After the Black Canyon we were looking for our next scenic destination when we read about something called the Colorado National Monument. The Colorado National Monument is a part of the National Park Service near the city of Grand Junction, Colorado, in the western part of the state. It consists of spectacular canyons cut deep into sandstone and even granite rock formations, in some areas.
Grand Junction is located on the Colorado River where it intersects the Gunnison River. The city is located almost halfway between Denver, CO, and Salt Lake City, UT. Grand Junction is a major fruit producing area with several wineries having been established in the area.
The elevation is 8500 feet with a annual rainfall of 9 inches. They also expect 22 inches of snow per year. It rained while we were here and on the weather news that night they were excited to report a local rainfall of .09 inches. Several towns in the area also reported .02 and some even had .04 inches. This was BIG NEWS.
The humidity here is really low. There was several times that we saw it in the single digits. Due to the low humidity we found many homes using swamp coolers for home cooling. I know that this sounds odd to people on the gulf coast but up here if you can introduce some humidity into your home it will cool it off. That’s all a swamp cooler does is blow some humid air into your home.
The local livestock in the picture is an Alpaca. Alpacas are considerably smaller than Llamas, and unlike Llamas, Alpacas were not bred to be beasts of burden but were bred specifically for their fiber. Alpaca fiber is used for making knitted and woven items, much as wool is. These items include blankets, sweaters, hats, gloves, scarves, socks, coats and bedding. Due to its absorbent nature it is also being uses to help clean up the oil spill in the Gulf.