Our last day trip from Ridgway State Park took us north into Montrose then east, past the turn off for the Black Canyon of the Gunnison and along scenic route 50 toward Gunnison.
Gunnison wasn't our destination this time, although I know we'll spend time near there in the future. Too many things to see that way and not enough time this trip.
Our reason for taking this route was to find the departure point for the National Park Service boat trip around Morrow Point Reservoir and then into the mouth of the Black Canyon. I understood that from the parking area there were 232 steps down to the landing, then about a mile walk along the water to the dock where the boat boards. After my recent experiences attempting to walk along a cliff, I wanted to make sure the stairs were not on an "edge" all the way down.
I'd hate to have reservations for the much anticipated boat trip only to find that I couldn't make myself travel down into the canyon to get there.
The ride over was fun and when the mountains opened up to the beautifully blue Blue Mesa Reservoir it was lunch time. As is our habit, we had our lunch with us and soon found the perfect waterside spot to settle and enjoy.
After lunch we continued our drive along the Reservoir, into Curecanti National Recreation Area stopping often to just absorb the views (and to walk in the water....)
|Dave standing in Chicken Bay|
We stopped at the Visitor Center and checked out potential campgrounds and hikes in the area for next time. Wish we'd brought our little zodiac along this trip. (Note to self: never leave home without the zodiac....)
We drove as far as Gunnison and then turned around in a tiny old fashioned Safeway grocery store parking lot. People stopped what they were doing and watched us go by. Hmmmm. We pulled into a shady spot to quickly check our emails. We sat with the windows open taking advantage of a smart breeze on the hot day. Once again we started up and began to drive. Once again, people paused and watched us. With the windows open we heard some pretty loud noises, was that coming from us? I was sure that someone was blasting what sounded like native american drum songs on their radio and was beginning to grouse about the level of noise - do people think everyone likes their kind of music.....how loud must it be in their vehicle for us to be able to hear it that clearly, bla bla bla. Dave shushed me and hung his head out the window to listen, he turned this way and that way. He stopped and then started. He got out and looked around the jeep. He crawled under.
I fussed....what could it be? Was there a jeep dealer here in Gunnison? Will we break down on the mountain roads ahead? No cell coverage, how would we get a tow? Dave was unperturbed. He said we were heading home and we'd deal with what came, when and if it came.
As suddenly as the noise began, it ended. We stopped a few more times on the way back, but everything was as it should be. No noise, no braking or steering problems, nothing. We never found out what that noise was. All Dave could think was that a stone or stones from our off road explorations had lodged in the brake rotor and had jumped back out when they found out that they couldn't scare us. Thank goodness Dave has such a cool and calm mind.
Oh, and on the way home we did check out those stairs down to the boat dock and decided that they wouldn't cause a problem. We ran out of time to take that boat trip, however, so it is on our definite list for the next time through.