Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Multi-Modal Transportation

What clever insight could we possibly have about this?!
How about... "These cyclists put me to shame on so many levels."

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

An Additional ART Announcement

Though this section of the Animas River Trail was finished late last Fall, I couldn't get a good picture before our copious Winter snowfalls began and knocked this mileage-adding detour from my commute to and from work... so now I make amends. This is now the southern-most section of the Animas River Trail and it terminates at River Road (and the bridge named Rivera Crossing in honor of Juan Maria Antonio Rivera, a Spanish explorer credited with naming the Rio de las Animas Perdidas, the River of Lost Souls, in 1765). With the addition of the bridge in the previous Post (and some other small connecting work), the Animas River Trail will be fully continuous for about 7-miles from it's northern terminus at 29th Street to this current southern end. And some day, it will also extend another 2-miles north into the Animas Valley. Again, our hats off to both Kevin Hall and Scott McClain, the Trail Bosses at the City of Durango.

At the southern end you can exit to ride La Posta Road, shop, or continue home. In the future you may be able to go straight under the bridge and continue to Grandview, and eventually Bayfield.

This view shows the approximately 1/4-mile section of bridges, abutments and retaining walls required for the trail to pass through safely. In the foreground is Dallabetta Park, used for enjoying the Animas River stream side, fishing access, and as a put-in/take-out for rafters and kayakers.

Closer view of the solid bridge.

This adjoining section travels along the Animas River and through a wooded section behind Escalante Middle School. It likely qualifies as the quietest and most scenic portion of Animas River Trail.

Another ART Accomplishment

Yet another crucial link in the Animas River Trail was filled this morning with the dropping in place of a new bridge behind the Durango Mall that will connect the Durango's Bodo Park area with the "Walmart area" and Escalante Middle School to the south. Once again our thanks go out to Kevin Hall, the City of Durango's Trail King, who has been guiding the Animas River Trail through rapid expansion. As one who has extensively advocated, used and watched the River Trail come together for over 20 years, it brings a special pleasure to reflect on the initial foresight and important work done by the City of Durango on the Animas River Trail.

The new bridge - just north of the US160/550 High Bridge
Photo by Scott McClain, Project Manager
City of Durango's Parks, Open Space and Trails Specialist

Monday, March 29, 2010

Southwestern Utah Gems

During our travel back to Durango from Bryce Canyon we took some time to explore a few of the many intriguing places in Southwestern Utah along the way.

Leaving Bryce Canyon and Winter behind.

Astragalus mollissimus, or Wooly Locoweed
An early bloomer at Cockscomb Ridge, just west of Big Water.

Just a few of the Gems and Minerals for sale in Mount Carmel.

The arm of the last person who tried to break into the Mount Carmel Gem and Mineral Shop.

Bryce Canyon's Colorful Claron

At Bryce Canyon, hoodoos range in size from that of an average human to heights exceeding a 10-story building. Formed in sedimentary rock, hoodoo shapes are affected by the erosional patterns of alternating hard and softer rock layers. The name given to the rock layer that forms hoodoos at Bryce Canyon is the Claron Formation.

The Hoodoos in the Queen's Garden area of Bryce Canyon National Park

Durango Spring Training

Spring Break in Durango is a chance for us all to get out and jump-start our children's athletic training programs. Wade took his family to the warmer environs of Moab to get in a little early season mileage, while Drew took his family to Bryce Canyon for some late-season Nordic skiing.

Wade programs one of his the many devices he uses to monitor his son's aerobic and strength progress. Note the extra long crank-arms on the trailer-bike to promote enhanced thigh and buttock muscle development.

And off they go down the Potash Road!

There's no substitute for proper Classic technique.

The scene from trailside.

All ski training started and ended at Ruby's Inn - at the entrance to Bryce Canyon National Park.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Plants of the Paunsaugunt Plateau

Bryce Canyon represents the quickly eroding east side of the Paunsaugunt Plateau (pronounced "PAWN-suh-gant"). This harsh environment results in a cornucopia of fascinating plant life.

700-year old Douglas Fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii) in the Wall Street section of the Navajo Trail in Bryce Canyon National Park.

Windswept Bristlecone Pine (Pinus aristata).

Utah Juniper (Juniperus utahensis) and a twisty Ponderosa Pine (Pinus ponderosa) intermingle.

Bonzai Ponderosa Pine (Pinus ponderosa)

Manzanita (Arcostaphylos patula)

Beauty in the Plant Afterlife.

Bryce Canyon in Winter

It's been a year of overabundant snow in Southwestern Utah, and a recent visit to Bryce Canyon National Park was a unique opportunity to see this spectacular place at the end of still-snowy winter.
Welcome to the Visitors Center!

Looking into the Bryce Amphitheater

View NE from the Bryce Rim towards the Aquarius Plateau, the highest plateau in North America which tops out at 11,328 feet.

Along the Queen's Garden Trail, just below Sunrise Point

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Red Mesa Redskins

A recent and beautiful drive across the Navajo Nation led us past the scenic town of Red Mesa, AZ - tucked into the northwestern-most corner of Arizona, just south of the Utah border.

The Red Mesa,
with the Abajo Mountains of Utah in the far left distance.

Red Mesa Trading Post

The High School home of the Red Mesa Redskins,
who finished with a 2009 record of 9-2 in Arizona 2A football.