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2012 – Fall Vacation – Part 5

19 Sep

This day will be all about the Black Canyon of the Gunnison – South Rim. The South Rim is more visited so it takes longer to just do to more people and cars at each stop.  We decided to skip “Dragon Point” for various reasons but would make all the other stops.

South Rim

Our first stop is a bit of a detour and a steep drive down below the Diversion Dam in hopes to get a photo of the dam itself; no luck.  Security of today’s climate has the dam fenced off so far up canyon you can only see a small section of it from the fence.  Still, the canyon itself made the trip down well worth the drive down.

Black Canyon of the Gunnison National ParkDiversion Dam

Next stop is Tomichi Point.  As you can see the morning haze and smoke from distant fires makes for an interesting photo.  We will stop by here again before the day is out and you will see how the image changes in several hours later in this blog.

Black Canyon of the Gunnison

Lisa will now start hiking down the Rim Rock Trail towards the visitor center.  I will drive down to the visitor center and start hiking the Rim Rock Trail the other way and meet her back at the visitor center.

Black Canton of the Gunnison

With Lisa and I both now at the Visitor Center we will head out the back door to the overlook…

Black Canyon of the GunnisonBlack Canyon of the Gunnison

Time to drive down to the Pulpit Rock Overlook.  Have I mentioned that these stops and trails take you out to rim of the canyon from there is straight down so watch were you step or the next step could be your last.

Black Canyon of the Gunnison

We will break for lunch and find a picnic table pull out the food we packed in the 4×4.  We have now been in the park for three (3) hours and still have allot of stops still to go.

From there we head to Cross Fissures.  Lisa and a little me can not help notice the geologic details that add to the beauty of the canyon and the forces that took to carve this canyon.

Black Canyon of the Gunnison

Our next photo op location is Rock Point where the canyon walls are nearly vertical sheer drops to the floor below.

Black Canyon of the Gunnison

Off to Devils Overlook next.  Again to note, there is little to no railing so yes you can walk right up to the edge and fall quite easy so it best to stay back at least a few feet / yards from the edge when taking photos.

Chasm View is out next stop that is a strongly built platform with walls.  So, if you are a bit squeamish with height this is a good place to stop and look outward to enjoy the canyon.

Black Canyon of the Gunnison

A short drive / walk you reach Painted Wall and yes you will be waking right out to the edge here for the best photos.  I did meet a couple that his wife was a bit squeamish with the lack of railings but we were able to get her close enough to see and enjoy the view.  The trick was to keep her looking forward and not down and let her set the pace.

Black Canyon of the Gunnison

Cedar Point is the next stop and a great place to get photos of the Gunnison River below as it continues to carve the canyon deeper and wider.

Black Canyon of the Gunnison

Farther down the road we reach Sunset View where you can see way up the canyon.  You can also see the Cedar Point overlook on the right with it’s well built railings.

Black Canyon of the Gunnison

We will also spot some of the wildlife that calls this place home.  It was amazing how many people didn’t see it or even know what they were looking at.  The Turkey Vulture calls this place home and can be seen flying overhead if you look up.  Folks were sure grateful we pointed the one out resting on the rocks along the trail to the overlook.

Black Canyon of the GunnisonBlack Canyon of the Gunnison

High Point is the end of the road for the South Rim.  This photo is looking back up the canyon put right behind me are farm fields.  There is also a trail-head here but we won’t take it as the day is nearly gone

Black Canyon of the Gunnison

I mentioned at the beginning of this blog entry we would stop again at Tomichi Point before leaving the South Rim of the Black Canyon of the Gunnison.  Note the difference in haze / light from the either photo taken at nearly the same point / angle hours apart.  This is why you can come to a place like this over and over and not see the same thing just because of difference in light.

Black Canyon of the Gunnison

It’s nearly 3PM and we have now been in the park for seven (7) hours and for us it is time to head back to Grand Junction and have dinner and call it a day.  As Lisa says, I always seem to find something railroad related and what do I find in the parking lot at dinner but Union Pacific #43784 High-Railer maintenance truck.

High-Railer MOW Truck

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