We are currently visiting Telluride, Colorado. From the town, if you peer 2,000 feet up the east side mountainside, you will see a power plant that looks like a house perched upon a ledge with an incredible waterfall that gracefully falls 1,000 feet below (Bridal Veil Falls).
About 8 years ago, we attempted to hike to Bridal Veil Falls with the boys and our new dog (our dog Katie was only a few months old). The hike to the top is close to 2,000 feet in elevation change and the road to the top is rocky. Many people drive Jeeps and pass you along the way. Unfortunately, the hike was too strenuous for the boys and a new puppy so we turned back about a quarter of the way there.
Fast forward about 8 years later, we are in Telluride again and I think both Lynn and I wanted a second chance at the hike so we decided to give it a shot. We have been working out pretty hard all summer, so I felt comfortable that we could do it.
Just around the first set of switchbacks, you begin taking in the view of Telluride below.
Only another 1,200 feet to the base of the falls, so we pushed on. The views are even more breath-taking.
Before long, we encountered a waterfall that crosses the road and it is wonderful. My wife remembered that this was the exact spot we turned back with our kids last time.
As we continued to climb, we noticed the views of Telluride became more impressive.
As we walked, we talked about how we love being retired and how proud we are of our kids. We reminisced about our travels and how beautiful the world is. Forgetting the strenuousness of the hike, we looked up and we were already at the base of the falls.
There was a young couple there capturing some pictures and enjoying the magnificence of the view.
I told my wife if she felt up to it, we could go another half mile and see the view from above the power plant. I expected her to say “No, I’m good, we got to the base.” Instead, she said “Sure, let’s do it!”.
As we started up the next set of switchbacks we met a couple that were on a 3 month trip across the western USA and were in Colorado visiting their son before they headed out on the bigger adventure. We found we had a lot in common with them and talked along the way. Time sped by, we looked up and we were already at the top of the power plant.
After taking in the view, we headed back down the mountain. We noticed this section of the mountain that had previously used for mining. It had an old mining railway that was obviously dilapidated. To get this section, you had to cross over a bridge that had few wooden planks left.
We walked around the old mining shaft and could see where the mining carts used to shuttle ore from the mountain to the mining station at the base of the mountain.
However, years have taken their toll and it’s now the railway to nowhere.
I was surprised to see that some of the old mining carts were still stacked up along the mountain ridge.
As we headed down the mountain, we talked about how much easier the hike was down than up. My wife was a trooper. She stretched herself a bit with this hike and I was really proud of her.
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Steve and his wife built a software company, sold it and retired early. Steve enjoys blogging about about lifestyle freedom, financial independence and technology. If you like this blog, subscribe here to get an email each time he posts.