New Mexico back road

U.S. 87 traveling toward Amarillo.

While traveling from Colorado to Amarillo, Texas, we were never short of something interesting along the route.   Interstate 25 was picturesque and intriguing, and then we took U.S. 87.  

I could imagine the area filled with prehistoric creation combined with volcanoes in this area.  

Another thought occurred too.  Is this part of the terrain where monstrous cloud systems form, creating super cells and major tornadoes heading east?  That was certainly on my mind.  It didn’t help that occasional signs with warning lights warned motorists of potential high winds crossing the roads.

As we approached a dark image ahead we first thought it was part of a mountain range – BUT, we soon learned it was a large cloud.  Should we turn around? 

No, we would continue and see what it was about.  

While we didn’t see lightning I was still apprehensive about continuing through this cloud.  

Well, we didn’t even encounter rain until farther along toward Texas – just a lot of gray cloud cover.  

So, when things seem dark and scary as we face them, unless there is real danger we should continue pursuing our destination.  Sometimes the threat is not as ominous as we initially think.  

I thought it was neat to see the long trains on each side of U.S. 87 – sometimes on the left and sometimes on the right.  Here is a little video of the ride at certain segments.  

Traveling along U.S. 87 in New Mexico from Colorado toward Amarillo.  

Blessings along the Way!

Ron

Beauty to and from

Traveling south along U.S. 50 highway in Colorado.

The trip to the Colorado Rockies was a very enjoyable one.

I had some thoughts though while looking at the images on our trip toward home.

Does one enjoy the trip to the destination of plans more than the return journey home?

Is the view different when traveling back; do we anticipate the trip, or do we just have a ho-hum attitude – like I’ve seen it before already?

Why not enjoy every bit of the journey – to the destination and beyond? 

The mountains are the same – I mean they didn’t change in just a week.

The sky is still adorned with the majestic blues.

Why, even if gray clouds pop up the sky is still the same above.

One could take a thousand photos of a location and each image is unique.

I think I shall never tire of beholding the beauty surrounding us.

We may have a thousand look-alikes that look and act just like us;

But! We are individually unique and made special for this time.

We too should continue enjoying the beauty within us and the beauty all around.

Quarry along U.S. 50 in Colorado.
Quarry along U.S. 50 highway in Colorado that has its own beauty and purpose.  

Take a breath, pause – behold!  Absorb the scenery. 

Enjoy life!

Blessings and love along the way!

Ron

Stand the test of time

Rocks that tell the tale of time.

As I look at these images over and over again,

I can’t help but wonder what has passed by through the ages.

Rocks of old, pinnacles and spires – formations;

Taking untold years of change and erosion,

From the affects of the sun, rain and water – life.

But they stand, albeit weathering that which would take it down;

Representing a part of our own lives, and how we can endure.

When the affects of life take their toll and we wonder how we’ll go,

But we’ll endure with God’s help as He preserves our being,

When we have our trust in Him – 

This I know.  

National Park Service image display, edited for clarity

According to geologists and the U.S. National Park Service:

Morrison Formation, Jurassic (bottom left of photo) – Picture herds of dinosaurs grazing alongside streams; turtles and crocodiles slip unnoticed in an out of the water; termites scurry in and out of underground nests.

Dakota Sandstone, Cretaceous (next level up) – This cliff band was formed from warm river valley habitats; fossils of lush flowering plants are trees are found here.

Mancos Shale, Cretaceous – Fantastic creatures lurked in the ancient waters of a broad inland sea that deposited this shale layer; ocean waters covered Colorado.

West Elk Breccia, Tertiary – A mud flow from the West Elk Volcano that froze in time.

Blue Mesa Tuff, Tertiary (top right of photo) – Cemented ash from towering volcanoes once found near the present day San Juan Mountains. 

Pancake mountains?
National Park Service image display, edited for clarity

The Dillon Pinnacles are an example of the many spires found in the Curecanti National Forest, Colorado.  You can tell how the wind, rain and ice carved away at the landscape.  This process happens everywhere but how does the rock at this area form pinnacles? 

When the erosive forces hit the hillside, the underlying weaker rock wears away rapidly.  The more resistant tuff forms a cap of rock on top.  The cap rock helps protect some of the rock underneath while the surrounding rock erodes more quickly.  Thus, a spire or pinnacle forms.  Eventually the cap (tuff) erodes like many of the pinnacles in this area.  (U.S. National Park Service)

Hiking information in this area can be found at https://www.nps.gov/cure/planyourvisit/hiking.htm.

Blessings and love along the way!

Ron

Blue Table

As we continued our journey around the Blue Mesa Lake Reservoir in Colorado, I wondered about the name “mesa.”  Naturally, I looked it up. 

