Sunday, February 06, 2011

2011 - January 15th - Colorado National Monument (South Entrance)

Since moving to the Western Slope, I've made a promise to myself to take advantage of my free time and explore as much as possible. In Denver, it took a long time to leave the city and find solitude, but here, it takes less than ten minutes. I've been out on most of my "weekends" and plan on doing so as much as possible.

On Saturday, the 15th of January, the Colorado National Monument was offering free admission in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day. I have since purchased the annual pass! I made my foray into the Monument before work (I didn't have to be in until 2PM) and though Rimrock Drive/Monument Road, the road that winds through the Monument, was closed a few miles in from the southern entrance, I figured I'd scout the area out and take some photos.

... well, I'm not sure I was prepared for just how scenic the Monument is. I took a lot of pictures! Here is the set:


Approaching the Monument, interesting altocumulus formation.

I drove up to where the road was closed without stopping, deciding to stop and take pictures on the way down. The road was closed near the junction to the Glade Park road, which just so happens to be near the overlook known as Cold Shivers Point.

Columbus Canyon from Cold Shivers Point.

I decided to explore the open country at this point as the snow was not very deep. I left the trail at the overlook and weaved through the short Piñon trees, keeping close to the edge.

Looking back up Columbus Canyon to its source.

Another view from the edge of Columbus Canyon, overlooking the Grand Valley.

The Redlands (or Redlands, Colorado)

Piñon Tree

Eventually, I wandered back to my vehicle and started descending the winding road. I stopped many times for photo-ops.

I did have to be at work that afternoon, so I headed home at this point to get changed. This would not be my first journey into the Monument. I have a lot more pictures to come!

* * *

I made a trip back to Denver on the 11th of January to visit friends and clean out my apartment. It was my first day off since starting work just after Christmas. I snapped this shot of Mount Garfield on my way out of the Grand Valley. I'm pleased with how it came out considering I was going 75mph on I-70 at the time.

I will also have pictures of the day that I made summit on Mount Garfield coming up soon. Next week, however, you'll get to see a few photos from my first "storm chase" on the Western Slope.



sknr31 said...

is there a like button on this thing somewhere?! lol

Dann Cianca said...

I think you found it!

Thanks, Skinner.

Pat Boomer said...

That is some amazing scenery Dann.
Great set, I like them all, got vertigo from a few of them!
Went on a little google earth trip, looks like there is a whole lot more to see.
Never seen photos of this area, looking forward to more.

Dann Cianca said...

Boomer: Thanks, man! I have a lot more photos to post... and a lot more places to explore!