It was a quick 84 miles from Fruita to Montrose, CO over not so good roads. Highway US 50 from Fruita to Delta looks good but it is constantly in shallow dips. It reminds you of the frostheaves in Canada and Alaska but the dips are shallower so you can still drive over them at full speed. It just gives the suspension a good workout. Doris says it also makes it very hard to take pictures! :) We had those up until the last 30 or so miles where the road had been redone.
We are staying at Centennial RV Park & Campground which is a very nice Passport America park about 10 miles South of Montrose. It is probably the nicest PA park we have been in though the PA rates are only good for three days max. We have a 50 amp full hookup pull-through which is very long. The only down side is the side by side hookups but the sites are wide enough that the loss of privacy on the passenger side isn't as bad as most with side by side hookups. We also have good free wireless and was able to view the satellite after a little jockeying to get around a tree.
Tuesday we went into Black Canyon on the Gunnison National Park
to explore its South Rim. This is one of our newest National Parks being only 12 years old. It was named a National Monument in 1933 and became a National Park in 1999. Just to the East of the National Park is Curecanti National Recreation Area
where the Black Canyon continues outside of the National Park.
The Black Canyon is different from any of the other canyons we have seen this Summer as it is very narrow and steep-sided as well as having a much darker coloration. Most of the viewpoints on the South Rim are located a good distance from the parking so we hiked about two miles just getting from the car to the viewpoints without hiking any specified "hiking trails". It rained off and on all day but it wasn't very crowded so we took our time and just enjoyed the solitude and magnificent scenery. Some of the pictures may have been better in full sun but the low hanging clouds look good as well. It was amazing to watch the clouds keep rising from the canyon and up.
Wednesday we took off for the North Rim of Black Canyon. Similar to the Grand Canyon, you have to drive a good distance to get around the canyon and back to its rim from the other side. The total trip was a little over 180 miles but also allowed us to take a scenic drive up into the San Juan Mountains and through the Curecanti NRA. The North Rim has fewer viewpoints and they are closer to the road so we spent much less time viewing the canyon but that gave us more time to enjoy the rest of the drive in the mountains.
Thursday we stayed in camp and relaxed after two long days of sightseeing. Tomorrow we head for Poncha Springs for two nights before continuing to Colorado Springs for a week.