What to pack for Telluride in the summer? Last week, I found myself on road trip from Austin, Texas to Telluride, Colorado (over 2,000 miles round trip) for The Ride Festival. My husband and I are big Pearl Jam fans, and we heard Telluride is an amazing summer destination if you have the tenacity to get there.
The last 90 minutes of the trip are torturous if you get motion sickness or elevation sickness or acrophobia. I suffer from all three. My big joke of the weekend was that Telluride may be the safest place in the country during the Zombie Apocalypse because the zombies would simply… give up. But once you get there? The weather is picture perfect, the mountain scenery and glittering Aspen trees mesmerizing, and the town small but not “small town,” if that makes sense.
Here are a few things that I’ve learned to pack for ski towns in the summer.
ALTITUDE SICKNESS PILLS. Take the recommended dosage about 8-12 hours before hitting the higher elevations. This didn’t occur to me until after I was laying on the floor mats in our rental Suburban. It took over 12 hours to stop shaking, even after a Tito’s and soda 😉
SUNSCREEN & MOISTURIZER. Sure, the temperature is cooler than Austin, but you’re 10,000 feet closer to the sun. Seriously, I got a sun rash while golfing in Aspen– which I don’t get in Texas. Add the mountain winds and dry air, and you’ll feel like a raisin by the end of Day One. Moisturizing eye drops are good for the packing list, too.
HATS & SCARVES. For the same reasons listed above. I brought a light Ralph Lauren summer scarf that I draped over my neck and arms with a cowboy hat in the afternoon sun. My Detroit Tigers ball cap got a lot of mileage (“Go Tigers!”) from passersby in the evening. It cooled off after sundown, but the scarf was enough to keep me comfortable– my jean jacket only came out to play one time.
THE RIGHT SHOES. Telluride is a workout. In fact, you really don’t need to ski or mountain bike to burn calories. The altitude and hilly sidewalks make for a hell of a workout just window shopping. Your heartbeat increases up to 50% just to carry sufficient oxygen in the blood in high elevations, according to LiveStrong.com, which is why you may have problems sleeping and breathing. No wonder everyone looks like athletes and wears activewear as daily wear. Stylish alternatives to running shoes: slip-ons, cushioned sandals, cork wedges, cowboy boots. If you want to wear a heel, go for a cork sole and/or wedge. Even distribution on the feet will minimize pain. After a long festival day, your feet will thank you for this over-40 style tip.
WATER, WATER, WATER. So maybe you don’t pack this as much as you just want to be sure to drink a lot of it. It helped me alleviate the elevation sickness. The Hotel Telluride had coffee and hot water in the lobby. Since I’m not a coffee drinker, I grabbed a cup of hot water and mixed in one of my variety pack flavors of Pique Tea. How nice not to have to fuss with tea bags, steeping times, etc. Just pour in the crystals, stir, and head out. The four-pack fits in my wallet, and was easy to use on the 18-hour road trip back to Austin since they work in cold water.
JOURNAL. Telluride is a place of inspiration. Ideas and solutions to personal and professional problems will come to mind that deserve to be written down for your return home. You’ll be moved to take photos and post constantly. Don’t let it take over the experience. Some of the most precious moments are meant for just you and those right next to you. I sure did have a great laugh with the guys from The Temperance Movement. See them if they come to your town.
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