day 12, durango to ouray, million dollar highway, box cañon falls,switzerland of america.

Tjap tjap. Above: view from the historic Strater Hotel. Below: the tracks that the incessantly hootin' and hollerin' Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad runs through the town on; breakfast at Oscar's in Durango, I think this was our most intimidating breakfast of the trip, easily enough food for four people...we just kind of pushed things around enough to make it look like we tried.

Then on the way out of town I did an "Rrrrrrrrt!" and pulled into the Durango Flea Market, which, as Conor O'Neill would say, was "kind of a bust", except for these roasted and salted piñon I bought from the piñon-selling man.

I'd always imagined pine nuts just kind of falling out of pine cones, because my mind is lazy and shiftless I guess...that just seemed like the easiest answer to "where do pine nuts come from," but in fact, as we'll see in the next post: they're a bit cooler than that.

Then, let's see, oh right, six or seven pictures of the Million Dollar Highway, which was, well, beautiful, one of the only places on this trip where the pictures really do the scenery some justice. Until finally we emerged above Ouray (pronounced completely differently than I'd had it in my head, it's you-RAY not OOH-ray), population 1,013.

The overlook down into the city happened to be right next to Box Cañon Falls so we had a little look there, and a wooden pawprint display helped us figure out who'd been tracking us back in Bluff (unfortunately it was probably coyotes and not a band of long-tailed weasels).

Then we oohed and aahed over Ouray's small-town charm and cuteness, went to the Ouray Brewery for a quick beer, then onto a place with a Dutch chef called Brickhouse 737. It was unexpectedly sophisticated and well-done food, pictured are popovers with tomato feta relish, fried brussels sprouts with Portugese sausage, miso vinaigrette and candied macadamia nuts (needed more of these), and porcini ravioli with braised kale and Marsala cream. Then a quick look at the one bar in town with a pool table, which was luckily already occupied by an intimidating pioneer woman and her cronies.

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