On the Road Adventures

Sunday, August 26, 2012

August 26 - Montrose, CO

You know how we roll into a place for 2 nights and end up staying a week?  We’re not doing that in Montrose.  It’s a very nice town, rather uninspiring, but nice.  However.  The allergin count in the valley here is a 9.9 out of 10.  Personally, I think the raters were too conservative.  I’d give it a perfect 10 and then add on a few points for style.  I need to type fast before I claw my eyes out of my head. 

And then there’s the other reason.  The RV park where we’re staying is a bit out of town.  Just across the fence, Old MacDonald has a farm.  And on that farm he has a manure pile.  A monstrous, malodorous, mature, massive mountain of moo manure.  And it’s about 100 yards away and directly in the way of the prevailing wind.  Allergen-laden wind.  We’re keeping the a/c on, even though the temperature is pleasant.  Temperature pleasant; smell and allergen levels, not so much.

So we fled Cleo this morning to go see the western end of the Black Canyon of the Gunnison.  595 Canyons (640x480)

596 Canyons (640x480)  The river is waaayyyy down there, and it’s a big, fast, roaring river, even though it looks like a little stream from up on top.  Even 2,000 feet above it, you can hear the river’s fierce song.  598 narrow gorge (471x640)It’s amazing that the river has slowly eaten through the very hard metamorphic rocks over all these millions of years.

597 tiny garden (640x480)  As grand as the far vistas are, I love how the tiny, delicate little plants decide that they are going to bloom in this most unlikely places.

600 painted wall (480x640)

This is called the painted wall, because melted magma was forced through cracks in the base rocks by volcanic action, and they crystalized into shiny, mica-laden dikes in the stone that weather more slowly than the basic rocks, so they make pretty pictures.  As we were looking at this, and looking and the long way down to some pretty rough water far below, we saw three kayakers paddle into view.  I wondered if they were going to tackle that wild water they were headed toward, but they beached and started carrying their kayaks around the monster rocks and waterfalls.  I was relieved.  I didn’t want to have to call the park rangers and tell them we saw kayakers paddle in but not come out.

                                      599 looking down (640x480)601 kayakers (640x480)

After we got back into Montrose we stopped at the Ute Indian Museum and watched a film about the Bear Dance, looked at the beautiful beadwork and read about the sad history of the Utes.  Much is owed those people, which is why I have no problem with Indian casinos – it’s about time they got a share of the wealth!

IMG_0084 (634x640)

 IMG_0086 (480x640)    IMG_0087 (480x640)

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