|Today we visited Colorado's own Grand Canyon, Black Canyon. It’s just been since 1999 that the dramatic landscape of Black Canyon of the Gunnison has held national park status, but the Gunnison River’s carving of the canyon began millions of years ago. The Black Canyon, so named because the walls are often shrouded in shadows making them appear black, has some of the world’s oldest exposed rock — Precambrian or “basement” rock that is nearly 2 billion years old. At it's narrowest point the canyon is only 40 feet across at the river.
This is the perfect spot for scenic drives where you can peer 2,000 feet below the often guardrail-less edge to see the Gunnison River that descends in elevation at one of the fastest rates of any North American river, an average of 34 feet per mile!
Near Montrose, the park’s South Rim Visitors Center is open year-round and is command central for a visit to the park. We weren't able to visit the South Rim while in Montrose so we decided to take the North Rim Drive while here in Gunnison. Many prefer the relative solitude that this drive offers as well as the stunning vistas and six dramatic overlooks of the canyon, most of which are along the road. Pioneer Point offered a couple of great views and the truth is, we didn't travel much farther than that today. The road meanders away from the canyon walls and the GPS showed that it stayed that way for awhile. So, we decided to head back to the rig & rest a bit before having dinner with our friends.
The wind kicked up as the day progressed & I wondered where we were all going to be able to sit for our meal without blowing away! But just about dinner time it died down & we had beautiful weather for a couple of hours. We enjoyed taco soup, cornbread, salad & baked apples for dessert. Yummyyyy...A nice ending to a great day! We head out once again tomorrow morning. I believe we'll be traveling to Cheyenne, Wyoming on this next stretch of our trip. So, we'll see you there!