Over the Mesa

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by Jan Seides
Wednesday 1st July, 2009, 12:17am

Highway 65 continues up from Powderhorn Resort, where we stayed, so we went up to take a look.

I should mention that we’re driving a rented bright red Prius which has been driven pretty hard. It has half the miles on it that mine has, and yet it is in marginal condition. Not the car itself. It got us where we were going, and pretty economically, all things considered. But the accessories are mostly not of the working persuasion. For example, Priuses have a touchscreen display on the dashboard between the driver and passenger. All the controls for the climate, radio, information about the motors – electric and gas, and controls for the screen itself are there. Only none of them worked on this car. You would push things, and they would remain stubbornly unproductive. You couldn’t turn the air conditioning up or down, you couldn’t dim the screen, you couldn’t turn the fan up or down….you get the picture. The most notable thing about the screen was that (I’m making this up, but I really think this is what happened) someone at some point had gotten fed up, and there appeared to be the mark of a fist in the middle of the screen.

 

Lots of aspens lined the road, and then lots of spruce trees, with the last winter snowpinklupin still unmelted at their feet. Then meadows, one of which was host to a pair of mule deer. Lots of wildflowers, wild roses and lupins in blue, red and pink. Small white flowers that I never got the name of, but they looked like petunias and grew on vines close to the ground.

 

We continued in the Prius up the mountain, and about 12 miles higher we found a road that claimed to go to the “Land’s End” observatory. A dirt road. I have an over-active imagination, so I imagined that dirt road was going to turn into a donkey track at some point, and I’d either have to back up down an incline or try to turn around. Instead what happened was the dirt road suddenly became a paved road about halfway to the observatory.  Why? Dunno. Nor did anyone else…

 

Bravely, we (that is, I) drove on not knowing what to expect next. And finally reached a lookout point. There was a parking lot, a boarded up ranger station, a bathroom (thank goodness) and several other people standing at a wall overlooking a sheer drop and about 80 miles of gorgeous view. In the distance, the Gunnison and Colorado sparkled, as did Grand Junction. The valley was beautiful and 187 different shades of green. We could also see the mountains to the south where Ouray (pronounced You-ray) and Telluride are located.

 

A family at the wall were feeding potato chips to the chipmunks, which you’re not technically supposed to do, but the chipmunks didn’t object.

 

One of about a dozen chipmunks who didn't object to potato chips.

One of about a dozen non-objecting chipmunks

Category: Travel

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