On June 7th my sister and I drove across Colorado with the goal of visiting Dinosaur National Monument the next day. We started our morning in Canyon City and visited the Royal Gorge first thing in the morning and then proceeded to drive across Colorado on our epic road trip 2017. Eventually I'll post road trips from 2014-16!
I stopped to take a few shots of the Arkansas River which was flowing into the Royal Gorge. We were traveling from the Royal Gorge to Salida on the first leg of our journey to Grand Junction.
We were heading towards Monarch Pass...
Snow covered mountains; I think so!
Driving across the country in our tiny car...
So we continued...
This is the area between Gunnison and Montrose, we didn't go through Montrose though, we continued north to Hotchkiss. This is Curecanti National Recreation Area which is AMAZING.
This area is the Dillon Pinnacles.
So I believe this is part of The Black Canyon of the Gunnison, but it is also Curecanti National Recreation Area.
Incredibly beautiful, I had to stop multiple times to take photos!
I believe I've been so far behind with posting images I didn't know where to start. Maybe I can begin to work on this blog again.
Add this to a list of "Things I do not like." Suspension bridges, that move and shake and you can look through the boards and see a thousand feet down. This bridge would be on my big "nope" list. Nope, not going back and I did it once, no need to walk across it again. Also, how do I begin to catch up on this blog with a move out of state and over two years worth of travel barely touched. I guess I will begin with whatever I feel like posting. This bridge spans the Arkansas River which I find fascinating for a few reasons; one being Spiro is near it.
What is a gorge? Why is this one "royal," you might ask. I do not know why it is the Royal Gorge, but I will soon, because I'm going to search for this information on google.
A Gorge is a narrow valley between hills or mountains, typically with steep rocky walls and a stream running through it.
We visited the Gorge on June 7th at the beginning of our annual road trip.
And I will return to Colorado with some photos from Dinosaur Ridge, where you can look at ancient footprints that were once part of the ancient oceans and a visit to the Jurassic period and an introduction to the Morrison Formation named after Morrison,Colorado.
Here I have my Colorado map, my camera bag and my phone ready to head out on that Thursday morning after the Sting concert at Red Rocks Ampitheater in Morrison. We stayed at a La Quinta in Lakewood, which was a pretty nice hotel.
Kids were out playing around the dinosaur statues outside of the center and gift shop.
The road is closed, you have to hike around or take the tourbus. Dinosaur ridge is just that, you are looking at the remnants of an ancient sea bed which is now the side of a mountain.
They gave us a little history of the settlement of the ridge and I believe they mentioned the Cheyenne people, but I cannot remember the story now.
Here are ripple marks that the waves left behind a millions of years ago in the sand and it was preserved in the sandstone. What an amazing world this is.
I can't grasp how people can carefully push aside in their minds evolution or deny it altogether. I once worked with a woman whose spouse believed that dinosaurs were a big conspiracy theory. Blows my mind.
The ripple marks in the rocks are neat what a different world this was when they were formed.
Here is our great tour bus. Actually we had the super cool dino-tour bus.
Listening to the tour guide.
To give you an idea that's my hand in the dinosaur print.
This is the view facing the interstate that leads into Denver.
The view of Morrison and Red Rocks!
We learned how to find a dinosaur bone in the rocks. Now, I want to do this. I want to learn how to look for bones and fossils.
Here is a dinosaur bone for you.
A dinosaur footprint.. this was a large creature who made this indentation!
So, if you follow the Guanella pass from Grant you will end up in George Town Colorado.
We didn't enter Georgetown from the interstate, we came up Guanella Pass from Grant.
If you'd like more information about Georgetown click here.
At the Summit it was snowing on us and I was ready to get down the mountain to Georgetown, I was lightheaded and could barely carry on a conversation and my chest felt weird, I decided I didn't like the altitude.
A powerline shot, which I normally don't do, but it was unavoidable.
Didn't see any bighorn sheep, but we did see a sign for them. I was ready to get off the mountain so I have few shots on the way down.
I loved the views of Georgetown.
I had enough of the rockies fairly quickly and was ready to get back to the wide open spaces.
