Wednesday, October 26, 2022

The Montevideo Inscription in Grand Canyon

On November 30, 2010, I posted a piece about an inscription found near the South Bass Trail in Grand Canyon. It is in a neatly ornamented style with the word "Montevideo." You can view that posting here and the story that goes with it. A few days later, I posted an addendum and that can be viewed here.

Recently, a friend of my wife visited the site and literally stumbled onto another adjacent inscription that shows the year 1896. While this does not prove that the Montevideo inscription was left in the Wm. Wallace Bass era at Grand Canyon, it does show that Bass was leading people to this site at that time. I think the nearby inscription lends credence to the idea that Montevideo is more recent than the 1540s and from a member of he Cardenas party. The photos above and below are courtesy of Larry Kinser.

Sunday, October 16, 2022

An Autumn Hike in the San Juan Volcanic Field, Colorado

In early October, Helen and I journeyed to southwest Colorado and the San Juan Mountains near Ouray. We embarked on a five-day, four-night backpack along the Dallas Trail, traveling hut to hut. Thus, we carried no sleeping bags or tents to make the load lighter. The fall colors were at their peak and admittedly, this post is more about autumn than the San Juan Volcanic Field.

We had a group of seven and this is near the start of the hike.

Some of the route was along old logging roads.

This is our first hut, called North Pole hut. One of the peaks near here is called North Pole Peak. If you would like to know more about the hut experience you can view San Juan Huts here.

Each hut comes with a separate outhouse not far from the sleeping hut. These were very clean, modern, and well kept.

A view to the northeast toward the Cimarron Range of the San Juan Mountains. Ridgway Colorado sits in the valley of the Uncompahgre River in the valley below.

The Sneffels Range loomed large to our south as we made our way from west to east. An early season snow made the views dramatic against the changing aspens.

More Sneffels Range.

The average elevation of the hike was 10,000 and never deviated from between 11,000 and 9,500 feet.

A wild geranium also was in on the colorful show.

Most of the hike was through forests of aspen and conifer.

An early morning frost.

Finally, we reached Wilson Summit at 11,000 feet and were rewarded with a spectacular view!

Note the previously glaciated valleys in the distance as we took our lunch at the summit.

There was always a threat of rain during the five days (forecasted) but we managed to avoid precipitation.

In the Ridgway hut on night 3 planning the next days route.

An especially beautiful section of trail on day 4.

Aspens, aspens everywhere.

Burn Hut, our fourth and last hut.

Near Burn Hut.

Roots and aspen leaves vie for sunlight.

Approaching our final descent into the Uncompahgre Valley.

Across the way, the San Juan volcanics sit atop a basement of Paleozoic sedimentary rocks. We saw mining shacks at the contact of the two rock types.

Colorful descent - this time in. rocks!

As we descended below the San Juan volcanic rocks, the basement was composed of the Cutler Formation, a Pennsylvanian sandstone, shale and conglomerate that was shed off of the Ancestral Rocky Mountains.

A channel of very coarse conglomerate is set within floodplain mudstone and shale. A very good trip with great people and fantastic weather!