There is no way to adequately describe the sublime beauty of Telluride, Colorado — nor is there a way to capture the exciting vibe of its annual film festival which starts next week.
The city itself sits in a box canyon at an altitude of 8,750 feet in the San Juan Mountains of southwestern Colorado. Telluride combines rugged mountain splendor, delightful restaurants, charming Victorian homes and a whopping dose of Colorado funk. The festival, on the other hand, is cutting edge in every respect: for films to be eligible, this must be their first showing in North America. Thus attendees have the chance to discover some exciting new work.
The first time that I visited Telluride was in the summer of 1970: the New Sheridan Hotel, where I stayed, was called “new” because it opened in 1891, and was remolded in 1895. The event I remember most clearly is coming down into the lobby to go to dinner and seeing a genuine happening in a park down the street. Loud music, dancing, bonfires, and what could charitably be described as “flower children” having a raucous time. I asked the desk clerk what was going on, and he said: “Just a town council meeting.” To this day, I am not sure if he was joking, but given the atmosphere of Telluride, it was probably true.
There is no end to the recreational possibilities in Telluride all year long: hiking, fishing, river rafting, kayaking, skiing and snowboarding, just to name a few. Below are two views of my favorite trail, Tomboy Road, one of which features my son, Matthew.
Note to trivia lovers and beer drinkers: the mountain depicted on the Coors beer label is actually Wilson Peak and it is located in the Telluride area. Below is a photograph of the neighboring community of Mount Village with the famed Coors Mountain in the distance.
The Telluride film festival came along 3 summers after my initial visit. Through the years, it has gradually gained stature, attracting such luminaries as Clint Eastwood, Jack Nicholson, Peter O’Toole, and Meryl Streep. A feature of this festival is the annual poster: renowned artists have accepted the commission, including the brilliant Laurent Durieux, whose work is shown above.
I will have more to add on Telluride shortly. In the meantime, please click on www.martinoaks.com to see what we do at our crematory and cemetery. Feel free to call us with any questions at (469)605-7215, 24/7.