Saturday, July 27, 2019

A Vertical Landscape

More than twice as deep as it is wide, the Black Canyon of the Gunnison is a spectacular chasm. It is 2,250 feet deep and 1,100 feet wide at the top. In places it is only 40 feet wide at the river's edge. Thursday we hiked about three miles on the Upland and Rim Rock trails. As you can tell from the trail names, we didn't hike very far down toward the river. In fact, that requires a permit. The views were spectacular.

Even in late July, the wildflowers were still colorful.

Just look at these rock walls.  It must be a rock climber's paradise.  But nothing for older adults to attempt.

These lily-looking flowers with creamy white petals and colorful center were blooming by ones and twos in many places along the trail.


We have hiked here once or twice in the past. We were so glad to see this beautiful place again.

Thursday, July 25, 2019

Ridgway State Park

From Rifle, we headed to Ridgway State Park, one of our favorites where we have stayed many times over the years.

Here is some of the scenery we saw along the way.

The San Juan mountains provide the backdrop for the park.

The Uncompahgre River flows through the park. This summer it is very full.  The river flows into Ridgway Reservoir. 

Fly fishing is a favorite activity on the river.

This is a great view of the San Juans beyond the reservoir.  We were parked in the Pa-co-chu-puk section of the park, below the day.

Nearby we saw an Indian tipi.  The Ute Indian Museum is nearby.

We really were there.

We saw some great sunsets.

One day we drove to Telluride, an old mining town west of Ridgway.  Look at this beautiful entry to one of the restored buildings there.

Along the way to Telluride, we passed through Saw Pit, a ghost town where my great grandfather lived around 1900.

There are flower boxes everywhere in town.  I think the air in Colorado's  high altitude mountain communities is just what helps the flowers to thrive. 

Loved this impressive building.  The beautiful door pictured above is in this building.

More flowers, these in baskets and boxes.

These flower container are in the center lane in downtown Telluride.

The hillsides along our drive are very attractive.

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Rifle Gap

After some good time in Wyoming, we headed south and knew we were in Colorado when we saw this iconic sign.

We were headed first to Rifle Gap State Park.  The road leads around the Rifle Gap reservoir.

I loved the scenery in the area and the clouds and sunsets.

On our last day, we drove to the nearby Rifle Falls State Park.  There are caves in the rocks above and behind and below the falls.  At times it was a tight path to follow.

Colorado had impressive snowfall during the past winter and the falls included were much larger than when we visited there a few years ago.

We had a relaxing stay at Rifle Gap. We did miss internet and cell phone access.

Friday, July 12, 2019

Going to Prison

Thursday we toured the old Wyoming State Prison.  It was housed in this beautiful building.  When we first saw it during a drive through town I had wondered if it was the county courthouse, but I was wrong.

We have toured the Colorado prison museum in Canon City, where Colorado's prisons are still located.  The Old Max building in downtown Canon City reminds us of this one in Wyoming.

This is Lauren, the you women who led our informing and interesting tour of the old prison.  She is standing right of a display that explained how executions by hanging were carried out.  The physician who designed the mechanism didn't think any human should be responsible for executing another.  I can't explain the who process but the convict kicked over a container of water.  When the container was empty, the counter weight tipped a lever and the convict--who would have been standing in the top portion of this gray box on a trap door--would fall through the floor and die.  Some died from a broken neck, the majority by strangling.

Here our guide is showing the small opening in the door where guards could look in on a whole row of cells.  The next photo shows the view through the opening.

This is  the interior of a cell in the oldest portion of the prison.  When the prison was overcrowded, a second bunk was added on.  It would have been terribly crowded for two men.

Here is the Johnson Bar lever which jailers could use to open either one cell or all cells in the block.

This dark corridor shows two levels of cells on the right and a wire enclosed walkway for the guards to see into the cells.

The white  spots on the wall of this cell were made with toothpaste.  The convict who lived in the cell (apparently for many years) used the toothpaste to hold up photos and newspaper clippings he enjoyed.

This man is Art Orcutt,  who was sentenced to three different sentences in the Wyoming as well as time in Leavenworth Federal Penitentiary in Kansas.  During that stay one arm was injured and amputated.  In the Wyoming prison, all inmates were required to work so he was assigned to painting murals.

Lauren showed us the gas chamber.

This is the chair was used four times for executions.

The prisoners facing a death sentence were in cells on death row.  For their hour of exercise each day, one at a time they were allowed to walk back and forth in this barred space.  The man seen in there in the photo was a member of our tour.

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Photogenic Lander

We spent a couple of relaxing days in Lander as we traveled south through Wyoming.  This small town, where we have been before, is very photogenic and has a very nice Safeway for shopping.

The old downtown buildings are well preserved.

I loved the name of this restaurant.

Look at the leaded windows in this restaurant.

All small towns had a movie theater, back in the day.  This one is still showing movies.

A creative sculptor made this bike and rider outside the local bike shop.

In a park at one end of town they have a series of bronze statues of a cowboy driving some cattle.

Here is a close-up of the cowboy, followed by a look at the colorful hat band he is wearing. I wonder who added that?

I am sure we will stay in Lander again, if we drive this route. Since this is at least the second time I have included these sculptures in a blog, I will skip them if we came here again.