Sunday, July 24, 2016

Black Canyon & Owl Creek Pass (7/15/2016)

Starting around June 24, I became heavily involved in the process of moving into my new home.  First, I encountered problems with the movers who were supposed to be moving my storage unit boxes from Florida to Montrose.  The bottom line was I took them off the job and, since it was too late to arrange another moving company, I decided I had to do it myself.  I flew to Tampa on June 25, rented a truck and , with great help from my son Randy, got the truck loaded early on June 26 and immediately headed west.  Three days of hard driving and I was in Montrose, 2100 miles from my old home.  My closing was scheduled for June 30 and went off without a hitch.  That's when the real fun began.

Right after the closing, I began to unload the truck at my new digs.  I had good help for a couple days and managed to get everything unloaded, and much of it put away.  Over the next few days, multiple furniture deliveries kept me busy, along with moving boxes from the garage into the house.  Of course, I had to make numerous shopping trips for necessities, and a few just for home decor items.  After a couple weeks, I was ready for my first visitors, BIL Charlie and SIL JoAnne.  Honestly, I was also ready for a break and a chance to have some fun.

The first day trip took us to Black Canyon of the Gunnison and a drive down that very steep road to East Portal.  Right by the Gunnison River, we could see the entrance to the tunnel that goes nearly six miles through the mountains to provide irrigation water to the entire valley, and has for more than 100 years.  At that point, the river is very calm and smooth.

On the way back to the rim, we had good views of the canyon and even saw a mule deer.

Here is the Painted Wall, although I still don't understand why it's called that.  Also shown is the crack that glows like fire on certain occasions when the sunrise hits it just right.  I hope some day to witness that.

After a picnic lunch and visit to a quaint gift shop, we took a back road through the rolling hills and eventually made it to Silver Jack Reservoir.

From there, we made our way up to Owl Creek Pass, admiring the rock formations and wildflowers along the way.

At the summit, some 10,114 feet above sea level, we stopped for a while by the stream that produced some nice little waterfalls.

Shortly after, we came to the famous Deb's Meadow, named for Debbie Reynolds who played a scene here in making How The West Was Won.  The meadow was also the location for the great gun battle in the original True Grit movie, featuring John Wayne as Rooster Cogburn and Robert Duval and his three henchmen.  You'll notice that Chimney Rock overlooks the meadow, just as it did in the movie.  The meadow also has some lovely wildflowers.  While there, we met a family from North Carolina who were on a mission to find all the locations used in True Grit, so we told them where to find Mattie's Rock, near the summit.

As we drove down to the town of Ridgway, we had a great view of Cimarron Ridge, followed by a closer view of Chimney Rock and Courthouse Mountain with storm clouds building behind them.

1 comment:

  1. WOW . . what a crazy move . . glad it's over . . been missing your wonderful photographs . .