Thursday, June 23, 2011

Adventures in Telluride: Gondola Ride

When I was scouting out the Tellluride Bluegrass Festival website, there was a section about a pre-concert concert going on the night before the festival started at the neighboring town of Mountain Village.

Which could be reached through the free gondola ride. 

Gondola ride??

I was fully envisioning the boats from Venice gliding along through a hidden mountain lake that I had never heard of.

Admittedly, this did seem a bit far fetched as the Colorado mountains are not exactly renowned for large shallow lakes with Venetian inspired island villages in the middle.

But Wikipedia totally agreed with me on what a gondola was! So I was all set for my pole propelled boat ride over to Mountain Village, and only a teensy bit disappointed when there was no lake.

Turns out there are TWO types of gondolas.

The first flat bottomed boat version, that Wikipedia knows all about, and the second enclosed-ski-lift-going-up-the-side-of-a-mountain version which appears to be fairly common around ski resorts in Colorado and Canada according to Google.

(When I searched for "mountain gondola" on Wikipedia, all it came up with was asking me if I meant "mountain gorilla". Wikifail.)

However, the ride going up the side of the mountain was pretty cool in it's own right.

The mountains surrounding the valley Telluride is in are full of overpriced vacation condo clusters small ski resort towns which are all connected in a huge gondola circle, where you take the gondola run in it's enclosed loop from one village to the next.

We did not go all the way around, but it certainly looked like it could be a neat thing to do. And really lent a certain feel of "Colorado Disneyland" to the little towns with the ride going right through the middle of them.

Fun side note: Oprah used to have a place up in Mountain Village before it was sold and demolition-ed, and now they just have vacation homes for Tom Cruise and Jerry Springer.

Or at least that was the celebrity claim to fame bestowed on us during a gondola ride from a local teen with presumably ridiculously wealthy parents since his family lived in Mountain Village year round.

And yes, the kids DO take the gondola ride down the mountain to go to school.

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