There are so many more tourist things that I've found to do in Colorado after my trip. But, I am not going to be a winter tourist. Maybe next summer!
Finally we made it to town...
This town is beautiful, with it's quaint victorian houses. When I become wealthy I'm buying a house in this town.
We didnt' spend much time in town. Stopped for fuel and at Subway for sandwiches..where I saw this...For whatever reasons my email didn't download right on my phone. I had an email that has upset me greatly and I'm very grateful I didn't receive it when I was in Colorado. It seems like my life is this line in a song "It's a big enough umbrella, but it's always me that ends up getting wet.
It's a chapter in my life I want closed the last two years, yet I can't seem to do that yet. So I feel very frustrated. Let me get through 2013 now. It's a setback of a 1/2 a year if I cannot resolve the situation. I have learned lessons from graduate school that I didn't expect, to trust my instincts about people and classes- I ignored them. To speak out and complain. I also need to do a better job standing up for myself. That begins now. But, for tonight, I'm going to sleep. Goodnight world.
Yes, I am editing a lot of photos today (while I work on laundry, dishes and all the other boring stuff you do when you are at home). I've worked my way through some Kansas images today and now I'm looking through these mountain images again.
My 12 year old and I are watching a show on Netflix called "I Shouldn't Be Alive," about people who have survived in extreme situations. Which of course makes me think about driving up isolated mountain roads.
The aspens were pretty here as we got further up the mountain they weren't even budded out yet.
The mountain streams which were stunning.
I'm not really sure what I was shooting here, probably a tree. Not the stream, but this is what my sister does while I'm taking photographs with her iPad camera (which takes nice photos). So here you go... me doing what I like to do.
I was shooting a tree, these shots all fit the right angle.
Every curve we passed it just seemed to get more beautiful.
Yet with every curve you could see the rugged power of nature.
I kept driving. I wasn't used to the altitude, what didn't seem to bother my sister. I was out of breath with any physical exertion, yet we kept driving up the mountain.
It was intimidating to keep driving up higher and higher, yet I knew that the road was only 24 miles and I'd been by the town that we ended up at on the other side before.
I can't imagine traveling in this country a hundred years ago.
I appreciate Cyndy and her suggestion for this trip. You can follow her on twitter: @arkydiva
Snow in June and it was the first time I was ever snowed on in June.
By the time we were this high up I was out of breath enough that I was ready to get back to the mile high city.
I've always wanted to see a show at Red Rocks since I have watched some events that were filmed there and played on the music channels. Words can't really describe the experience. I finally had the chance to see Sting in concert at Red Rocks last Wednesday on his Back to Bass Summer 2013 tour. Yes, I've been to a Sting concert quite a few times now - 9 to be exact.
Wednesday was exhausting and stressful. Going to a concert in a city you've never been to at a totally new venue and needing to book a hotel for the night pretty much had me stressed out by the time we found the place. We actually got lost in Denver after visiting the Natural History Museum and found our way to Red Rocks, left Red Rocks and booked a hotel, took a nap and returned early before the gates opened.
There will be cell phone pictures in this post since places such as concert venues discriminate against those of us who use good photography equipment. Yes, I said discriminate. Because having a detachable lens means you might actually take good photos of an event while attending it and cause mass destruction to the corporate empire that feeds off of celebrities and talent.
This is the first venue where I can honestly say it doesn't matter where you sit. I spent far more time watching the view than I did worrying about seeing Sting up on stage. It helps that I've been to many of his concerts. But looking out over Denver on a cold June night was pretty incredible.
Of course you all know which song this is right? Right? Roxanne of course. Never as good as it was since The Police tour of 2007 and 2008! How can that be six years ago! June 26, 2007 in Dallas Texas was an amazing show! November 2007 in San Antonio, May 21st 2008 in Dallas... Yeah I remember them all!
You really should go to this venue, even if your sense of direction gets horribly messed up and your navigator is less than talented at navigating and your phone maps suck and you are depending on a paper map and the directions of McDonalds employees to help you find your hotel after the show ends.
