Durango & Black Canyon of the Gunnison

Let’s kick this entry off with a nice landscape photo.

And some cute sheep

Hungover riding wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be, probably not the safest thing to be kind of out of it, but it made the miles pass quickly. The roads were less crowded up that way too.

Durango is a very cool town, I love their old train…

Though apparently riding it is really expensive. So I just took pictures.

I managed to time my visit to Durango perfectly for when my aunt and sister would also be in town. The next day we all went out rafting.

The river was pretty low and slow but there was one decent class III rapid

Here we are going into it, notice how I cower in fear of the freezing cold waves.

And stab at it with my fierce paddle.

Most life jackets are terribly unflattering, but the rafting guides all had these small form fitting ones that look all nice. I swear, the more fun outdoorsy activities you find the more expensive gear you feel you need…

I stayed one more night hanging out with family and then ventured across Monarch Pass to Gunnison National Park. When I tried to fuel up, I discovered my debit card had been deactivated. Come to find out it had been somehow jeopardized so they mailed another one to my house and killed the one I had on me. Thanks guys, that helps me a lot. I had everything forwarded to my friend in San Francisco, which left me mid-Colorado with only a small bundle of emergency cash to sustain myself and about a week to blow before I could even begin heading West. I came to Colorado for Chickfest (dirt bike chick riding weekend)dangit and I was going to be there for it.

So I headed off to Black Canyon of the Gunnison, a lesser known National Park I had heard good things about, figuring I could camp cheaply and at least enjoy the beauty of nature in my impoverished state.


Mountain Twisties

The Million Dollar Highway through Ouray is so much fun! (I did it last summer too, but it was still cool!)

I bought some granola bars and tuna packets for my stay and headed off to the park.
(Side note, Bumblebee’s Spicy Thai Chili flavored tuna is freaking -delicious-!)

Look I found someone to take a picture for me!

I arrived to Gunnison in the early evening with rain threatening. I paid the park fee (I think it was $7 for a bike) and was advised to check out the camping down by the river. The road down is winding and paved, though it had a lot of grit that rains had washed across it.

When I awoke there was a deer outside my tent licking the BBQ grill.

Animals are so weird sometimes.

There were tons of birds around and the sound of them all twittering at each other in the morning was almost alarming.

I spent three days hiking around the canyon, reading Moonwalking with Einstein (A SUPER GOOD BOOK) and chatting up other campers.

This is the view from were I was laying on my picnic table reading, thinking about how nice it was to be out in nature relaxing.

Gunnison Canyon is so steep, deep and narrow it’s very hard to photograph.

I recommend visiting it yourself to get the full effect.

Don’t look down…

Painted wall was my favorite feature of the canyon.

These guys were super fun to chat with and told me about some east coast motorcycle sites I need to visit.

And this friendly couple fed me breakfast one morning.

Chatted briefly with an adventure rider couple on this big KTM

Folks on the road are always so friendly. :

I did try to swim across the river once, but being melted snow water, it was so cold my legs went numb before I made it very far. The fishermen were giving me weird looks.

There were tons of fisherman down there, I guess that’s why most people come to Gunnison…

I got pretty excited when I found an old lure and some line, figuring I could catch some fresh fish and have something different (from canned fish haha) for a change, but I guess you need a $30 license to fish and I didn’t want to get in trouble. :/

When it finally came time to head onward to Salida my stomach was churning at the thought of more travel food and I gave in to a diner that caught my eye off the highway. I ordered a full plate of biscuits and gravy and I kid you not, there were a half dozen biscuits piled into a mountain, heaped with gravy full of massive sausage chunks. The waitress said they were taking bets in the back if I could finish it. I almost made it, I left a few bites behind and waddled back out to my bike and off towards Salida…

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