Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Roubideau Canyon (10/12/2016)

While exploring yet another section of the Uncompahgre Plateau, I came across a road called Roubideau Canyon Road.  As you might expect, I felt compelled to take a look and see what I might find.  The road is pretty good and follows Roubideau Creek for about six miles.  A lesser road actually continues into the next canyon, but it departs from the creek, so isn't as photogenic.  I later learned the canyon is named for an early settler in the area, a Frenchman named Antoine Roubideau who arrived in 1828 and subsequently started a trading post that came to be known as Fort Uncompahgre.  (The city of Delta has restored the fort and offers educational tours of the historic site.)  The canyon is part of a 20,000 acre Wilderness Area, said to be home to a variety of wildlife, including bighorn sheep that were reintroduced in the 1990s.

Although shallow initially, the canyon walls ultimately reach more than 1000 feet above the floor.  The creek was well below full, looking more like a series of puddles.  I intend to return in the Spring for another look.  On this trip, the payoff was the large number of golden cottonwood trees that line the creek banks and reflect nicely in the pools.


.Despite my best efforts to spot wildlife, my only sightings were a white-crowned sparrow and a colony of cliff swallows nesting on the cliff.

The exposed cliffs were of great interest to me, as I could clearly see a variety of sedimentary rock.  I'm always fascinated by the different textures and colors of the deposits made millions of years ago, as I wonder just what the forces were that created such diversity.

On a side note, I met two women driving their truck along  the road, bringing lunch to their friends who were working at the end of the canyon.  From the logo on their trailer, they are "Weed Busters", hired by BLM to spray for noxious weeds growing in the area. Their motto: "Have Mules, Will Travel".  I didn't get to meet the guys, however, since they were out looking for weeds to spray, riding their mules.    I hadn't thought of it, but mules make a lot more sense in this terrain than horses or any other type of transportation.

1 comment:

  1. Loved all the beautiful cottonwoods . . interesting tidbit about the mules . . just like they did 100 years ago . .