Saturday, June 06, 2009

RV trip, day 9: Black Canyon of Gunnison River National Park

At the canyon rim

The Gunnison River at the bottom of Black Canyon

The man at the entrance to the park said we were welcome to drive down into the canyon, but warned us that the grade is 16 percent. That conjured up images of burning out our brakes going downhill and never making it back up. We laughed and took the South Rim Road, an easy trip with dizzying views of the 2,700-foot deep gorge below. Apparently it's called Black Canyon because it's so narrow and deep that much of it stays in the shadows. Literature at the visitor's center said that some hikers have disappeared and have never been found. That's too rugged for me.

For the last two mornings we've heard a woman singing the National Anthem, apparently to begin the calf-roping festivities going on adjacent to our RV park. I ambled over there without my camera this afternoon and saw a few dozen people sitting in a small grandstand watching pairs of cowboys chase and rope calves. I assume it was a timed competition, because the same activity was repeated every couple of minutes. It was a tame family event with no evidence of drinkin', cussin', or spittin' Red Man, but much visual and olfactory evidence of horse manure. Tomorrow I understand will be the children's competition.

Colorado may have gone for Obama, but I see anecdotal signs that western Colorado might have resisted the rest of the state. There are billboards warning that the Federal Reserve is going to take over our lives—didn't we hear something like that from Governor Pailin? I've seen nothing pro-O, but smatterings against him, the most interesting being a bumper sticker that said:

I'll keep my guns, freedom and money. You can keep "the change."

We had lunch at The Red Barn Restaurant in Montrose, something called a "Monte Cristo" sandwich with ham, turkey, and cheese on French toast. Sounds good? Well, it was, but it could have been called Monte Crisco or the Heart Attack Special, because the whole concoction looked deep-fried. And I won't even mention the onion rings that came with it. We didn't clean our plates and still won't be able to eat again until tomorrow. What were we thinking?
The Egyptian Theater in Delta, Colorado

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