There are a lot of places in the US I’ve still not seen, including, sadly, the Grand Canyon. There are also several places in our own state that I’ve not seen. In late September, I finally made it to a couple of locations that have been on my bucket list for a while. That included the Colorado National Monument, about which Angie wrote a while ago (yeah, I’m way behind), but also, a few sights we took in on our way there.
We had decided that we would take a bit of extra time off to visit Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park, also long on my bucket list. While we were on the way there, we realized that the town of Gunnison was actually about an hour’s drive before the park, so we decided to modify our plan a little. We had a quick lunch and a stroll at Curecanti National Recreation Area. This part of the NPS is very close to the Black Canyon of the Gunnison and is mainly made up of three reservoirs. It’s very pretty and it was nice to be able to check it out.
We were going to be staying at the Wanderlust Hostel in Gunnison, so we decided to detour to Crested Butte, a town I’d never visited. Our dear friend Megan had just moved away from the town, so we were a little disappointed we wouldn’t see her, but we were excited to see what the town had to offer. (Ironically, Megan actually returned to the town for a wedding about half an hour after we left.) We parked at one end of the main street, and wandered up and down checking out some of the stores. We identified the ice-cream parlor that was supposed to be the best in town and went and checked that out. None of the flavors were particularly appealing to me so I just had a cup of coffee and one of their day-old donuts. Angie really liked the ice cream she sampled. On our way back to the car from the ice-cream parlor, I looked down a side-street and saw this. The picture doesn’t quite capture how cool it was to see the avenue of trees with changing leaves along with the changing leaves on the mountain, but I had to try.
After we left Crested Butte and worked our way back to Gunnison and the hostel. We did meet the owner of the hostel, Amy, and talked to her for quite a while about how she was running things at her facility and what we were hoping to do in Pueblo.
We’d been recommended a restaurant in Gunnison, but we had some leftovers from our dinner the night before so we didn’t need to cook or go out. But it gave us a chance to experience the community at the hostel and get to know some of the other guests. The hostel in Gunnison has two dorms and two private rooms and we took one of the private rooms (still had to share the bathroom, but that was ok). The hostel is doing so well that Amy is expanding to other properties in town. So happy for her.
After a good night’s sleep we found our way to the National Park. Our park membership had expired, so we renewed it at the visitor center, and took our tour of the park. It was quite lovely, and the canyon was pretty awesome, though I know it’s not as mind blowing as the Grand Canyon. We didn’t go down to the river itself because we wanted to reach Grand Junction in time to meet our friends for dinner, but we drove along South Rim Drive and stopped at several of the overlooks. We walked on the Rim Rock Nature Trail, which is at the end of South Rim Drive, after having a lovely picnic at the trailhead. Here are some pictures from around the park. So glad to have gotten there.