Photo taken near Monument Valley, Utah

Friday, August 27, 2021

Saying Goodbye to Gunnison and Good Friends

 At the Gunnison KOA, Gunnison, Colorado...

It has been all too short.  Knowing that we're leaving this beautiful and cool place and the friends with whom we've been traveling has dampened our spirits--even a fascinating visit to the Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park was not much of a perk-up.

Nevertheless, I must include some photos of this park, which we've not visited before and didn't know entirely what to expect. First of all, these photos probably afford the least adequate sampling of the sights to which one has access in person.  It is, of course, a canyon, much less immense than the Grand Canyon, but completely different in the sheer rock cleavage through which the Gunnison River flows.

It is a place where my jealousy was complete of those whose young limbs carry them through trails where the elderly dare not go. We will not be able to see the sights they see, but our views were more than satisfactory. The nearly black vertical stone walls rise about a half-mile from the river below--twice as deep as Royal Gorge. It is said to be a part of the Gunnison Uplift--as geologists know it, and the park information dates it back 1.8 billion years or, roughly, the geologic age of my knees.

One thing is for sure: we will be returning to see more of this, poorly represented by these photos:

If you look closely in the photo above, you can see the Gunnison River, which is running very shallow due to the long drought in the west.

In the photos above and below, the striations in the rocks are very interesting. 

The photo above was a purposely overexposed so that the striations on the far rocks and the colorful lichen on the near rocks would be more evident.  Speaking of striations, how about those in the photo below, located at one of the turnouts named "Painted Rock." You can also see the Gunnison River from a better viewpoint.

Okay, I know what you're thinking:  Rocks, rocks, rocks. Well, I think the incredible diversity of the formations of the area offers even a non-rock hound a small taste of what eye-popping views can be had here. We even found out that there is an entirely different part of the park that we didn't even see. It is also one of the best areas ever for star-gazing, due to the high elevation and absence of ground lighting. For these reasons and more, we vow to return.

I'll leave you with the last photo I took at the park, showing the northwest exit of the Gunnison as it leaves the canyon heading westward to Grand Junction, where in empties into the Colorado River. The smoke-caused haze in the background didn't diminish much the beauty of this magical place:

We are also sad to say goodbye to some of the best traveling partners ever.  Here are Steve, Jackie and their French bulldog, Jill, at our Gunnison RV site.  You never know, but you may find us here again one of these summers.

Thank you, Lord, for this wonderful life; 
please forgive me if I fail to appreciate it each day as I should.

We don't stop playing because we get old; we get old because we stop playing. 
 ---George Bernard Shaw

"I get up every morning, and I just don't let the old man in." ---Clint Eastwood


  1. It is always sad to leave the experiences and companionship of great friends but we say 'until we meet again'. Even if sometimes we think it is the last time we'll see them that season, often our paths cross again. Your pictures are gorgeous again, Mike, makes us believe that you ARE standing and hiking right up top of those beautiful rock cliffs.

    1. Thank you, Patsy. I'm flattered that you think my photos were good, but I can assure you that the more agile can find views that defy belief in this place. It is something that really must be seen in person to fully apppreciate.

  2. What a beautiful area. I can definitely see why you want to return. Now get the knees fixed and make plans to go back.

    1. I'm with you; my annoyance with the pain and instability has just about reached its limit. I hope for relief soon. Thanks for your concern and for writing.

  3. Isn't the Gunnison crazy tho... it was just unbelievable the depth and the tall cliffs and those ribbons in the rock. it was beautiful !!! A friend and i got to go thu there in about 2017...

    1. Lucky you! And lucky us for having you follow along on our crazy travels. Thank you!


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