Wandering Through the Mountains September 2010
14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22 | 23 | 24 | All Photos
My journey into Colorado began along the course of the South Platte River as it wends its way from Denver northeastward to Nebraska.
Interstate 76 follows fairly closely to river, first encountering the high plains almost immediately as one leaves Nebraska. These
rolling hills are fairly desolate away from the river, bearing mostly grass and scrub and home to grazing cattle that have replaced
the region's once abundant buffalo. further to the southwest this transitions to the farmable Pierre Shale and cornfields where the
shale isn't covered by stagnant dunes. Then, in the distance as you get about 60 miles from Denver, there are mountains. I love the
mountains and my appreciation of them has become especially accute living on the open plain. The cities, counties and roads of the
midwest are like one great Cartesian grid, which is at once a triumph of engineering and a stifling order. The mountians rising
behind Denver are like an antidote to this monotony.
Denver is a city built on the alluvial plain of a filled in basin. It is a city though, and so I do not dawdle more than to see to my van's needs and read and write a little here on my laptop. Tonight I'll head a little further south on Interstate 25 before turning west into the mountains tomorrow.
|Well, the rest area I was planning to sleep at turned out to be a chain station (i.e. closed for the summer) so I ended up driving further last night than I had intended, to a rest area south of Colorado Springs. No matter, it just meant that I got my Slurpee in Pueblo this morning instead.|
|This morning I am laptoping it from the car, transferring yesterday's field notes and digital images to this blog. Today I'll be exploring the much younger San Juan Mountains, who volcanic deposits haven't had a chance to be tilted since they date from the tertiary (although intrusions have formed numerous dikes).|