July 12th 2009 04:25 pm

Moto-Camping Day 6

Moto-Camping Day 6

The East Portal Campground in the Black Canyon of the Gunnison Park was always my destination after Arches, but now I’m glad I came here early.  The canyon is gorgeous–though I can barely look over the edge (I don’t do heights well).

Met a couple from New Zealand and we lamented together the way towns like Montrose are becoming cookie-cutter strip-mall towns (ironically I post this from a Starbucks).  They were cute (She:  “I saw a snake!” He: “That’s why I send you first.”)  Met a man from Mississippi who had his son and three other young guys with him camping around.  Also a couple on matching Harleys from Oklahoma, a man and his daughter from Chicago, and a trio from North Carolina.  I really haven’t been seeking people out, but it has been fun to have conversations with people as it happens.

Took a ranger walk this morning, then I just rode around a bit to find good photos.  Came into Montrose to post to my blog (which is where FB gets these as notes).  Tomorrow, I have scoped out some great hikes and I’m looking forward to an exhausting day.

The weather here is fantastic.  It rained a little, but not enough to bother me on the bike.  The lightning show was incredible, though–strike after strike on the far (north) rim of the canyon, which is actually only a few thousand yards away from the south rim.  I love these kinds of storms–anyone who has lived on a high plain like this knows what they are like:  you can see them from miles off approaching and then they are on you and then gone.  I once raced one side-by-side down an Arizona highway.

A doe mule deer came through camp last night.  The chipmunks are cute as… chipmunks I guess–they’re tiny tiny and zip about as if they had someplace else to be yesterday.

The road down the canyon into East Portal is a 16% grade, but there’s no good way to capture that in pictures without driving off the edge of the road.  The rest of the pics are explanatory I suppose.  I’ll be here through Monday night, then I’m off to Mesa Verde National Park.

I’m feeling better now.  More on that later…

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