6/03/2014

May 30, 2014 to June 3, 2014 Grand Junction and the Colorado National Monument

June 2, 2014

We decided we needed a day out and away we went to the Colorado National Monument.

The area was first explored by John Otto, a free spirit who settled in Grand Junction in the early 20th century. Prior to Otto's arrival, many area residents believed the canyons to be inaccessible to humans. Otto began building trails on the plateau and into the canyons. As word spread about his work, the Chamber of Commerce of Grand Junction sent a delegation to investigate. The delegation returned praising both Otto's work and the scenic beauty of the wilderness area, and the local newspaper began lobbying to make it a National Park (which it never did become).

The area was established as Colorado National Monument on May 24, 1911. Otto was hired as the first park ranger, drawing a salary of $1 per month. For the next 16 years, he continued building and maintaining trails while living in a tent in the park.

The park became more well known in the 1980s partly due to its inclusion as a stage of the major international bicycle race, the Coors Classic. The race through the park became known as "The Tour of the Moon", due to the spectacular landscapes the race passed through on Rim Rock Drive.”

This area was also very important to the Ute people:

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More information can be found here:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Colorado_National_Monument

http://www.nps.gov/colm/naturescience/index.htm

We started on the east end of the Rim Rock Drive – Incredible!

Rim Rock Drive is on the top of those mountains:

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And up we go:

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One of these days, I am going to see a Bighorn Sheep in the wild – but today was not the day Sad smile:

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We have been amazed at the quality of videos that come from our new smartphones so we have been taking lots of them.  Here is one from going up to the top:  http://youtu.be/7gJaXKdj1sg

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Another video: http://youtu.be/Fbe67-d06s4

More pictures of the road – cool:

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This is the old road that is now a trail – views were awesome:

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And one more: http://youtu.be/h4utv5oLntw

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Isn’t that incredible!  We stopped at almost every pullout and took most of the short trails to the overlooks.  So much beauty!  We will be back because I want to do some of the trails on the canyon floor.  But right now it is tooooo hot (I am a sissy with the heat) and I am still having a problem with my foot – Sad smile (Sheesh!)  Oh well.

We have been having flood advisories and warnings on the rising of the Colorado River – due to the quick snow melt and some rain.  Here is one of the pictures as we were going over one of the bridges – Yikees!

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So that was our tourist day.

We really needed some down time (a vacation from our vacation – LOL) and that is what we did on the other days. 

We will be back in this area – there is so much to do and so many road trips to take – but that will have to wait for another time.

Tomorrow we are heading toward Gunnison area for a few days, then to Colorado Springs, then to Estes Park, then..it depends on the weather.

So stay tuned and enjoy today.

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3 comments:

Jan Mains said...

Gorgeous scenery. Thanks for sharing.

Jan Mains said...

Gorgeous scenery. Thanks for sharing.

Diane said...

Thanks Jan, It is beautiful here - :-)