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Posts Tagged ‘red-tailed hawk’

 

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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And the Fish

The owl

“He who postpones the hour of living is like the rustic who waits for the river to run out before he crosses.” — Horace

Travel’s With Maggie

Today’s drive took me from Southern Utah’s red-rock high desert to Colorado’s San Juan National Forest. I spent the night at an RV park just outside of Pagosa Springs parked next to the Blanco River. It doesn’t get much better than this, I thought.

The Blanco River as seen from my RV window. -- Photo by Pat Bean

 

Our early September afternoon arrival left plenty of time for Maggie and I to take a hike along the river bank and among the wildflowers. Maggie kept her nose to the ground in search of exotic smells to follow, while I looked to the sky. A circling red-tailed hawk overhead drew my attention, as did a couple of chattering magpies in a nearby cottonwood tree.

I pity the poor person whose heart doesn’t skip a beat at the sight of this hawk’s red tail spread wide and flashing in the sunlight. On the other hand, I think some people pity my love for the playful but loud, long-tailed magpies they consider nuisance birds. Being a Texan not known for her quiet ways, I always feel these birds and I share a connection.

This would be the fourth time I had stayed at this Blanco River RV Park off Highway 84. It’s a welcome and convenient spot for campers traveling between Utah and Texas, a trip I’ve made annually since becoming a full-time RV-er. Each visit here has left me enchanted with both the setting and the little touches the campground owners have made to make the place special.

Modern day rock art -- Photo by Pat Bean

 I consider the rocks someone has painted and scattered about the park as fascinating as I find the pictographs and petroglyphs of earlier cultures.

 As I watched the sun disappear at the end of the day, a feeling of contentment oozed from my  pores. I realized I didn’t miss at all the fact that I had no phone, internet or television connections. Tomorrow would be soon enough to hook back up to the world.

Soon after, Maggie and I crawled into bed and went to sleep to the music of the river rippling over rocks.

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