Rx From The BootDoctors: "On The Road To Telluride"
“On the Road to Telluride,” by John Clary Davies was featured in Power Magazine. The story is one more installment in an ongoing series of curations from BootDoctors’ marketing guru, Penelope Gleason: “Rx from the BootDoctors.”
“What could be better than a road trip with your dog to Telluride to ski? Mmmm. Hooking up with helisking with Helitrax on your new Wagner Custom Skis on untracked powder? Read the dream, then visit and live it!,” said Penelope.
And this just in from Telski.
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Then read on for motivation. Though the ski season is coming to a close, Telluride is Telluride, no matter the season or reason.
I drive a 2000 Subaru with 241,842 miles on it. Her name is Lola America. She doesn’t see as much of the country as she used to. While her ailments are many, she’s still got it. Last week, with an outstanding invitation to Telluride waiting, I loaded three pairs of skis, two pairs of boots, a cooler, a backpack, a basket full of gear, road sodas, cheese, and a brown and white terrier mutt named Topaz into the car.
From Santa Fe, we took the hot route. A dusty car, a dusty dog, a dusty road, and my dusty head all converged on highway 550, which follows arroyos, plateaus, sagebrush, and places where men get lost and are never found again. Somewhere in the middle of the high desert, we narrowly avoided a tumbleweed the size of one of those inflatable balls well-meaning folks sometimes use as office chairs.
We drove through Zia Pueblo, the town of Cuba, the Apache Nugget Casino…
The temperature pushed 80 while the elevation remained a steady 7,000. We listened to Bob Dylan’s “Freewheelin.” Whenever I rolled the windows down, Topaz sat up and pointed her mouth, agape, toward the window, gobbling up the fresh air. We drove through Zia Pueblo, the town of Cuba, the Apache Nugget Casino, and Chaco Culture, home to thousands of ancestral Pueblo people around the turn of the first century. We drove past mega churches in the middle of nowhere, coal industry, the Continental Divide, and a lot of Subways.
Around Farmington, New Mexico, we hit the 170 to go north. The dirt turned from yellow to red. The trees got taller. Hearty pinyons to tall pines. Across the Colorado border, everything at once felt more familiar. The homes more traditionally American—big and uniform. The hills got larger, too, and greener. We even saw signs of water. Topaz stopped panting and instead sat staring serenely out the back window.
We hit snowline somewhere above Dolores. By Rico, at 8,825 feet, we saw backcountry lines and skiers drinking beers and smoking cigarettes outside the lone bar in town. I thought seriously about stopping for a pint, but we had far higher yet to drive. The mountains seemed to go straight up. I craned my neck to see their peaks and kept Lola pointed toward our slow ascent.
Some 350 miles from Santa Fe, I coasted into Telluride. Tucked away in a small basin in the middle of the San Juans, it felt like I had arrived at the ski town idyll. Alpenglow lit up the dramatic cliffs and peaks above where this road ended. The haven had an energy about it. The streets were lined with happy drunk hippy mountain people and Texan tourists on Spring Break. I had been there all of 20 minutes and I already felt like Telluride had me questioning all of my major life choices. Like a good cult, I could see how this utopia sucks you in. Touristy? Trendy? Completely unaffordable? Yeah, yeah, yeah. All of those things, for sure. But damn, those mountains…
I stayed at the Lumiere. The place is definitely not for people in my income bracket, but maybe you aren’t in my income bracket. Regardless, the room was large and comfortable and the staff treated both me and Topaz as if we were royalty. The Lumiere is in the Mountain Village, a very Intrawesty cluster of hotels, restaurants, bars, a plaza, an ice rink, and tourists with the most perfectly bred Labradors I’ve ever seen. All of the hotels (and mansions) here have as simple access to the chairlifts as you could ask for.
In all, it looked like Telluride had inbounds and backcountry skiing that was probably the steepest, rowdiest, and biggest in the country.
They are also close to the commuter gondola. Once one arrives in Telluride, there is no reason to ever get in a car…
More about Rx from the BootDoctors:
When the world weighs too heavy on her shoulders, The BootDoctors’ marketing whiz, Penelope Gleason, lightens her load by tuning out the headlines and turning up the volume on lighter, brighter info – such as the story above. “Rx from the BootDoctor,” is all about news to amuse – and use.
Telluride’s The BootDoctors has a well-deserved rep for community service; consider curations such as this one part of that mix.
(And for more, go to – and Like – Bootdoctors’ Facebook page.)
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