June 29-July 3, 2006
We returned to Telluride for four more nights in Shangri-La (some locals told me it's Shangri-La; they're probably right).
From the ever-suspect Wikipedia,
Shangri-La is a fictional place described in the 1933 novel Lost Horizon by British writer James Hilton. In the book, "Shangri-La" is a mystical, harmonious valley, gently guided from a lamasery, enclosed in the western end of the Himalaya. Shangri-La has become synonymous with any earthly paradise but particularly a mythical Himalayan utopia - a permanently happy land, isolated from the outside world. The word also evokes the imagery of exoticism of the Orient. The story of Shangri-La is based on the concept of Shambhala, a mystical city in Tibetan Buddhist tradition.
That explains the Tibetan prayer flags. It may also explain the ratio of people:dogs (about 3:1). Telluride is ringed by mountains on three sides, a river runs along the length of time, and there's just one road, the road that leads out of Shangri-La.
Some days started out clear and sunny, and then the mountain clouds and threat of thunderstorms and rain moved in by late morning. We were sprinkled on during the day a couple times, but nothing much. One night, though, it poured all night, to the great relief of people who live in the area, as they'd been living through a drought, and Fourth of July fireworks were coming up, with consequent threat of fire. I think the ban on fireworks may have been lifted due to the rain.
The Forest Service sign reads:
" 'The nation behaves well when it treats the natural resources as assets, which it must turn over to the next generation increased and not impaired in value.' -- Theodore Roosevelt, 1958-1919, 26th President of the United States, 1901-1909
The mountains in front of you were first set aside by the Secretary of Agriculture in 1932 as the Wilson Mountains Primitive Area. In 1980, Congress reaffirmed this protection by establishing the 41,196-acre Lizard Head Wildnerness through the passage of the Colorado Wildnerness Act.
Lizard Head Wilderness offers outstanding opportunities for solitude as well as access to three "fourteeners" - Wilson Peak (14,017"), El Diente (14,159") and Mount Wilson (14,246"). The area is open to foot and horse travel, but is closed to all motorized or mechanized means of travel."
' Where the earth and its community of life are untrammeled by man, where man himself is a visitor who does not remain.' -- Wilderness Act, September 1964