I parked on the side of a MOUNTAIN! All of the Sting shows I've been to have been memorable and great times with my older sister. I really loved his Symphonicities tour in 2010, it was a wonderful day waking up to photograph the sunrise in Galveston and then going to the Natural History museum and finally heading to see Sting at the Woodlands in Houston. The tour with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra was the best concert I've ever attended. The music was perfect, incredible. I wish he would do it again.
The view was amazing. I remember the first time I ever went to Houston was in 2004 for the Sting's Sacred Love tour. I was teaching school in Kansas at the time and I left on a Friday afternoon and returned to work on a Monday. It was 1000 miles one way and quite a weekend.
Parking uphill on a mountain wasn't really what I anticipated.
At 14,000 feet altitude in the Colorado Rockies the Guanella Pass is truly breathtaking. Both literally and figureatively. A friend suggested this amazing drive to me yesterday morning so I could avoid the main traffic of the highways, it also allowed some backroads sight seeing which was just what I wanted to do.
If you enter the road from Grant on highway 285 the first portion of your journey is an isolated gravel road. Which after being in Denver was wonderful. We intended to drive through the mountains and then head home yesterday afternoon, which we did. I am home now and exhausted.
This post will have more than one part, but I'm overwhelmed with the amount of photography I did this week. Kansas, Colorado, and Oklahoma, I have plenty of shots to filter through and I will put a few up now.
It's actually more difficult to do photography in a place such as this. Everything is beautiful and the scale is immense so it is hard to take a photograph that shows it's grandeur. I can't possibly do it justice. I can't show you what it feels like to be in these mountains. You can't smell the mountain air or feel the immensity.
This is just beautiful. I really don't have a lot of words to describe this experience. Plus a 16 hour drive yesterday and this morning from Colorado to NW Kansas to Oklahoma has left me exhausted.
My Sister took my photo. I had her take one from my "good side" along with the others I won't edit.
We continued to climb, higher and higher into the mountains to reach the pass. I continued to be more and more breathless as we neared the top of the peaks. I didn't realize it was nearly 14,000 feet at the summit. I was already short of breath while in Denver.
And we continued to climb up the pass. By the time we got to the top I was ready to get down and breathe. No hiking for me.
It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas. It actually began to snow on us while we were at the top.
Snow covered mountains in June.
Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Nature's peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their own freshness into you, and the storms their energy, while cares will drop off like autumn leaves. ~John Muir
The poetry of the earth is never dead. ~John Keats
The human spirit needs places where nature has not been rearranged by the hand of man. ~Author Unknown We spend our lives avoiding nature and trying to be one with it. There is nothing that man can make to compete with the beauty of the outdoors.
From the prairies to peaks I'm wishing you good morning from Denver this morning as I sit in my hotel waiting on my traveling companion to rest up from last night's amazing Sting concert at Red Rocks (which I will post more later). So, right now I'm just going to post random images from my trip. I will share them again later, but it has been a very busy and long trip. I believe we're nearing 1400 miles since last Saturday.
A peacock expressing himself in the Sunset Zoo in Manhattan, Kansas on Tuesday morning.
Golden glow on a field in north central Kansas on Highway 24.
A sunset along Highway 24 in north central Kansas last Saturday.
A yucca plant outside of Buffalo Oklahoma last Saturday
Last night I went to see Sting in Denver at the Red Rocks ampitheater and it was the most amazing venue that I've ever been to.
Dinosaur bones in the Denver Natural History museum.
The Denver skyline right before I got lost. I really do not like driving in Denver. I thought it would be easy at first, and then I got lost. Driving in a new city to find things downtown is stressful. I can't wait to get out to the mountains today and get out of this city!
I stopped at this beautiful, immaculate cemetery in Riley County Kansas. It had real flowers planted at every grave. A beautiful resting place for the people who were loved and buried here.
The beautiful red rocks of Morrison, Colorado.
Overlooking Tuttle Creek Dam in Manhattan Kansas.
I will share more later but today the travel and photography continues.
Anthropologists and Archaeologists filter through inches of dirt, clay and sand to find the little pieces of the past to create pictures of the ancient world. Why? Perhaps to prove just how much like us people were thousands of years ago. These broken vessels lying on the ground at Goodman Point, Colorado. We call our trash litter, their trash is federally protected (I repeat- don't touch).