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Posts Tagged ‘Colorado parks’

“One’s age should be tranquil, as childhood should be playful. Hard work at either extremity of life seems out-of-place. At midday the sun may burn, and men labor under it; but the morning and evening should be calm and cheerful.” – Thomas Arnold

I stood outside in awe for quite a while watching this blazing end to my playful day. This image was not enhanced even a tiny bit. — Photo by Pat Bean

Adventures with Pepper: Day 6 Continued

            Playful black-billed magpies followed my journey this day. I seemed to see them everywhere, and they delighted my soul.

Not a very exciting magpie photo, but it was the only one that didn’t come out blurry. The magpies were just too quick for my camera. — Photo by Pat Bean

The first time I became aware of these birds was in the mid-1980s during a visit to a friend’s house in Glenn’s Ferry, Idaho. A half-dozen or so of them were frolicking above the Snake River. I was enchanted, and have stayed that way.          With magpies shadowing my drive after leaving Dinosaur National Park, I soon crossed into Colorado and through the small town of Dinosaur.

It was here, in October of 2009, that a mythical portal consumed Marvel Comics’ Dark Avengers.

Pepper in control of her own leash. — Photo by Pat Bean

I wondered if the portal was located on the city’s Brontosaurus Boulevard, Stegosaurus Freeway or Tyrannosaurus Trail.

The city had been renamed Dinosaur from Artesia to capitalize on the monument that stretches from Utah into Colorado, and then the city fathers began to get playful with its street names.

My scenic Highway 40 route this day  also took me through Maybell, which holds Colorado’s lowest recorded temperature record – minus 61 degrees F; and Craig, which claims to be the Elk Hunting Capital of the road.

“Ok! I’m tired. You can be in charge again.” — Photo by Pat Bean

My stopping place for the night was Yampa River State Park near Hayden, where even more magpies were hanging out. Pepper took a running leap at one that came too close and jerked the leash out of my hand.            I could almost hear her shout “free-at-last” as she began running circles around me. It wasn’t the first time this had happened.

A smart dog, Pepper had wised up to the fact that it was easy for me to grab hold of the trailing retractable leash, so she had started picking it up and running with it.

Yup! I think playful was the word of the day.

Book Report: 51,306 words. An aha moment gave me the perfect conclusion for my book, but made me realize I’ll have more rewriting to do so I can add a continuous thread. It was like getting both good news and bad news at the same time.

The Wondering Wanerer’s blog pick of the day.

Bean’s Pat: East London Art Walk http://tinyurl.com/8zkzkmr Now I might enjoy this kind of walk almost as much as I do my nature walks. It would be a fun change of pace anyway. Perhaps one day I might even get to London. I’ve never visited Europe, but I have visited 46 of the 50 states, and after this journey I’ll have knocked off 49.

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“The artist is a receptacle for the emotions that come from all over the place:  from the sky, from the earth, from a scrap of paper, from a passing shape, from a spider’s web.”  ~Pablo Picasso

Visitor Center Art

A mural near the top of a wall in the visitor center at Great Sand Dunes National Park caught my attention, and I lingered for a while simply enjoying it. I thought you might, too. So Below are three of its panels. I found many surprises in each. Do you?

Panel 1: The eagle flies free. — Photo by Pat Bean

Panel 3: The elk stands tall. — Photo by Pat Bean

 Bean’s Pat: Life on the Farm http://tinyurl.com/77qhgwo A tomato sandwich. I have this cookbook, and love it. But forget the diet.  Blog Pick of the Day as selected by this wondering wanderer. FYI: I’m flying to a granddaughter’s wedding in San Antono and not taking my computer,  so my blogs will just be a few photos of my favorite places. I hope you enjoy

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Painted Wall of the Colorado's Black Canyon of the Gunnison with the Gunnison River flowing below. -- Photo by Pat Bean

 

Travels With Maggie 

  “As we become curators of our own contentment on the Simple Abundance path… we learn to savor the small with a grateful heart.” — Sarah Ban Breathnach –

Black Canyon of the Gunnison

While visitors to Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park may be awed by the deep narrow chasm carved by the Gunnison River below them – I certainly was – I didn’t forget to look right in front of my nose. I’m always amazed at Mother Nature’s more delicate landscape paintings, be it a single purple flower or a massive canvas of lichen, twigs, grasses, rocks soil and leaves.

I stayed in the park’s South Rim Campground, which has electrical hookups and is adjacent to a mile-long rim trail with excellent views of the canyon. Maggie and I encountered deer, squirrels and a marmot on our walks, while red-tailed hawks and turkey vultures flew above us.

 
 

I found the landscape of rocks and foilage painted by Mother Nature as awesome as the mighty canyon. -- Photo by Pat Bean

We even got a brief glimpse of a peregrine falcon flying in the canyon beneath us. Once nearly extinct, this speediest of birds has made a magnificent comeback.

Another hike took me along the canyon floor for a rendezvous with a boat, and a ride through the canyon, past a waterfall, on a ranger-led tour. Writing now about this visit to the park two years ago makes me want to go back.

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