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Today we reversed our route and went from Montrose, CO to Cortez, CO in preparation for a visit to Mesa Verde National Park. What should have taken less than 3 hours became a more than 5 hours drive as we kept stopping to marvel at the fall colors and take pictures along Highways 550 and 145.

Early morning scene by the Uncompahgre River near Highway 550.

Early morning by the Uncompahgre River near Highway 550. It looked like a scene from a Western movie.

View of Uncompahgre National Forest.

Partial view of Uncompahgre National Forest.

Fall colors at the feet of Sunshine and Wilson peaks.

Fall colors below Sunshine and Wilson peaks.

Looking up the mountains

Looking up the mountains at Uncompahgre National Forest. 

Trout Lake , about 15 miles from Highway 145.

Trout Lake at 9,802 ft elevation, about 15 miles from Telluride, CO.

Historical footnote: Trout Lake is a natural lake that was dammed in the late 19th century to provide additional water for the Ames Hydro Electric Power plant near Ophir, CO. It became part of the AC/DC war between Thomas Edison, an advocate of DC current, who lost to George Westinghouse and Nikola Tesla who were AC current promoters. Today we all use AC electricity.

Agriculture Information Station for the San Juan National Forest along Highway 145.

Agriculture Information Station for the San Juan National Forest along Highway 145.

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