We drove up to Gunnison and Crested Butte for a few days. Partly to celebrate my birthday and partly so Mark could try out a few new disc golf courses.
Our first stop was the Gunnison Visitor Center where we picked up lots of pamphlets of things to do in the area. The city park had a number of carvings that took advantage of dead trees.
We took a hike to this formation, called the Dillon Pinnacles. This is a deposit of volcanic rock called West Elk Breccia that has been eroding for 30 million years.
We also hiked along a beautiful creek. This area was lush and green,, and we had plenty of mosquitos to keep us company!
From Crested Butte we took the West Elk Loop drive over Kebler Pass. The drive took us through the largest Aspen grove in Colorado. It went on for miles and miles.
The drive finished alongside Blue Mesa Reservoir. At 20 miles long and with 96 miles of shoreline, it is the largest body of water in the state of Colorado. It was formed by damming the Gunnison River west of Gunnison.
The National Park Service offers a pontoon boat tour in the upper reaches of the Black Canyon. The tour runs about 1 1/2 hours, and requires a one mile hike down to the boat dock. The hike includes 232 steps down (and then back up!). We enjoyed both the hike and the boat trip. The scenery was amazing.
The Denver and Rio Grande Western Railroad built a narrow gauge railroad down into the canyon. The trail to the boat dock followed part of the old railroad track bed. Shortly beyond the boat dock the track bed disappears beneath the waters of Morrow Point lake.
This is the Curecanti Needle that is on the RR sign.
Mark tried out 2 different disc golf courses, one near Salida and the other in Gunnison:
All in all, a nice part of the world...