Black Canyon of the Gunnison

Black, as in no direct sunlight

| The Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park is another park experienced from the rim of the canyon. Upon entering the park, a road snakes along the rim of the canyon for several miles, offering stunning views of a narrow canyon with a river running through it.

This is not a park for someone with fear of heights. From the various viewpoints, the cliffs on the south rim of the canyon plunge straight down, more than half a mile in some places.

Pulpit rock view point
Pulpit rock viewpoint
View straight down from Pulpit Rock

There was also a road that went down to water level from the top of the canyon, and as you might suppose Sophie and I went down. It was on her map, and when I asked her advice she replied, "Continue on the current road." So, continue we did.

The road twists and turns and descends rapidly. A warning sign says that the grade is 16%; I am a believer. 

Gunnison River
The Gunnison River, just below the dam at the end of the road
Sophie next to Gunnison River
Here's Sophie beside the river

What goes down must go up, and this is when I learned some interesting things about the Prius hybrid engine.

(1) Sophie used both her gasoline and electric engines on the way up, as one would expect. But the battery that powers the electric engine very quickly was drawn down to almost nothing. No matter how hard the gasoline engine was working to go back uphill, it always used some of its power to run the electric motor and recharge the battery!

(2) Once we got to the top it took mere minutes to fully charge the battery again.

Sophie is now an official member of the Mountain Goat Clan. She worked hard going back up, but she never hesistated.

This evening I was tempted to just walk to the Arby's next door and grab a quick fast-foot dinner. But I resisted that temptation and drove into Montrose to El Jimador that had excellent reviews when I searched Google for "restaurants near Montrose CO." I started my meal with a margarita that was to die for, and they served chips, salsa, and a shredded cabbage salsa to go with it. I ordered Chuletas Rancheros, which was thin strips of thin pork chop sauteed with onions and peppers. This arrived on a 12-inch platter filled to the max with beans and rice. It was excellent, muy delicioso. And the serving staff was very attentive, stopping by the table several times to make sure everything was to my satisfaction. And not only did they stop by, they did so with big smiles on their faces. So, if you're ever in Montrose, CO, stop at El Jimador at 1201 Townsend Ave (website).

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Last updated on May 12, 2016

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