Author Topic: Black Canyon Of The Gunnison National Park  (Read 3908 times)

Offline stromboli

Black Canyon Of The Gunnison National Park
« on: September 01, 2015, 08:02:42 PM »


This is the shit I do in the summer time while you basement dwellers are looking at porn and toking a doobie out your mama's window (yes I know, I'm repeating myself)

West Central Colorado, about 360 miles from my house. Altitude about 8500 feet. So named because until midsummer, the center canyon is completely in shadow. In mid summer, the canyon bottom sees daylight only for a few hours.
Here is the national park website:

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Unusual because it was bypassed by even the Ute Indians and the Spanish. Was not discovered by explorers until 1873. The river is named after Capt. John Gunnison, who bypassed the gorge in search of a river crossing. There is no bridge across the gorge. You either have to drive 40 miles North or 40 miles South to find a crossing. At its deepest point, it is 2500 feet from top to bottom.

The river itself was so violent that it was considered not navigable. However with a series of dams, the river was eventually tamed. The river itself was not mapped until 1901 by two explorers on a rubber mattress. The rapids were so violent that wooden boats were destroyed.

There are two portals East and West that were tunneled through the canyon wall to deliver water to Montrose county, which was basically an arid wilderness. When you drive there, you see green valleys with arid hillsides covered in Sage and Cedar trees.

The park was designated a national monument in 1933 and became a national park in 1999.
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Offline stromboli

Re: Black Canyon Of The Gunnison National Park
« Reply #1 on: September 01, 2015, 08:09:29 PM »


This is why it is called Black Canyon. The shot is straight down, about 1,800 feet, give or take. The dude is not afraid of heights.
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Offline stromboli

Re: Black Canyon Of The Gunnison National Park
« Reply #2 on: September 01, 2015, 08:14:44 PM »


The river now is much smaller than before it was dammed. This is looking West past the center point of the canyon, midday.
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Offline stromboli

Re: Black Canyon Of The Gunnison National Park
« Reply #3 on: September 01, 2015, 08:17:05 PM »


Another view. Fucking tourist moved into the shot and wouldn't leave.
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Offline stromboli

Re: Black Canyon Of The Gunnison National Park
« Reply #4 on: September 01, 2015, 08:29:15 PM »
The Painted Wall. Height is 2,200 feet. The canyon is a combination of volcanic upthrust and a mixture of Feldspar and other materials including Pyrite and Mica. The canyon itself is one of the deepest in the nation. I think it rivals the Grand Canyon for depth, if not size. The river drops a total of 2.5 miles in 18 miles of the original gorge- shows you how violent the river was before it was tamed.

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Re: Black Canyon Of The Gunnison National Park
« Reply #5 on: September 01, 2015, 09:26:26 PM »
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Another view. Fucking tourist moved into the shot and wouldn't leave.
You should have thrown them into the canyon!
Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able?
Then he is not omnipotent,
Is he able but not willing?
Then whence cometh evil?
Is he neither able or willing?
Then why call him god?

Offline SGOS

Re: Black Canyon Of The Gunnison National Park
« Reply #6 on: September 01, 2015, 09:38:18 PM »
That's an impressive looking piece of the west.  Very Unique.

Offline stromboli

Re: Black Canyon Of The Gunnison National Park
« Reply #7 on: September 01, 2015, 09:39:34 PM »
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You should have thrown them into the canyon!

That particular lady weighed about 200 pounds and her husband was bigger.
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Offline stromboli

Re: Black Canyon Of The Gunnison National Park
« Reply #8 on: September 01, 2015, 09:45:05 PM »
Bambi. Right after I took the picture- fawn was about 50 yards away- wife decided to take the dog off the leash. Dog went after fawn, fawn's momma went after the dog. Nearly took his head off with a kick. Chased him all the way back to the campsite. Picture me standing there with an axe in one hand and a spatula in the other, facing an enraged momma deer. Fortunately she decided not to continue and left. Scary few moments, all told.

The whole park was crawling with deer and Cottontail rabbits, and lots of Raptors. There are Golden Eagles and Peregrine Falcons all over the place, hunting rabbits and Voles. Lots of sightings, but didn't get any pictures.

« Last Edit: September 01, 2015, 09:46:39 PM by stromboli »
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Re: Black Canyon Of The Gunnison National Park
« Reply #9 on: September 01, 2015, 09:45:10 PM »
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That particular lady weighed about 200 pounds and her husband was bigger.
Yeah--but you would have had the element of surprise. :)
Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able?
Then he is not omnipotent,
Is he able but not willing?
Then whence cometh evil?
Is he neither able or willing?
Then why call him god?

Offline stromboli

Re: Black Canyon Of The Gunnison National Park
« Reply #10 on: September 01, 2015, 09:56:04 PM »
The river just west of the dam. Fly fishing paradise, or so the rangers claim. Beautiful stretch of water.




The road down to the river. This is what halfway down a 15% grade looks like. Don't try it in a Fiat 500.

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Offline stromboli

Re: Black Canyon Of The Gunnison National Park
« Reply #11 on: September 01, 2015, 10:05:12 PM »
This tree I tentatively identified as a Limber Pine. They are fairly rare, a high country tree. There are also Colorado Bristlecone Pines here, but are not accessible except by some strenuous backpacking.  I didn't think it was anything but a Juniper until I walked past it and saw it had different type of needles. Also there was a dedicated camera guy there taking pictures of it enthusiastically, so I assumed it was important.

 I carry an Audobon guide with me everywhere I go to identify stuff. I've been fortunate to find some fairly rare flowers. I'm going up into the Utah high country next summer, because I found a white Evening Primrose when we went camping in June, but it was too early for it to blossom.

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Offline stromboli

Re: Black Canyon Of The Gunnison National Park
« Reply #12 on: September 01, 2015, 10:46:46 PM »
The other side from near the South visitor's center. There is no water available any other way but to truck it in, so I always pack water containers with me. The park is on gently sloping terrain from the entrance to the North end. the high point of the park is only accessible on foot with an arduous 2.5 mile hike, uphill and down. I could handle it, but the wife isn't mobile. I didn't want to leave her stuck in a parking lot for 4 hours, so I didn't make the trip. Longest walk to Cedar Point was 600 yards out on a fairly narrow stretch of rocky ground. Fun.

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Offline stromboli

Re: Black Canyon Of The Gunnison National Park
« Reply #13 on: September 02, 2015, 03:19:28 AM »
It rained horrendously the first day in Montrose. This is a picture of the Western sky after the storm when we arrived at the park.

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Offline stromboli

Re: Black Canyon Of The Gunnison National Park
« Reply #14 on: September 02, 2015, 06:14:16 PM »
Taken from the road up to the park. Mountains in the distance are another range. Black Canyon is actually lower down than other mountains. Rocky Mountain National Park, 200 miles northeast, is much higher. 2 years ago we camped at the same altitude, 8500 feet. The peaks were up to 12,000 feet.

                                       
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