It was already the next morning, the sun seeming to race across the horizon and stream into the sky. The light was just starting to pick up in the valley as we checked out, loaded up and started on our way.

We were headed up to the north country, towards Rocky Mountain National Park and Montana, and as we passed out of Montrose, we saw a sign for a national park we’d never visited before. Curious, and filled with that strong charactaristic wanderlust, we took the turn, followed the signs winding back into hills, and passed a couple of old holding dams and washouts. Then as we crossed our final hill and rounded the bend we were met with a startlingly beautiful overlook.

Black Canyon of the Gunnison Near Montrose:
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Gorgeous detour to the Black Canyon of the Gunnison, Near Montrose, Colorado

The Canyon stood out, though dug down from the plateau, it seemed to jump up out of the ground at us, the jagged cuts and beautiful striation of the rock was dazzling. We parked the truck, offloaded and wandered about out to the farthest lookout. It was beautiful, and mesmerized by it’s beauty it was a few minutes before we thought to grab our camera’s and capture the view.

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Looking down into the canyon

Having taken a few photos in the mid morning light, we loaded back up and decided to see what the rest of the canyon looked like, we wound around and visited a few more lookouts, taking photos, and relaxing. Basking in the beauty and power of nature, before we decided to head back to that first overlook, hit the park service utilities, grab our guitars and some picnic food, and head back to the rim of the canyon.

We played some music, and Ma’ serenaded us with some of her original tunes, before we took a moment to capture some video. Having played and enjoyed the lookout for a second time, we loaded up and headed over to the Park Service Station. There we watched an amazing documentary about the mapping of the canyon and the drilling of an irrigation tunnel, which feeds the majority of the water to Montrose. We stepped outside and from the balcony there enjoyed the afternoon light dancing along the rock walls. As the day wore on we shook off our wonder, and headed back to the truck, but not before taking one last glance back.

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Beautiful twists and turns of the canyon

The next day we were to adventure up into Rocky Mountain National Park, and Grand Lake was waiting for us.