Sunday, May 2, 2010

Colorado National Monument

Yesterday Bassman and I decided to do a bit of exploring in Grand Junction. The hotel had mentioned the Monument and there were signs all over town for it so we felt we had to go see it.

It being a park, we had to pay to get in. $7.00 a car. Good for one week. One heck of a bargain if you ask me. We paid, we got our map, and headed in.

There was some type of bicycle thing happening so there were bicyclist everywhere. At one point we slowly passed 2 resting bikers who were about halfway up and I heard one say to the other, "I can't believe I am this out of shape." Puhleeze. I couldn't have made it from the gate to the first checkpoint (couple hundred yards) without a half hour rest and these guys were doing an 'elevation gain' of 1,950 ft. Quite a climb.

The road to the top of the canyon was nothing but switchbacks. All of which were perilously close to the edge of a road that was completely sans guardrails. Yeah.

I don't know if I have mentioned this to you all or not but I have a pretty good fear of heights (it makes flying absolutely delightful) so it took everything in me to keep from curling into a ball in the back seat with my eyes firmly shut. Instead, every 30 feet or so, I whined about how terrifying it all was. Bassman loved this. He asked why I put myself through it and I told him I was trying to conquer my fears and could he please just drive in the middle of the road?

But you don't get to see sights like this without a little effort (if sitting in the car with your eyes closed during all the scary parts while your partner drives you is considered effort) so I soldiered on.

We continued our journey with the ultimate goal of the visitor center (gift shop!). Big bird was watching ...

We did stop at a couple of pull offs. The scenery was just too much for Bassman and I to pass by.

Squaw Fingers,

Coke Ovens,

and Independence Monument,

The trip was definitely worth the cost of admission, the scary drive, and maybe even the cowardly whining from the passenger seat.

Only Bassman can answer that one.


Kate said...

Amazing! Such beauty. Good for you for enduring the agony! Thanks for the photos, they're awesome!

Misfit in Paradise said...

Thank you Kate.

Betsy said...

okay...I see another Colorado trip in my (near?!) future! Way cool photos!