Friends & Goings On – Ridgway, CO

Stunning Lower Blue Lakes in the Mt. Sneffels Wilderness

It’s been a week of friends and goings on here in SW Colorado. The small town of Ridgway sits at ~7,000 feet just west of the craggy peaks of Mt Sneffels Wilderness. Here “America’s Switzerland” drops off rapidly towards Utah’s dry desert with Ridgway as a kind of cross-over between the two -> It’s not quite mountain, not quite desert but a mix of high juniper and rolling valleys with views of beauty.

We came here to explore the Million Dollar Highway, romp around in the oh-so-tourist towns and…as it turns out…meet some friends. All of it totally worked out.

Years ago when I was young and green and first started working my very first boss, David eased me into the whole crazy semiconductor business. Back then he had an RV, not that I had the faintest idea what that was. Well, we stayed in touch and years later he’s a fulltimer with a side-line of rocking out some music. We just happened to hook up as he was giving an impromptu concert in Montrose. How funky is that?

David “Rusty” Ford rocks out some country music

That wasn’t the end of our social extravaganza. Sam, one of my blog readers just happened to be staying at Ridgway the same week as us. He came over with his lovely wife Jennifer and a bottle of wine, which we considered more than mighty friendly of him. We had a good chat while he gave us a ton of tips on the area. Cheers, Sam!

As for Ridgeway, it’s a cool little spot. The town itself is more laid back than touristy Ouray and a bit more casual than funky Silverton. On one side the mountains call to hiking, jeeping and wilderness, while on the other Ridgway State Park offers boating and camping. The whole area is, in fact a bit of a jeeper’s paradise with no end of 4×4 roads to get lost in the outdoors. We’ve had a load of fun exploring the area and doing some classic hikes (highly recommend Lower Blue Lakes!). It’s more crowded than our previous location, but it’s got a charm all its own that worth the trip. And you definitely can’t beat the company :)

The small railroad museum in downtown Ridgway
View from the road at Ridgway State Park. The Mt.Sneffels Wilderness is peeking out in the back.

Want to see “Rusty” Play? David’s got a full winter schedule starting Nov 4th at Trivetti’s Restaurant in Green Valley, AZ. He’ll be playing every Friday and most Sundays. Be sure to make reservations for when either WhetStone or “Rusty” Ford are playing. If you’re in the area check him out, and let him know Nina say’s “hi”.

Hiking the gorgeous Lower Blue Lakes Trail
The funky old fire-truck in downtown Ridgway
Me and “Rusty” Ford
Wildflowers galore in the mountains
Looking into the valley from Mt Sneffels Wilderness
Polly gets wet at Ridgway State Park
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We LOooVE Comments, So Please Do

  1. says

    Awww we love it there! Did you guys happen to stop in Lake City by any chance? We’ll be there working in mid-August. If you’re still around, let’s meet up!

    If you’re on your way out, be sure to stop at Black Canyon of the Gunnison NP. Totally worth it.

    • libertatemamo says

      You know we didn’t get to that side. It looks totally gorgeous and definitely gotta check it out someday. We’ll be gone by mid-Aug unfortunately…around Boise,ID about that time. BUT…we’re totally planning to come back to CO next year and perhaps explore the Northern section in which case we would LOVE to look you up at your summer digs!

  2. says

    Oh, we visited Ridgeway so long ago… I loved seeing your photos and reawakening the memory. The wildflowers look beautiful this year. I wonder how many places are called “the Switzerland of America”??? Joseph, OR, seems proud of that descriptor, too.

  3. Jeff says

    Just a quick note. While in Idaho, I’ve a great stop for you. Craters of the Moon National Monument is a must see. The closest town is Arco, ID which is the first town to have gotten its electricity from a nuk power plant. This plant is no longer active but tours are offered daily.

    • libertatemamo says

      I’ve had a few recommendations on Craters of the Moon so it’s definitely going on our list.
      Cheers for the tip!

  4. says

    Never heard of this area. Looks absolutely lovely. I am just so amazed at seeing such beautiful wildflowers. God sure does give us a gorgeous place to live!

  5. says

    We’ll be sure to stop in for a “hello!” to Rusty when we get back to SE Arizona. The DeAnza RV Resort south of Green Valley is a nice RV rally park that we stayed in last April with the Benson Escapees group.

    • libertatemamo says

      It was very cool! It’s been a good 15 years (or maybe even more) since I last saw him,
      so it was really fun to catch up again.


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