Friday, March 6, 2015

Colorado National Monument

Last Sunday we were in Grand Junction, CO.  Though I was raised in the Denver suburbs, I don't think I have ever been on the other side of the mountains (the western slope) except when we went to Durango and Four Corners on a family vacation.  I don't remember noticing the beautiful mesas and colors in the mountains and rock formations.  I couldn't get over how lovely this area of Colorado is!  It helped that the weather was nice and mild and there was no snow on the ground!

When we pulled into the church the kids immediately spotted the playground.  They enjoyed playing outside for the first time in weeks.  It has either been snowing, freezing cold/windy, or we have been sick since leaving NYC on Jan. 31st.

On Monday we took a leisurely drive through Colorado National Monument before heading back to Denver.  It is the first National monument/park established in the state of Colorado.  Each bend of the road brought more breathtaking sights.  We were able to get out and hike a bit with the kids - even without coats at some points! They enjoyed the drive and the walk and collecting rocks!  (That's what City kids do, you know!)


This was the drive in...little did I know how much better it would get!



The first stop, and so we set the kids on a rock for a picture.  They were a smidge cold and more interested in exploration than smiling for Mom's picture.


 

We drove around many of these switchbacks (and I didn't get a decent picture of any of them!)
 
Cold Shivers Point

Several of the canyons reminded me of a miniature Grand Canyon.  The pastor told us that this area used to be one big lake.  When the "wall" broke and the water was released, it created the mesas, canyons, and ran down to cut the Grand Canyon (the Colorado River is in this area also).  I haven't done any research, but all of the park signs were evolutionistic propaganda, so I can't trust their theories!


The kids with dad on the edge of Cold Shivers Point
Nehemiah, Ben, Libs, Nolan, and Elaine
What a gorgeous day!
 
Ute Canyon - another miniature Grand Canyon!
 
 
 Monument Canyon


We stopped at Monument Canyon for a big hike.  The trail goes all the way down the ravine, and across the Naitonal Monument to the other side.  We only did a small portion of the trail, but the kids loeed it.  There was a small waterfall coursing down one large rock.  There was a rock "bridge" that we walked over on the trail.  There were flowers, rocks, and even a tree growing upside down out of the rocks.  The twins did great walking up and down the path.


Ben being silly with the kids!


In the side of the canyon wall.


Just one of many cliffs....



The tree growing out of the crevice.
 

In the distance you can see the large mesa - Grand Mesa.  It is the largest flat topped mountain in the world according to several sources.  On the far left side is Mount Garfield (pictured larger below).

 
Independence Monument


I guess we blocked the monument in this shot...

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