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GUNNISON, COLORADO 8-16-01

Howdy Everyone!
Last sunday while I was in Montrose, Marlin & Rose Unruh from Galva KS came knocking on my door. What a surprise that was! I thoroughly enjoyed visiting with them. Since then, 2 other couples from Kansas have found me walking on the road.
While I was in Montrose, Alex took me to see Black Canyon Of The Gunnison National Monument. That was pretty awesome. The Black Canyon, carved out by the Gunnison River, is 53 miles long.
Archeological evidence indicates that prehistoric man, and later the Utes, used only the canyon rims, never living down in the gorge. The first white men to see the canyon were members of the Hayden Expedition in 1873-74. Before 3 dams were built upstream, the Gunnison roared through the Black Canyon at 12,000 cubic feet a second during spring runoff. Now the river rarely flows more than 4,000 cubic feet a second. At it's highest point, the cliff walls soar up a staggering 2,250 vertical feet.
Box elder, Spruce, Ponderosa Pine, Willow & the Narrowleaf Cotton-wood reside at the rivers edge. You will also find white-throated swifts, violet-green swallows, golden eagles, turkey vultures, red-tailed hawks, peregrine falcon and broadtail hummingbirds nest here. Yellow warblers, canyon wrens, sandpipers & water ouzel can also be seen. The canyon is also home to chipmunks, squirrels, weasels, badgers, deer, porcupines, marmots, black bear, bobcat, cougars & coyotes.
The motel I'm at in Gunnison said if Id start walking to Monarch Pass
that they'd pick me up and bring me back to town in the afternoon. So these last few days I've been pushing it to cover some ground. Yesterday I walked from Gunnison to Doyleville, and today I walked to Sargents. Sargents is located right at the base of Monarch Pass. Tomorrow (fri) I'm going to try to cover 15 miles going up Monarch and then down a couple miles to Monarch Mountain Lodge, where I'll spend the weekend. I've made reservations, and I don't know my room # yet, but the ph# for Monarch Mountain Lodge is 719-539-2581.
So give me a call sometime this weekend!
Someone told me yesterday that there's just a tiny bit of snow on the side of the road up Monarch Pass -- imagine that! The mornings around here have been fairly cool, around 55. Tomorrow when I cross Monarch Pass, that'll be my last mountain till I get out near Wash DC. This is also where I'll be crossing the Continental Divide. It's hard to believe that I'll soon be out of the mountains for good.
Y'all have a great weekend! KB

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