gondola station. It wasn’t dark enough, but still fun to ride the gondola at night.

We packed a picnic supper and spent Wednesday evening at Mountain Village’s Sunset Music Series concert featuring a band from Seattle called Smokey Brights. This place sure reminds everyone of Switzerland!

Of the three boys, this little fellow is the most avid music fan.

The cliff dwellings of Mesa Verde National Park are fascinating no matter how many times you see them.

Popcorn Alley in Telluride was the “red light” district many years ago. This colorful area of town got its name because the doors opened and closed so often that it sounded like corn popping.

Colorado’s state flower, the Colorado Blue Columbine, is such a beautiful flower. It’s also known as the Rocky Mountain Columbine. There are several laws protecting this flower from uprooting and even picking more than 25 each day.


  1. Pam Morgan on June 28, 2023 at 3:49 pm

    Do you know how old the cliff dwelling are? So happy the weather was wonderful for your trip!

    • Ruth Anne Lawson on June 28, 2023 at 4:05 pm

      The area was inhabited as far back as 7500 BC, but I don’t think they started building the pueblos until around 650. The cliff dwellings came later. Very cool to see. Harvey was concerned about how they obtained food.

  2. Melinda Young on June 28, 2023 at 3:50 pm

    Loved the blog and pictures.

    • Ruth Anne Lawson on June 28, 2023 at 4:05 pm


  3. Sarah Guida on June 28, 2023 at 4:28 pm

    What a perfect family vacation! Loved all the pictures and explanation of what you saw.

  4. Ruth Anne Lawson on June 28, 2023 at 4:32 pm

    If you haven’t been to Telluride, you really must go!

  5. Judy on June 28, 2023 at 9:46 pm

    Loved your post!

    • Ruth Anne Lawson on June 29, 2023 at 5:36 am

      Thanks! Send pictures of your adventures out there.

  6. Kathleen Linn on June 29, 2023 at 8:11 am

    I have never been to that part of our country. Thank you for bringing it to me. It is just beautiful. What was your weather temp?

  7. Ruth Anne Lawson on June 29, 2023 at 9:26 am

    The weather was absolutely perfect – daytime highs in the 70s. It got a little cooler at night. You should go out for a long weekend!

  8. Gail Delaney on July 17, 2023 at 2:54 pm

    So enjoy your writings and photos! Wanted to see what y’all have been up to- making memories and new adventures!!

  9. Ruth Anne Lawson on July 17, 2023 at 5:45 pm

    Thanks for reading! Let’s meet for Lobster Night at the Palmetto Club next Friday, OK?

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