We were five or six days into our trip, four-wheeling our way across the Colorado wilderness. As we made our way down the 550 freeway, we descended upon Ouray County’s only stoplight, nestled in Ridgway where the 62 freeway meets the 550. With a town population of less than 1,000, it’s a quiet place, perched at the doorstep of the San Juan Mountains, and was to be our stopping point for the afternoon.
It was, undoubtedly, the coldest night of the trip, although at just shy of 11,000 feet, with small patches of snow still on the ground, that doesn’t quite come as a surprise. The clearing we had found to camp in filled with sunlight bright and early, rousting everyone from their slumber well before 8:00am. First on the list was for Jim Bob and I to move our tents into the sun; the morning dew was heavy, and condensation filled the nooks and crannies from the night before.