Gospel of GraceMotley Musings

Our Ouray Getaway

It had been almost fourteen years since the first time we laid eyes on the breathtaking beauty of Ouray, Colorado (pronounced “you-ray”).

Also known as “The Switzerland of America,” this charming little town nestled in the San Juan Mountains of southwest Colorado captivated our hearts since the moment we began researching it on the internet.

On our first Ouray trip in 2005, we stayed at Hot Springs Inn and loved it so much that we stayed there again this past week.

My favorite thing about staying at Hot Springs Inn is seeing and hearing the Uncompahgre River running right outside our back door and enjoying the Uncompahgre River Walk Loop in the cool mornings and evenings.

The highlights of our 2005 trip were downtown shopping & dining, hiking the Lower Cascade Falls Trail,  experiencing Box Canyon Falls Park, Steven’s trip to the Ouray County Historical Museum, and me staying in on a rainy day, savoring one of the first books that helped me understand and begin enjoying God’s grace (versus religion).

Since 2005, we’ve wanted to return and enjoy the beautiful mountain scenery and cooler temps, and God answered that desire of our hearts this past week.

Late afternoon on Saturday, July 20, 2019, we pulled into Hot Springs Inn, unloaded, and headed downtown for shopping, then supper at Colorado Boy Southwest Pub

We ate outside (doesn’t food always taste better in open air?) and enjoyed a chips & salsa appetizer followed by Green Chile Chicken Quesadillas (mine) and a Shredded Beef Burrito (Steven’s).

After we got back to the inn, on my first river walk, a deer startled me. (I think I startled it, too!)

On Sunday, we enjoyed a continental breakfast at the inn and then headed downtown to explore all the shops.

We savored a delicious bacon cheeseburger lunch (mine with avocado and malt-vinegar chips and Steven’s with fries) at Brickhouse 737

Calories don’t count on vacation, right?

After lunch, we enjoyed the Ouray County Historical Museum (together this trip!).

Then, we were highly motivated to celebrate #NationalIceCreamDay at Mouse’s Cookie & Coffee Company

I had two dips of Mocha Almond Fudge in a waffle cone and Steven had a Scrap Cookie Sundae.

We went back to the inn and napped until that evening.

After freshening up, we enjoyed a grilled salmon dinner at O’Brien’s Pub.

We were stuffed, so we enjoyed the river walk together (about 2 miles) that evening.

When we got back to our room, we prepared our backpacks for our all-day Switzerland of America Jeep Tour to begin at 8 a.m. the next morning.

The one we took was called Colorado Ghost Towns and Silver Mines.

That morning, it was chilly riding in the open jeep up the mountain to begin the tour. 

If we ever do that again, and there is a possibility of rain, I’m going to wear my waterproof Frogg Toggs the entire time (it was cold and rainy part during the last leg of the tour).

We went into Silverton and ate lunch at The Pickle Barrel with our guide, Charlie, a retired dairy farmer from Missouri, and a sweet family of four from Indiana who were also on the tour.

Steven and I enjoyed Reuben sandwiches, his with cole slaw, and mine with chips.

Almost during the entire tour, I just kept thinking, All-Present, All-Powerful, All-Knowing. 

God did all of this!

I’m not sure I’ll ever understand how some can view this magnificent creation and believe it all happened by some kind of accident.

After we got back into Ouray, we freshened up and then enjoyed dinner at the Outlaw Restaurant.

They had homemade sourdough bread (yum!).

I had a house salad with feta cheese and kalamata olives with mandarin orange vinaigrette and Steven had the trout with garlic mashed potatoes and grilled veggies (this was one of the best meals we had in Ouray).

After we got back to the room, I enjoyed another walk along the river walk.

Our last day in Ouray didn’t go the way we had planned.

We were going to hike Cascade Falls and Box Canyon Falls, but when we first started up Cascade Falls, I began experiencing vertigo.


Steven had a great Plan B, though.

We decided to drive to Silverton via the Million Dollar Highway and explore the quaint little historical mining town we had caught only a glimpse of the day before when we ate lunch there.

I had a Patty Melt with fries and Steven enjoyed a Green Chile Bacon Cheeseburger with fries at the Lone Spur Cafe while listening to live piano music by Lacey Black.

We couldn’t leave without having ice cream, right?

So we went to Smedley’s Ice Cream Parlor and Espresso Coffee and I enjoyed a dip of Espresso Chip and a dip of Brownie Fudge ice cream in a waffle cone (do you see a common theme when I have ice cream?).

Steven had two dips of Mocha Almond Fudge in a cup.

We decided to see if the San Juan County Historical Society Mining Heritage Center (the local museum) was open.

It was, and we thoroughly enjoyed going through all three stories of it.

So much history there!

After we got back to Ouray, we looked for lime green Ouray coffee mugs to match our dining room decor.

We didn’t have any luck, so we opted for black and white mugs that match our Coca-Cola kitchen.

After freshening up at the room, we went back in to town and ate a steak and baked potato dinner at the Outlaw Restaurant, also with live piano music.


Before we left Ouray bright and early the next morning, we enjoyed our last continental breakfast at Hot Springs Inn and a nice visit with an elderly couple from Flagstaff, Arizona.

Next stop, Taos, New Mexico, then Home Sweet Home (or Home Hot Home) in Perryton, Texas!

On our next trip (hopefully) to Ouray, we hope to visit in the fall where we can see the changing colors of the trees.

I hope you enjoyed this vacation blog.

I could’ve included a lot more pics and details, but I think I shared enough that you might want to consider a Ouray getaway for yourself sometime in the near future.

If you want to know more about my love story with Jesus and the driving passion behind everything I do, check out this video:

You can also check out both of my books:

His Banner over Me Is Pursuing Love: An Intimate, Interactive Study of the Song of Solomon, Chapters 1 & 2

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Fifty Days in His Pursuing Love Devotional: Getting to Know the One Who Loved You First and Loves You Most

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