|Ouray, Colorado - July 2003|
The hot springs once enjoyed by the Ute Indians now feed the outdoor municipal pool in this tiny mining town. The first silver strike was in 1875, and the Camp Bird Gold Mine between 1896 and 1910 produced $26 million in gold, enough for the Walsh family to purchase the Hope Diamond for their daughter, Evalyn. Just off main street, a road leads to Cascade Falls which tumble three hundred feet to the end of 8th street.
At the southern end of town, a 20 foot wide canyon surrounded by perpendicular granite walls 285 feet high has a creek rushing through it that creates a spectacular waterfall. The town bills itself as the Switzerland of America, but the quaintness has a long way to go to equal the lovely chalets and abundant flowerboxes in the Swiss towns.