Taylor River

It was really cold last night.  Although the daytime highs are in the 70s, it drops into the high 20s at night.  The water line froze and we had to use the internal water and pump until the hose thawed out.  Everything outside was covered with a layer of frost.

We didn’t want to waste the day, so we had a quick breakfast and immediately started exploring.  After a short walk along the Gunnison River, our first stop was a county park a little outside of town called Hartman Rocks.  The place was laced with gravel roads and seemed to be a magnet for mountain bikers.  We drove to one of the lookouts and spent a few minutes taking in the overview of Gunnison, Colorado.  We see some strange things on the road, but one of the strangest was a college-aged couple hitting golf balls off a cliff into a deep canyon below.  It looked like fun, but it was not the smartest thing to do.  Anyone unfortunate enough to be struck by one of these dimpled meteors would be killed instantly.  I wonder how long it takes for a golf ball to decompose in this arid environment.

We stopped at Pizza Hut for what was suppose to be a quick lunch, but two high school teams had gotten there before us.  In addition to outside orders, the waitress said they cooked over 75 pizzas for lunch.  It took an hour to get through lunch and we even received a job offer to help.  We declined the offers.

After the Pizza Hut debacle, we headed north toward the ski town of Crested Butte, which turned out to be a nice place in a spectacular setting.  It is literally at the end of the road.  On the way back we returned to the Taylor River and pulled off the road at a quiet spot.  Not in any hurry, we found flat rocks to sit on along the bank and enjoyed the sunny afternoon.  It was one of those unique experiences — the longer you sat there the more detail you saw.  In the changing light, the view was never the same from minute to minute.  We were warm and cool at the same time.  The side facing the sun was warm and getting sunburned, while the side facing away from the sun was cold from the breeze blowing through the canyon.  What a nice way to spend an afternoon.  Next time, I’ll bring my fishing pole.

Eventually we returned to the coach, had dinner and prepared for another cold night.  In the dry, thin air, the temperature can drop 40 degrees.  Tomorrow we set off for Grand Junction.