Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Colorado National Monument

The WINs have moved on to Grand Junction where Peggy and Marvin are our hosts. If we can just keep Peggy from have a nervous breakdown worrying about everything, we'll be fine. Of course, I'm the same way when I host, so I completely understand.

She arranged for us to park at the fairgrounds where each of us has our own grassy front yard.

Yesterday 20 of us went for a hike through one of my favorite places - Colorado National Monument. Although the Monument is just off Interstate 70, it doesn't have the popularity it deserves. It is truly lovely from the overlooks along the drive through the park, but it was a thrill to climb down into the canyon and see the formations from a different angle. We shuttled cars so we could do the Monument Canyon trail - six miles, all downhill.

Driving in the West entrance, we wondered who carved the caveman head at the top of this cliff.

After driving up a 'pretty good hill' and through some interesting rock tunnels, we reached Rim Rock Drive. This is Independence Monument - the most famous monolith in the park. Unfortunately the sun was wrong for a good picture.

Here are 19 of the 20 hikers really for our six mile hike - part of Peggy's planned triathlon. If you think some of the smiles are a bit forced, this was about the fifteenth camera Darlene used - everybody wanted a picture with their own camera. Take a good look, there is no 'after' picture.

After a false start (oops, wrong trail,) we started down the 600-foot decent from the plateau into Monument Canyon.

Although there were rumors of ladders, in reality the switchbacks were fairly easy.

Here's Judy navigating one of the turns.

Finally we reached the bottom where we were awed by the towering formations. Ron found a nice spot to rest.

This monolith is called 'Kissing Couple' - we didn't agree with the name from this angle.

But once we got around to the other side, it really did look like a kissing couple.

Here's Independence Monument from the base. It really looks different from this angle too.

I hope these rocks fell a really long time ago.

Somebody thought this looked like a frog and added eyes and a tongue.

A view back down the canyon. We still had about two miles to go at this point, but this is the last of my pictures. :-)


  1. WOW, great parking accommodations!!

    And what a great hike!!

  2. It really was a great hike! I missed the caveman -- good catch.