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July 7, 2014

Colorado's Yosemite

I'm writing from the future! Sort of. I went through the trouble of uploading all these photos a while back and never actually wrote up an entry about them. It's long enough ago that I don't feel like I have much to say—lucky you—so here are some pics for you of a beautiful spot in Colorado that friends Marianne, Jane, and I stumbled upon because all the tiny river-side designated camp spots were taken along the South Platte river. We ended up driving up Deckers Road toward Little Scraggy Peak, I think, which is where we found this gem. Thank you, public lands.

[Marianne enjoying the view from camp. Tough life.]

I think I put off writing this entry because I was going to try to give some actual value added by talking about the geology of the area. Which I really know nothing about. I can tell that these are granite, which is why I called the area Colorado's Yosemite. But beyond that, I can't tell you much.

[Marianne and Jane working on dinner.]

From what I remember, we had a very nice and relaxing evening and talked a lot about apologies and how women in particular (in general) are prone to say sorry for things that they don't really need to apologize for. My view: I defended the value of an apology, or the use of "sorry," regardless of gender, even if whatever happened is not really my fault. As in, I said something that offended you because I meant it one way and you interpreted another, regardless of who's to blame for the mix-up. I say, Oh! Sorry! I meant blah blah blah (*not* "I'm sorry you interpreted it that way, but..."). Of course, I could also just say, "Oh! No! That's not what I meant!" in that circumstance, but throwing a sorry in doesn't hurt. I am, however, adamant about not apologizing for something that someone else thinks I'm at fault for where I see no wrongdoing.

We tried not to apologize to each other for things after that and it was hard.

Anyway. Camping conversations.

In the morning, thanks to Sonora, I was the first one up (not counting Sonora). We went for a lovely walk before things heated up.

According to an entry on summitpost.org, the granite in this area is part of the Pikes Peak batholith, which is the youngest granite in all of the Rockies. For what that's worth.

From what I can tell, the rocks are about 1 billion years old. Everything in Colorado is, yes, older, but looks like the granite in Yosemite is only 210 to 80 million years old.

The Pikes Peak batholith is a large magmatic intrusion that cooled deep within the Earth and then was exposed by years (like, maybe a billion) of erosion. It covers 1,300 square miles. The next biggest in Colorado, responsible for all the beautiful granite outcrops in Rocky Mountain National Park and around Estes Park, covers a mere 600 square miles. (To be characterized as a batholith, it has to be at least 40 square miles, so yes, still pretty darn big.) This from the great—though very basic—book "Messages in Stone: Colorado's Colorful Geology" by the Colorado Geological Survey.

What I *want* to know is what was going on tectonically at the time to cause this to happen. Maybe nobody knows.

After a leisurely breakfast, we all went for the same walk.

[My new chair. Throne, rather.]

[The area was ravaged by the Buffalo Creek Fire of 1996, which destroyed forest but yielded wonderfully open views.]

We turned back sooner than we would have because of one little black-furred problem. An overheated dog. It wasn't super hot out there, but apparently it was hot enough by that time. Back at the car, we got rolling quickly to get some air conditioning on but Sonora would not stop panting and trying to get up to the front seat to get closer to the air (it just wasn't making it back to us). So we detoured to the Cheeseman Reservoir. Dogs and people aren't supposed to take dips, but it seemed like a desperate enough situation. Except that Sonora refused to go in. So Marianne and I took the water to her, holding her in the shade and dumping Nalgenes of lake water over her.

It worked.

[Posted Nov. 23, 2014]

Posted by beth at July 7, 2014 5:02 AM

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