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Ouray - proper pronunciation?

Prescott, AZ
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51 posts
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Ouray - proper pronunciation?

When I was a kid we visited Ouray (loved it - and we're going back)....we always pronounced it OOO-ray. Now I've heard thats not the proper way to say it - should be you-RAY.

Is that right?

Here in Prescott, its PRES-kit not Pres-cot so theses things are important!

Grand Lake, Colorado
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1. Re: Ouray - proper pronunciation?

You ray would be correct!

Nashville, TN
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2. Re: Ouray - proper pronunciation?

I received a tourist's booklet from the city recently and it says yoo-ray.

Bay City, Michigan
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for Michigan
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3. Re: Ouray - proper pronunciation?

I just called the Chamber of Commerce and she said: Yur ray....?

Colorado Western...
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for Ouray, Outdoors / Adventure Travel, Montrose
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4. Re: Ouray - proper pronunciation?

I've heard it pronounced 2 ways by locals (I'm now a local, but I'm a transplant from the Front Range):

YOU-ray

you-RAY

However, when I talked to people working in the Ute Indian Museum, which focuses on Chipeta (buried on the museum grounds) and her husband, Chief Ouray, they said it is believed that the original pronounciation of his name was:

OOO-ray

Most Coloradoans outside of Montrose seem to prefer

you-RAY

Many people in Montrose and Ridgway seem to prefer

YOU-ray

But, people in Ouray seem to prefer

you-RAY

Talk about confusion!! (This was probably more than you wanted to know)

Bay City, Michigan
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for Michigan
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5. Re: Ouray - proper pronunciation?

No, actually I find it very interesting! Thanks for your very informative, detailed response. We love Quray, no matter how it is spelled, written, spoken--lol. Congrats to you for now living there! How is the winter-do you get a lot of snow? Do things tend to stay open nowadays, or most still close? Do you ever travel the Million Dollar Highway in winter-that would scare even me-and I don't scare easily with those types of roads? Would love to hear about living in Quray year round, on almost any topic! Thanks for your response on the pronounciation! Tyme

Colorado Western...
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for Ouray, Outdoors / Adventure Travel, Montrose
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655 posts
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6. Re: Ouray - proper pronunciation?

Actually, we live in Montrose (about 45 minute drive north of Ouray). Our weather can be dramatically different from Ouray's weather, since we're at a lower elevation (a little under 6000') and Ouray is more like 7800'.

The Ouray Ice Park ( www.ourayicepark.com ) and all the ice climbers it attracts during the winter have made an immense difference to the town. Years ago, it was hard to find more than a couple of hotels and restaurants open during the winter; now things are quite busy. There's even an Ice Festival that attracts climbers and spectators from all over the world:

colorado-for-free.com/FreeThingsToDoColorado…

The Million Dollar Highway is even spookier to drive in the winter than in the summer if there is any snow or ice on the road at all. There are a number of portions of the road which are very prone to be swept by avalanches, so the highway gets closed fairly often in the winter until road crews can clear the debris.

If you want some really white-knuckle reading that includes several rescues related to US 550 (Million Dollar Highway) south of Ouray, take a look at this site from the Ouray Mountain Rescue Team:

http://ouraymountainrescue.com/Rescues.htm

Bay City, Michigan
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for Michigan
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7. Re: Ouray - proper pronunciation?

Thanks so much for the reply. I will definitely look at and sure will enjoy reading about the Road! Tyme

Southwest
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332 posts
26 reviews
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8. Re: Ouray - proper pronunciation?

Either way

You- Ray

or

Ewe- Ray

nuff said, Hoo-Ray!!!!!!!!!!

Bay City, Michigan
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for Michigan
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9. Re: Ouray - proper pronunciation?

LOL-I agree.

Manitou Springs...
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10. Re: Ouray - proper pronunciation?

I heard the same thing about Chief Ouray in an article in the Colorado Springs Gazette. Chief Ouray wasn't actually a 'chief' but the paper said it was pronounced oo-ray. Although, most of us pronounce it U-Ray, anyway.

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