Fire Cloud...
An irregular marking on the exterior of Native American pottery: usually resulting from burning fuel coming in direct contact with the vessel during firing

Friday, 14 August 2009

Black Canyon of the Gunnison

Montrose, Colorado

Whoa!...I'm dangerous. I figured out how to set the camera to take a picture in ten seconds so now I just set it on a rock and get Mrs. Phred to stand in front with me. Problem: she didn't like her hair so I just blew up my ugly face...I don't care.

The Gunnison river loses more elevation in 48 miles than the Mississippi loses in 1500. It used to slam though the canyon at the rate of 12,000 cubic feet a seconds in Spring with 3 million horsepower. This allowed the river to carve an extremely steep canyon though very hard rock at a depth of nearly 3,000 feet. The upper portions of the river now have three dams which created high mountain lakes stocked with many species of trout, Dolly Varden and salmon. The lake region is administered by the National Park Service and is called the Curecanti National Recreation Area.

We look down into the steep canyon and eat our lunch in on a picnic table provided by the National Park Service. In 1901 William Torrence and Abraham Lincoln Fellows took a rubber mattress for a raft, arranged to be supplied at various points from the rim, and were able to make their way through the canyon -- 33 miles in nine days. The river is much less wild now that dams have been built upriver. However, the river rapids are still rated class V to unnavigable..

This cliff is 2300 feet tall. The Empire State building would come halfway to the top. The igneous intrusions make a pretty picture. It's called the Painted Wall. The park is mostly a series of overlooks about 200 yards apart. Sometimes you walk 400-600 yards to look into the chasm. What did Nietzsche say?... "If you look long enough into the void the void begins to look back through you. "

1 comment:

  1. We were through there about 10 years ago - one of the most beautiful places I'd ever seen.