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Old 04-13-2013, 09:47 AM
 
13,297 posts, read 25,491,832 times
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Silverton suffers tourists gladly from the narrow-gauge railroad that terminates there from Durango. I am taking the train trip the first time on June 1. It's hardly a ghost town, unless I misunderstood the OP's requirements for town suggestions.
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Old 04-13-2013, 12:49 PM
 
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Silverton actually works for me. I needed a real, still active mountain town, that wasn't too large in population, to put my fictional ghost town near.

Though, I think I may go with Telluride, because I have heard of that town before from people who have lived here longer than I have been alive. I just didn't realize how far away it was. Plus, it would make it easier for me to say they got lost along the way, since that appears to be common for anyone who takes the detour through black bear pass and has never done it before.

I just wish I knew someone who has gone through black bear pass and could take me the next time they go. I don't know anyone who would have the experience needed to drive a trail like that. Seeing it first hand would help with my description of it. I'll have to stick to the youtube videos for now.
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Old 04-13-2013, 01:09 PM
 
Location: Bend, OR
3,296 posts, read 8,430,211 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by forgetfullove View Post
Silverton actually works for me. I needed a real, still active mountain town, that wasn't too large in population, to put my fictional ghost town near.

Though, I think I may go with Telluride, because I have heard of that town before from people who have lived here longer than I have been alive. I just didn't realize how far away it was. Plus, it would make it easier for me to say they got lost along the way, since that appears to be common for anyone who takes the detour through black bear pass and has never done it before.

I just wish I knew someone who has gone through black bear pass and could take me the next time they go. I don't know anyone who would have the experience needed to drive a trail like that. Seeing it first hand would help with my description of it. I'll have to stick to the youtube videos for now.
There are several outfitters that offer guided trips of the area. This might be the best way for you to view it. You can enjoy the drive, without having to do the driving yourself. If you've never been to this part of the state, it's worth a trip. Plan for a few days minimum, a week is even better. There is so much to see and explore. It will surely inspire you in penning your novel!

Here's a list of outfitters via the Visit Telluride site. I'm sure there are others in some of the other towns too. Telluride 4X4 Off-Roading | Visit Telluride Colorado
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Old 04-13-2013, 01:54 PM
 
8,317 posts, read 25,802,953 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by forgetfullove View Post
Silverton actually works for me. I needed a real, still active mountain town, that wasn't too large in population, to put my fictional ghost town near.

Though, I think I may go with Telluride, because I have heard of that town before from people who have lived here longer than I have been alive. I just didn't realize how far away it was. Plus, it would make it easier for me to say they got lost along the way, since that appears to be common for anyone who takes the detour through black bear pass and has never done it before.

I just wish I knew someone who has gone through black bear pass and could take me the next time they go. I don't know anyone who would have the experience needed to drive a trail like that. Seeing it first hand would help with my description of it. I'll have to stick to the youtube videos for now.
Other than some historic buildings, Telluride, is NOTHING like it was in its mining days (a friend grew up there--his Dad worked for the Idarado Mining Company from the '40's until the mine closed). It is now a "cartoon town" full of "cartoon people," almost none of whom have any remote connection to the town's past. The people with historical roots in Telluride nearly all left Telluride many years ago. Silverton, on the other hand, still has many residents with connections to its mining roots. If your interest is in real history, not the BS version, Silverton offers a much more accurate look at it.

By the way, I've driven Black Bear numerous times. You're right, it is not for the inexperienced or faint-hearted. It is one of the 4WD trails in Colorado that certainly can kill the careless or inept. It, by no means, is the only hair-raising 4WD trail in the San Juan Mountains. There are numerous others, many not as well known (fortunately), where one can better savor the feeling of trail-riding in relative solitude.

You really need to ask yourself, though, do you really want to find out about what Colorado was like historically, or do you just want to bathe yourself in the tourist fantasy version that everybody else goes to see?
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Old 04-13-2013, 02:23 PM
 
Location: Western Colorado
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If I was the OP I would send a private message to jazzlover and set up an interview. The guy is a living history book on Colorado.
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Old 04-13-2013, 03:01 PM
 
2,253 posts, read 6,026,414 times
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Wink Relatively in person

Use Telluride if you wish, although it does not as well match your original given criteria.

If still a relatively small town, it has grown larger than its neighbors, such as Ouray, with a population of some 2,368. Then add to that all the many tourists that favor it. This alone has changed the character of the town. Ouray and Silverton do see and depend on summer tourism, and perhaps Telluride somewhat similar in this respect. But given alpine skiing, Telluride has a healthy contingent of winter visitors. There is now an extreme skiing area shortly outside of Silverton, so it may have changed somewhat in consequence, but the volumes are low. Once, and likely still to large extent, Silverton was near quiescent in winter.

As for Black Bear Pass, no one—fictional or otherwise—is likely to make a random detour onto it. Or, if so, then soon backtracking back to sound pavement. Frankly, I'm not familiar with the eastern approach to it off Red Mountain Pass. Perhaps it is somewhat benign at first. But if anything like Engineer Pass—farther down US 550 near Ouray—then one look would dissuade all but the aspiring lunatic. Unless with a 4x4, and if not then not getting very far in any event.

Telluride is only a little over 10 miles from Ouray, as the crow flies. Quite a bit farther in looping around on paved roads. Nevertheless, all these towns are in relatively close proximity. Enough so that one might easily explore them all in the course of a few days, in person. That would be the best way to gain a feeling for them. This at last is what will resonate best with yourself, and readers.
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Old 04-13-2013, 05:49 PM
 
Location: Everywhere and Nowhere
14,131 posts, read 27,039,871 times
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How about Parrott City? See if anything mentioned here strikes your fancy:

Animas Museum Durango Area History Towns
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