Monday, April 17, 2006

Black Canyon of the Gunnison

We had a really fun visit to the Black Canyon of
the Gunnison National Park today. Named a National
Monument early in the Twentieth Century, it was
redesignated a National Park in the late nineties
by President Clinton. Now that we've visited, that
leaves only Bent's Old Fort as the only Colorado
National Park Service unit we haven't visited.

Deb and Glen hadn't been there either and they
got lots of good photos, both digital and film.
Glenn again astounded us with his scrambling
abilities and was able to go where none of the
rest of us dared.

Over two thousand feet deep, the Black Canyon was one
of the last places in the west that was truly explored.
It's a very deep cut in the earth that is simply
amazing. We were overlooking this particular part
of the canyon when huges gusts over 50 miles per hour
practically blew us over the edge. It was a little
scarey, yet thrilling at the same time.

Later on, we drove down to the bottom. It was a
16% decline but seemed like less. At the bottom was
a really large dam and the Gunnison River was a bright
bright green. Looking up to the top of the canyon made
you feel really small.

It's also a geologic wonder. It was fun just to go up
to the sides of the canyon and chip off pieces of the
rock with your hands. Lots of little ribbons of rock
ran through the main rock in various sizes, ranging from
the width of a pencil to the size of a volkswagon. It
was pretty amazing.

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