Wikipedia says:  Mesa (Spanish and Portuguese for table) is the American English term for tableland, an elevated area of land with a flat top and sides that are usually steep cliffs. It takes its name from its characteristic table-top shape. It may also be called a table hill, table-topped hill or table mountain.

So, with the blue table around and the collection of water that flows into the area, I can see how the Blue Mesa name originated.  

Blue Mesa Dam and Reservoir

The Colorado River Storage Project on the Upper Colorado River in the U.S.A. is the most complex and extensive river water development in the world.  It includes water drainage in Wyoming, Utah, Colorado, Arizona and New Mexico.  

The Curecanti National Recreation Area became one of the components of the project when it was established in 1965 with the completion of Blue Mesa Dam, creating the largest body of water in Colorado, Blue Mesa Reservoir.

“Most visitors to the park are surprised and impressed by Blue Mesa Reservoir, but do not realize there are actually three large dams and reservoirs in the park.”  National Park Service  https://www.nps.gov/cure/learn/historyculture/aspinall_unit.htm

Blessings along the way!

Ron

Blue Mesa calls me

Blue Mesa Lake provides added beauty to the Gunnison area in Colorado.

“Colorado is a landlocked state, but plenty of Rocky Mountain lakes and reservoirs offer miles of shoreline to swim in and sun yourself by each summer. Blue Mesa Reservoir — part of Curecanti National Recreation Area — is the state’s largest body of water, which means abundant recreation and lounge-worthy beaches.”
https://www.colorado.com/articles/blue-mesa-reservoir-colorado-beach

We didn’t know what to expect while traveling along highway U.S. 50 toward the Blue Mesa Lake but soon saw firsthand how beautiful the area was. Then we approached the Blue Mesa Reservoir.  

It was apparent the lake depth was down a little – probably awaiting the winter’s snow and water deluge – but the level allowed a different view that includes some of the sandy and rocky surfaces.  

Here is a little video clip of the approach to the lake area.  I’ll post more this week about the Blue Mesa Dam and river outflow.  

Blessings along the way!

Ron

Colorado fly fish

Traveling along Colorado 135 not far from Gunnison are plentiful locations for photo-taking for sure, but – how about fly fishing?  Yes, it is a popular area for this unique sport.  Have you tried it? I tried it a few times without success.   These areas really look enticing though.  

Anglers try their skills with fly fishing beside Colorado 135 at Almont.  

Fly fishing season in the Gunnison, Colorado area ends in October so we were there just in time to see some of the anglers near the main roadways.  We didn’t take time to go into the more isolated areas.  

Those not fly fishing equally enjoy the cool waters.  

I didn’t see any salmon heading upstream but I noticed a number of people, beside the anglers, wading in these cool waters.  

Fly fish anglers wade the moving waters to perfect their sport.  
Colorado fly fishing in Almont area.
Bait shop sits on the Gunnison River at the little town of Almont. 

The Three Rivers Resort provides supplies, food and lodging, along with other recreational items and fishing guides.  
https://www.3riversresort.com/fishing/  They have some good barbeque too and I’ll post about that separately.

Did you know?

“Fly fishing is an angling method in which an artificial “fly” is used to catch fish. The fly is cast using a fly rod, reel, and specialized weighted line. Casting a nearly weightless fly or “lure” requires casting techniques significantly different from other forms of casting. Fly fishermen use hand tied flies that resemble natural invertebrates, baitfish, other food organisms, or “lures” to provoke the fish to strike (bite at the fly).

Fly fishing can be done in fresh or salt water. North Americans usually distinguish freshwater fishing between cold-water species (trout, salmon, steelhead) and warm-water species, notably bass. In Britain, where natural water temperatures vary less, the distinction is between game fishing for trout and salmon versus coarse fishing for other species. Techniques for fly fishing differ with habitat (lakes and ponds, small streams, large rivers, bays and estuaries, and open ocean.)” Wikipedia

Blessings along the way!

Ron

Bull elk rack, hardware and gas

Crested Butte Museum
The Plute Bull Elk display seems like it wants to speak to the museum’s guests.  

There is a small museum in Crested Butte’s downtown and you could easily drive past it.  While walking the sidewalk we just happened upon this neat little museum and were compelled to check it out. 

According to the wall plaques, this museum began as a hardware store and then a gas station.  John McCosker built the store in 1883.  It was also a blacksmith shop.  Until this day though the quaint little building is known as Tony’s Conoco. It provided needed support to the residents and those working the mines during this era.  You can enlarge this photo to read more of the history. 

Also interesting in the museum is the largest typical bull elk rack in the world, known as the Plute Bull or Dark Canyon Bull.  Have you seen anything larger?  Enlarge this image for more details. 

I enjoyed this little museum that takes one back in time a little. 

Blessings along the way!

Ron