Sunday, October 25, 2009

Telluride 350

A lot of planning has gone into this trip, but the surprises keep coming and have made for some of our best experiences.
Telluride is a ski town that used to be a mining town and is almost right on the 38th parallel. We planned to look into water issues (San Miguel Creek runs right through town), then learned that a 350 Global Climate Change event was scheduled for October 24. Mono Lake, our home in the Eastern Sierra had a similar event planned with canoes spelling out "350." In Telluride, they were making a 350 "sign" out of bicycles, solar vehicles and hybrid cars, and they asked if our Prius could become part of it! The "New Community Coalition" sponsored the local event which was also occurring, the same day, in over 5,200 locales in 181 countries, all pointing to the goal of reducing carbon dioxide in the atmosphere back down to 350 parts per million.
Our blue car ended up front and center in the picture, forming the top of the number "5," and directly in front of the court house podium. Dave was enlisted to climb up to the top of the building across the street and help the organizers with the photo shoot. Meanwhile, Janet spruced up a poster that the local high school kids had made, to make the letters stand out. It was nice to be a part of a community, if however briefly.

Telluride has solar panels on its schools and library and nearby Mountain Village has a "Green the Gondola" campaign to offset 20% of the energy used by the gondola that connects the two communities, by installing solar panels.
We also learned that Ouray (our previous day's stop) was the first town in Colorado to convert its street lighting to LED bulbs.
We met another cross-country traveler, William Grote, who happened to be in Telluride and also joined in with the 350 event. This young man is making the trip west to east in a solar-powered recumbent bicycle, and reading the Lorax book to school children along the way .
It was hard to leave Telluride (next stop, Moab, Utah), but we finished off with human-powered fruit smoothies that we blended by pedaling a stationary bike!

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