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Silverton, Outlaw Steaks, Dirt Bikes, and Wally Dallenbach

I don't even know where to start. After work today we decided to drive just the truck from Ouray to Silverton (along the winding, twisty, Milion Dollar Highway, steep drop offs, hairy) to check out the campsite we thought we might head to tomorrow (the free, park wherever spot we stayed in before —  Mineral "Campground" right outside of Silverton). The drive was gorgeous. 

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Heading up and out of Ouray

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Mineral Campground was just as we remembered it, but really full and since we'd be arriving on a Thursday before a weekend, we figured we'd check out the Silverton Lakes Campground right in Silverton. Turns out, it was a winner and we booked a spot with a great view (a mine on one side, a graveyard on the hill on the other side, and walking distance to town) for the next three nights.

We thought we'd drive a little further on I-550 and check out Molas Lake Campground as well. Whoa. We NEED to come back here. There's this view, from the day use area:

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We noticed these signs and thought we'd go check (for maybe, a couple weeks from now) whether there were any sites we could fit in.

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We talked to John, and he told us we could fit in the "Ultra RV Spots", up on the ridge (there are four of them). This is John. (He's been in Silverton 20 years):

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And this is the view from the "Ultra RV Spots" up on the ridge. Duuuuude.

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We drove up there to check out whether we had any kind of service or not. We both had one bar of 4G AT&T but neither of us could check email with that. We showed no Verizon, and Sprint showed a data connection but we never actually verified that with real data coming in…so as of now, it's gonna have to be a weekend destination.

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Downtown Silverton

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We'll be in Silverton tomorow through Saturday or Sunday. We're excited that we'll be there for the Great American Brass Band Festival, too!

Okay so, we got back to Ouray around 7:30pm and we decided we wanted to go out to eat instead of cooking, so we ended up at the Outlaw Restaurant (legendary home of John Wayne's hat!!!) This place…well…it was PERFECT. There was a piano player (in a cowboy hat and a suede fringe vest) playing saloon standards, and the vibe overall was just what you'd hope for your last night in Ouray. Good bar, good food, good music.

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But, just when we thought it couldn't get any better, it got a little better. Several dirt bike guys started showing up (we could tell by the shirts) and then, a guy rode a dirt bike right into the restaurant between the bar and the dinner tables, yelling something we couldn't quite hear over the revving of the dirt bike engine, but he was psyched. 

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Another dirt bike guy walked past our table a bit later with a beer in his hand and I asked him if he could tell us what the deal was with the dirt bike thing tonight. He (Steve) was perfectly buzzed and the ideal person to ask, it turns out, because he was super chatty and we got a bunch of information. Steve told us all about the ride they were doing (the invitational Colorado 500, kind of a big deal), about his history with dirt bike racing (he started when he was a kid, raced most of his life, put it on hold while he was married, got divorced and started racing again, and had ridden 400 miles in this race so far). We also learned from Steve that the man over at the bar with the cool black-rimmed glasses (a guy Kevin and I had noticed earlier) was the guy who'd started the Colorado 500, Wally Dallenbach (legendary long-time Indy car driver who drove in 180 Indy Car races between 1965 and 1979, winning five times).

When we left, we stopped and chatted with Wally for a few minutes and he was super cool. (We met the owner of the Outlaw Restaurant too…also very nice.) What a fun evening!