Some people wake up at the crack of crack when camping. Not me. I prefer to rouse only when the cold hard ground ceases to comfort. Somewhere around 10AM. Middle-of-the-night disturbances are not a problem: I’ve slept through fire alarms, thunderstorms, hurricanes, and nearby breakins. In fact, I think I’ve found a new, deeper level of REM. Eat it, Sleeping Beauty.

Breakfast: eat camping green chili omelettes and ham, drink percolated camping coffee, and enjoy solitude of the North Rim of the Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park. You’ve never really exhaled unless you’ve done so drinking weak coffee made with tinny campground water while sitting in a $10 canvas chair from Target and planning the day’s activities.

This day, we had decided over onion-and-garlic marinated buffalo burgers (paired with the excellent Black Bridge Red we picked up in Paonia) the night before, we would hike out to Inspiration Point and back, about three miles roundtrip. The trail meanders through desert flora, occasionally offered shade and amazing vistas, and is labeled as moderate. I concur. We walked from the campground to the trailhead, which is located near the Visitors’ Center. On the walk to the You pass the Inner Canyon trailhead of SOB, but according to the ranger, Yogi, that trail is fraught with poison ivy.

We passed, literally.

This tree greeted us near the trailhead.

Follow the brown dirt path, tra la la

Follow the brown dirt path, tra la la

You can see the canyon peeking out of the corner.

I’m no dendrowhatever, but I was surprised that lichen actually grows in the desert. Takes an uninformed New England to be surprised at such things.

Lichen

While this tree marked our first overlook.

High desert sky

High desert sky

We frolicked along in the hot desert sun and took a hard left out to Inspiration Point after 1.5 miles. We parked ourselves on a rock, made friends (or at least tried to) with the largest ants on the planet, and enjoyed the view of the canyon.

Water runs through the deep canyon

Water runs through the deep canyon

A closer look at Inspiration Point at Black Canyon of the Gunnison

A closer look at Inspiration Point at Black Canyon of the Gunnison

Inspiration Point truly inspired.

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