Saturday, April 18, 2015

Return To Dolores River

Confluence of the Dolores and the San Miguel.
The Dolores River in southwest Colorado is one of the lonesomest. Which also makes it one of the loveliest. Of course.

Born in the high snow fed mountains of the San Juan Range in southwest Colorado, it empties onto the high and dry Colorado Plateau near the towns of Dolores and then Cortez, Colorado. There it is pretty much choked off by the dam that impounds McPhee Reservoir. 

But below the dam it still has a long way to go before it empties into the Colorado River above Moab in southeast Utah. Having carved a mighty but relatively short gorge, it re-emerges at Bedrock, in the Paradox Valley (appropriate name?). Limping down another impressive canyon, it's rejuvenated by the cold, clear (except for the cow shit along its banks) San Miguel River, a good flyfishing trout steam. Thankfully. Because it still has quite a ways to go, and it surely would rather look better by the time it gets there. 

As I followed it down, I couldn't help but to urge it on. Especially on a clear, crisp high country April Colorado day. 

Dolores River, Colorado.
Photo locations: San Miguel County, Colorado.

© 2015 Stephen J. Krieg

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Not The Magic Bus

The non-magic bus, and the Henry Mountains.
A windy early spring day on the Colorado Plateau in southeast Utah. I'd been driving and photographing since about 6 AM. A wonderful day. Now it was time to head home, wearily. 

I left Hanksville, itself a rather lonesome but friendly little town in the middle of nowhere, after enjoying a buffalo burger at "Stan's Burger Shak". Thus fortified, I drove east on Highway 95, one of the wonderfully lonesomest roads anywhere. 

The bulk of the Henry Mountains -- last mountain range in the U.S. to be explored and mapped -- loomed above the low cliffs south of town. It had been windy all day, and the dust made for a thick haze in the air. (As the motel owner in Hanksville had joked the previous evening, the sand here is so fine that it comes through the walls. Not just the windows and door frames. Bragging rights.)

Then, out on the high sagebrush plain, amidst the free ranging cows, was that RV again. I pulled over to photograph it, again. It's kind of creepy looking, being out there all alone, no visible road to have driven it there on. Busted out windows, door gaping open. Graffiti sprayed all over the side. Before or after its abandonment? Who? Why?

Mysterious. And so it deserves my Lonesomest RV In Utah award. Somebody let me know who to mail the award to, won't you?

Photo location: Wayne County, Utah. Maybe Garfield County. Somewhere near the county line. 

© 2015 Stephen J. Krieg