It was our second consecutive Independence Day in the quaint mountain town, and there's much to be said of it.
Telluride sits at the end of a box canyon, at an elevation of 8750 feet. It's a liberal town with a strong outdoors orientation. As best we can tell, the economy is based on festivals in the summer, skiing in the winter, and famine in between.
The red hot real estate market has cooled off a bit, which may be just as well. One of the floats in the Independence Day parade--indeed the winning float--was an ode to the financial excess of yore, proclaiming "Party Like It's 2006."
Our Telluride favorites? The local newspaper, The Daily Planet. Not only an interesting spin on the local news, but sufficient national news to keep you in touch with the world.
Also, Baked in Telluride, the local bakery, which has everything from fresh bagels to pizza and burritos, and the perfect hangover-busting breakfast sandwich--the bacon, egg & cheese croissant (nicknamed, by us, the "greasy bloater").
We liked the hike up to Bear Creek Falls, on a gentle grade. Well worth the trip, and with the thin air and our beating heart, like making a walk into a hard jog's worth of exercise.
On the 4th of July, the kids loved the fish catch. The local fire department, which runs the entire day's activities, sets up a couple large tanks of water in the town park, fills them with trout, then lets 20-25 kids in at a time to chase the trout around with their bare hands. Catch a trout and you get $1.
At the end of the day, the fireworks rival those in D.C., only they're a lot LOUDER by virtue of echoing endlessly off the walls of the box canyon. (A quick thunderstorm right before the fireworks doused many watchers in the park with a cold rain while supplying nature's own fireworks, but it was still worth the show.)
We also tried some fly-fishing. Fun, but expensive, unless you have your own gear--probably cost us more than $80 per fish caught, so you might want to sneak in with the kids on the 4th and try catching one with your hands.
Last year, we spied Tom Cruise, Katie Holmes and little Suri gnoshing on ice cream in the town, but alas, this year there were no celebrity sightings. Perhaps when the Telluride airport re-opens with its new, longer runway (at the highest altitude of any commercial airport in the nation), the celebs will return.