These are the stages we usually go through when finding our dream home:
1) Fantasy. This is the first and most intoxicating of the stages. We ask people on the street about the quality of schools, look at real estate ads, and think of all the townfolk we meet as future neighbors.
2) Reality. We like Chicago. We also like to travel and if we lived in heaven why would we ever even leave? Plus there is the question of family and friends; how would we keep the ones we have if we lived so far away? Do any of you guys want to move to Ouray with us? Seriously, mom, dad, mor mor, let us know if your interested.
3) Time to go. Like all parties there is always a time to leave (in our case we are just moving to another party down the road).
For Ouray we paid you the ultimate compliment; we stayed three nights which is one night longer than we stayed in RMNP as well as Breckenridge. Only Rustic Hideaway in beautify S. IL and Waterton NP have earned more of our attention. Oh the things we love about Ouray: the free concert in the park on Thursday, the super friendly and approachable locals who often treated us like friends (such as the librarian whom we later ran into at the concert and the owner of Mouse Candies whom we met at the same concert; we also had so many real conversations with so many people about housing prices, hiking, living in a small town, etc), the hiking, the hiking (worth mentioning twice), and the gorgeous historic and chain free downtown filled with interesting resale shops, bars, hotels, and eateries. A true testament to a great town; people working in the town usually grew up in the town. For example, the liquor store owner bought the store off his parents (who first moved into Ouray the year I was born). On our last full day in Ouray we took some time to sit on a bench and watched some of the most interesting people such as the twenty something guy walking past with four paperback books and a 40 ounce thing of malt liquor. What a wonderful way to spend the afternoon. We will miss you Ouray but rest assure you are our new measuring stick for all future towns.
One more thing: two days in a row we hiked and were then chased off the trail by rain and light hail. Today was the more serious day as we drove up to a trail head, lost the trail we wanted, gained a different trail and found ourselves walking back to town along highway 550 (the start of the Million Dollar Highway). Once in town Corey and Henna bought new and dry shirts. Hypothermia solved but we were now separated from our car. What to do? Well first we ate a good lunch and asked around about a possible taxi. There are no taxis in Ouray. Just when I was about to walk back along 550 then up a steep road to the car we ran into our camping neighbors who drove me where I needed to go. We owe them a couple of beers for sure. That’s Ouray for you.