Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Black Canyon of the Gunnison, Gunnison Route Hike, Part II

Black Canyon of the GunnisonI always feel like a jet trail across a blue sky is going to make any picture better, kind of like Nate Dogg always did for rap songs.

Black Canyon of the GunnisonThere's apparently about three-quarters of a mile of river access down here, but the last thing I felt like doing was more walking.

A nice fellow from Corpus Christi who was on a month-long RV trip with his wife was kind enough to take my picture. Now that I'm obsessed with national parks, I can see doing a trip like that with Danelle when the kids are off to college in another dozen years or so.

Black Canyon of the GunnisonEvery different picture I could find to take was a little longer that I could put off climbing back out of the canyon. Oh, look! I can take one looking up at the north rim from under this tree!

Black Canyon of the GunnisonAnd another where I get some loose rock and fall foliage in the foreground! Alas, I'd about run of pictures to take by this point. So it was back up, which I'd convinced myself would use different muscles than coming down had and therefore would go fine.

Oddly enough, it seemed like I was right! I took breaks due to being out of breath more often than I did for being sore, and in much less time than the planned two hours I was back up to the Oak Flat Loop Trail.

Black Canyon of the GunnisonA look back where I'd just been was gratifying. My first official backcountry hike had gone almost exactly as planned, which made me optimistic that I can do more trips like this in the future. Hopefully Danelle won't read that part...

All too soon, my little adventure had come to an end. But not without a few last shots of the scenery.

We close our day at Black Canyon of the Gunnison with one of my favorite wildflowers -- Tansy Aster. Various stages of its brief, colorful life cycle all captured in this one plant.

All in all, an amazing experience and well worth the trip. National parks are still one of the best deals going for unforgettable memories. Consider this a public service announcement: Make plans to visit one today!

Click here for Part I.

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