Thursday, June 28, 2012

Colorado National Monument - Part 1, Devil's Kitchen

Sandstone pedestal near Devil's Kitchen  
Continuing with my account of my June 2012 visits to natural areas in the West.

Kali and I left San Diego early Saturday morning on June 2. We flew to Denver, Colorado, where we switched planes to a "puddle jumper" (a small regional jet) for a 45-minute flight back west to Grand Junction, Colorado, just 30 miles east of the Utah border.  We had reservations at a beautiful bed-and-breakfast with views of the cliffs in Colorado National Monument, a few miles away.

Sunday morning, right after breakfast, we set out to explore the monument on the 32-mile Rim Rock Road, which meanders along the very top edge of the cliffs.  We planned to incorporate a hike into our exploration, and because the day was forecast to be very hot, we decided to tackle a moderately strenuous 4-mile round-trip walk in the morning before it got too warm.  Despite its short length and modest ascent, the hike was still very uncomfortable because there was no cover.  The trail took us to the Devil's Kitchen, a group of impressive upright monoliths that enclose a large, cool, shady rock "room."
Devil's Kitchen Trail in No Thoroughfare Canyon
The Devil's Kitchen from below.  The formation is much more impressive than this image conveys.
Weathered juniper log along the trail
Approaching the Devil's Kitchen.  The Colorado River valley (locally known as the Grand Valley) and the impressive Book Cliffs on south side of the valley are visible behind the Kitchen.
Kali in the Kitchen.  This is the only time you'll ever see Kali in a kitchen since she doesn't cook.
Yours truly high up near a  Kitchen "window"
Rose-colored prickly pear cactus flower
I'll continue my account with images I made during our drive along the Rim Rock Road.


packrat said...

Love the American West. That gorgeous Prickly Pear flower is only one reason why.

Scott said...

I've got to agree with you, Packrat. Our trip to Colorado (the best is yet to come...) convinced us that that's where we're going to retire. Now, we just have to decide between laid-back, comfortable but somewhat isolated Grand Junction and hit, trendy, happenin' but (somewhat) frenetic Ft. Collins...