Moving east today. We drove from Montrose to Monarch, a little less than 200 km. If you look on a map and canít find Monarch look for Garfield --- not sure when the town changed its name but they did and not everyone has caught up to that. Youíll see a lot of dark clouds in the photos which is giving hope to drought stricken Colorado. We did drive through one patch of rain which will hopefully help a tiny bit.

We stopped in Cimarron to view the Morrow Point Dam.

The Dam. An underground cable brings all the power from the Morrow Point Dam generators to a switchyard at a voltage of 230,000. Overhead lines on the mountainside feed electric power to the Colorado grid.

Looking away from the dam you see the Gunnison River continuing towards the Black Canyon of the Gunnison and the East Portal.

Before roads were built through the mountains, narrow gauge railways were used to transport people, goods and animals. Special train cars transported cows and sheep to the Cimarron area to graze in the high mountains over the summer months. At the end of the summer the animals were brought back down to town and transported to packing plants. Narrow gauge was chosen as it bent tighter and thus could make the tighter turns required in the mountains.

The Blue Mesa Dam is upstream from the Morrow Point Dam. The Blue Mesa Reservoir is 32 km (20 mi) long. In 1963 when the three dams were built on the Gunnison River, the railway tracks and 3 towns were swallowed up. The train had become unfeasible once the roads were built so it was no longer in use. Some photos along the Blue Mesa Reservoir.





This small set of rapids is just outside of Gunnison.

As we continue on our way towards Monarch I notice round bales of hay that are stacked in a way I havenít seen before. This may be normal for everywhere just new to me.

Another view along the highway.

We had to go through the Monarch Pass before arriving at our hotel. Weíve been through a lot of mountain passes on our trip but this way my least favourite --- no shoulders and just a guardrail between you and cliff. Going down was much nicer as it was more of a gentle roll off then a cliff.

Just before we arrived at the hotel we saw this old mine.

Oh, did I mention that the camping portion of our trip has ended and we are staying in hotels during our last four nights in Colorado. Cooler weather and rain has driven us to the dry comfort of hotels. I canít complain if it rains as Colorado really needs rain.