Today the road trip continues. After having a relaxed day with Wes and Amy yesterday, I feel like traveling further again. In the morning Wes tells me that I’m about to travel to the most beautiful part of Colorado. He didn’t say too much, it is indeed an amazing landscape. It makes me think of the beautiful nature in New Zealand. High mountains covered with snow and many rocks and wide views.
The first destination of today is Black Canyon of the Gullison National Park. This wasn’t originally on my list, but we saw it in my book about the National Parks yesterday morning while looking at my route. According to the book the canyon is deeper than the Grand Canyon and Wes told me that it’s very impressive. When I arrive at the park I am indeed in awe of the view. The canyon is hundreds of meters deep with a river flowing at the bottom. It’s very quiet here, there are only a few other people. I walk to the edge of the canyon and sit down to enjoy the view for a while.
There are several lookout points along the canyon which all give stunning views of the big rocks and deep river. This sure is a park where you want to stay on the paths, the walls of the canyon are very steep, almost straight down. I feel like this is quite the underdog of America’s National Parks. You always hear about the Grand Canyon, but Black Canyon of the Gullison is also incredibly beautiful and worth a visit. I was looking for the word to describe nature here, I think it’s astonishing. You can just sit down and look around for a long time enjoying the view. I’m here at the middle of the day, but I can imagine how it all would be even more impressive during sunrise or sunset.
I don’t wait for sunset though, because I travel further to a town called Ouray. Chris in Estes Park had told me that this was his favorite place in Colorado and Wes and Amy confirmed that it’s a beautiful area. People call this place Switzerland of America. When I arrive I can see why, it looks a lot like the Alps. I have seen a lot of snowy mountains the last days, but this area has it’s own character. Before I stop in town I drive on the so-called million dollar highway, a road that costed a million dollars per mile to build. It’s a nice and windy road trough the mountains that reminds me of my road trip in Italy a couple of years ago. I make a quick visit to the mountain town Silverton and then drive back to Ouray to stay there for the night.
The little town is at the foot of a big mountain and contains a few restaurants and small shops. I walk into a burger place and order some food from a ten year old girl. She’s probably the youngest waitress I’ve ever seen. It’s a family business and her father owns the place. They make good burgers and I talk with some local people. After dinner I make a walk through town and then return to my car which is parked around the corner of the restaurant. I’ll try to sleep early tonight, so I can start the day early as well tomorrow, because I’d like to be at Arches National Park before it’s too warm to hike. It’s about four hours driving from here, so I hope to hit the road at sunrise.