Wednesday, November 9, 2011
Vagabonding across the 39th Parallel: A Canyon Where Cameras Stand Sideways
we were in the last vagabonding post; I was describing a place that could have been the much more familiar Grand Canyon National Park, a place with a less visited North Rim, and a heavily trafficked South Rim, but we were in Colorado instead. Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park preserves one of the most unique canyons in the world, a canyon so deep that cameras start standing sideways in the hands of photographers leaning over the rim. The canyon just doesn't fit in the picture any other way.
vagabonding across Colorado and Utah, roughly following the 39th parallel. We had left the Rocky Mountains behind, and when we crossed McClure Pass, we entered into the Colorado Plateau, the high uplifted region extending across the entire Four Corners region. When we paused in Paonia, an old coal mining town, I glanced at the map and realized we were only a few miles from the remote part of the park. The road was gravel, but not at all difficult to negotiate, and after an hour or so we arrived at the only developed spot, a ranger station. The ranger seemed gratified to have a couple of visitors.