Harps Across America #20
Each time I go out on a hike I am reminded about the beauty of nature. There’s something to unplugging oneself from all the screens and noise that seems to be a part of day to day life and when I went to the Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park I had no choice as there was no service. Natures own music became my soundtrack. The rush of the water from the Gunnison River echoing off of the canyon walls, the calling of the birds swooping through the sky, the rustle of small animals in the brush and the occasional cracks of thunder overhead. Each sound accentuated the wonder and beauty of the land.
The canyon, rocks and landscape were also full of life. From Mule Deer to the brightly colored Western Tanagers to Swallows literally flying past my head. You couldn’t move without hearing or seeing animals, though sometimes you did really have to look carefully for them.
One cherished memory from my trip is when a storm came. While that may seem like an odd memory to cherish, as typically storms ruin hikes, this one was different. The rain started just as we pulled up to the trails mouth. Since the rain was light we pulled out an umbrella and continued walking down the trail. As we went I realized the rain hitting the back of my legs seemed hard. Harder then usual for rain anyways and putting out my hand I realized that it wasn’t just rain hitting me but small hail pieces as well. Both rain and hail started coming down harder so my dad and I decided not to venture further down the trail but just stop and watch the weather. I don’t get to see hail very often, in fact there is only one time prior that I remember witnessing it fall, so I found it fascinating watching it hit the ground and bounce along the path. After it became apparent the storm was going to last a while we decided to take shelter in the van. As we were walking back on top of the rain and hail falling it also started to snow. There was something so beautiful in that storm that I almost didn’t want to leave.
The Black Canyon is a National Park I will forever treasure and long to go back to and visit again someday. Hopefully, my dream will become a reality and I can once again walk among the canyon rocks and hear the rush of the river and see the dark night sky.