Spring has finally sprung! And I celebrated by taking my first big trip of the year, which I find is always an amazing way to celebrate a new season. Our location of choice, however, would not be littered with roses and cherry blossoms, as Tristan and I once again chose the desert for our spring trip.
When he picked me up from the airport, after an 8-hour drive through dust and snow, the car told the tale of his adventures on the road, long before he did.
We then dropped by the Travelodge at Grand Junction to see if we could check in early, but it was a no-go on that one. I had only snatched three hours of sleep before jumping on the plane, and Tristan snatched only one before his 8-hour drive. Yet, we found ourselves full of energy!
So what better way to wait for check-in time at the hotel, than to go hiking? Grand Junction in Colorado is a city of about 50,000 people with a small town vibe — the kind of small town vibe with delapidated trailer parks, and old White men throwing intimidating stares at Mixed Black tourists minding their own business.
We decided to mind that business at Eagle Rim Park, which happened to be the closest trail we could find to our hotel. A Jamaican who years ago settled in the Vegas desert, Tristan was not at all impressed with the trail, or Grand Junction for that matter, but I thought it was an interesting start to the adventures that lay ahead.
We started our hike at the Riverfront Entrance, and soon came face-to-face with the Colorado River. In fact, the Colorado River seemed to follow us everywhere we went on our trip; whether we drove 100 miles west, or 60 miles north, it was always there.
Beyond the Colorado River, you can see the Rocky Mountains, behind which lays good old Denver, a much more liberal environment than Grand Junction proved to be. Even so, a bit of racism wasn’t about to slow down our adventuring, so over the bridge we went.
When we entered the main grounds of Eagle Rim Park, I was very surprised to come across a healthy dose of feminism in the form of a statue.
Everyone tends to remember the men who gave up their lives and moved out west for a better life, but few people ever bother to think of the women.
And if you have ever gone hiking in the desert of the wild west, you will know it is no bed of roses. In next week’s post, I will illustrate exactly that, as Tristan and I got lost at Arches National Park, with just an hour or two to sunset, and 3.5 miles of hiking before us, with no marked trails!
But for the present, let’s enjoy the Eagle Rim hike, which proved to be a literal walk in the park.
Whether Tristan was impressed with this not-so-beautiful side of the desert, or not, he could not hide his excitement to be out adventuring again. And neither could I!
That was the end of that side of the trail, so we hiked back down the hill, over the bridge, and continued along the concrete path, with the Colorado River on the left, and buildings under construction on the right.
There wasn’t much to see after that, but Arches National Park would definitely make up for it the following morning. Next week Friday, I’ll tell you all about our crisis in the Utah desert!