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Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Colorado National Monument

After camping somewhere between Moab and Colorado, we woke up and drove to Colorado National Monument.  I had split thoughts about the monument.  On the one hand it is pretty, but on the other hand it's not as impressive as the national parks we'd been to earlier on our trip.  I guess that's why it's a monument and set aside for protection instead of a national park and set aside for enjoyment. 
Colorado National Monument seemed to be a locals playground.  We saw more bikers than cars on the road.   Also, as we looked at the map, the hikes were all 5+ miles long or really short, as in half a mile round trip short.  The sharp division said to me that the hikes were for the locals, while the scenic drive and little stops was for the tourists.  We didn't plan much time for Colorado NM and did the drive with a few stops, so by default we slid into the tourist category.
One of the stops we made was at Cold Shivers Point.  While we were there, I talked with a guy in his 50's who had gone to school in Grand Junction.  He told me that he & his friends would go and sit on the mushroom shaped rock in the above picture back in the day.  Crazy!  It's a huge dropoff down below. 
 We drove and stopped, then drove on.  The coke ovens was one of the stops.
 As well as several different overlooks. 

On the short "Otto's Trail" we wandered to an overlook, and noticed this small evergreen growing out of a crack.  It's determination to grow where there was no soil was astounding. 
Nearest City: Fruita, CO and Grand Junction, CO
Location: N° W°
Time Needed: at least 2-3 hours
Kid Friendly:
Additional Info: $10/vehicle access fee

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