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Badlands National Park

Badlands National Park

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The Mountain That Defeated Me

One of the more interesting adventures on my Colorado vacation was my attempt to climb a 14er. A 14er, in hiking parlance, is a 14,000 foot mountain. This is Quandry Peak, south of Vail and Breckenridge, Colorado.

I did not, however, make it to the top of the mountain. I came within 1000 feet in elevation and a half mile of physical distance before we turned back. To paraphrase the Lord of the Rings, the Mountain had defeated me.

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Alluvial Fan Falls

It's bloody stinking hot here in 'Mogadishu on the Mississippi'¹, and so the perfect pictures to share in weather like this are waterfalls. I didn't see many waterfalls on my trip to dry Colorado, but I did come across one in Rocky Mountain National Park. This is Alluvial Fan Falls, which is a remnant and legacy of a terrible flood that hit the park in 1982 thanks to a Dam failure that killed three people. The dam is gone, the lake is diminished, and the debris that flood carried down has created these falls.



Stay cool!

¹'Credit' for the phrase Mogadishu on the Mississippi goes to Theodore Beale. In contrast to his views and beliefs, I love the multicultural nature of the Twin Cities. Remember, every time you eat some tasty Doro Wat, Vox Day cries.

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The Black Canyon of the Gunnison

"I have seen the Canyonlands. Crooked lines like in your hands. You'll swear the earth was split in two. I wouldn't lie, I promise you, that I have seen it, you will too. You could not believe it, but for the photographs I took to you..."

--"Caroline", Brandi Carlile.

A very appropriate lyric for a few pictures of the steep and narrow Black Canyon of the Gunnison, in central Colorado.

Black CanyonCollapse )

"Weimer in the Dunes"

"Weimer in the Dunes" at Great Sand Dunes National Park

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Monarch Pass

Monarch Pass, at 11,312 feet, set a new elevation from me (taking it away from Red Mountain Pass, the previous day in the trip).

And then I busted that record by taking a tram to the top of Monarch Ridge (nearly 12,100 feet) at the pass. it's relatively inexpensive and the views were amazing. It was windy and cold but the views made it all worthwhile.

Views like these:

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Million Dollar Highway and Red Mountain

Million Dollar Highway and Red Mountain

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Arches and Mesa Verde

PSA: I figure mirroring my photography posts here might be of interest.

There are some nice arches in Arches National Park, but the Double Arch is the big one of the set. The scale of the thing has to be seen to be believed. Fortunately, there are usually people around to help with the sense of perspective:
I mentioned that there were ruins at Mesa Verde you could get up close and personal to without a tour. Spruce Tree House, near the park's main center, is one of them. This is, again, a kiva. I told you they were like Starbucks. ;)

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