Grand Junction and Fruita were encompassed in smoke, not only from California and Durango but from their own fires burning on the nearby Book Cliffs at the edge of town. It was terrible! I have never been in smoke that bad before.
We made our way up to the Colorado National Monument on the Fruita side. The visitor center is on that side at the top and the campground is beside it. Normally, the views from the campground are expansive and stunning. Nothing but smoke, we couldn't even see Fruita and Grand Junction! Did I mention it was 102 degrees? The pictures above are how it usually looks...blue skies and red cliffs.
I was tempted to apologize for the horrible quality of my pictures because of the smoke, but it is symbolic of life. Things don't always go as we hope they will.
Here are the pictures I took the last day as the smoke had cleared some.
Colorado National Monument is a geologic treasure and some pretty good eye candy. The oldest rock in the monument has been dated at 1.7 billion years old!
Our family loves the Colorado NM. We discovered it almost 20 years ago rather accidentally and we drop our jaws each and every time we visit. The light is ever changing and the same vista you viewed the time before will look completely different the next time. It's a visual chameleon!
CNM is also sacred space to us. Anna went to Colorado Mesa University in Grand Junction. She would frequent the monument quite often. Before we knew she had Neuroendocrine cancer, she suffered with many ailments, one of them being insomnia. I would get a text or phone call from her in the middle of the night saying she couldn't sleep and was up on the monument watching Grand junction sleep. It made me so sad that we couldn't figure out why she couldn't sleep. She always went to the top of Serpent's Trail where she would sit on a rock on a steep cliff and wonder what was wrong with her. This rock became known to her friends and us as 'Anna's rock'. I visit Anna's rock every time I go through Grand Junction and take roses and leave them there.
Teddy on Anna's rock
NET cancer is insidious. Our beautiful daughter had insomnia, asthma, thyroid, heart, Popliteal Entrapment, flushing and a few other issues and we couldn't figure it out. It all seemed totally unrelated! It kills me to think about this; but I share this so that if anyone you know or love is having multiple, "unrelated" medical issues, make sure they know about NET.
You can learn more about NET at thehealingnet.org