We reached Grand Junction, CO, an area well worth a followup visit. Colorado National Monument is a real treasure, among other places. I had read about a short hike known as the Monument Canyon Loop so we found the trail head and began the hike.
We did the loop, clockwise as advised by the hike reports. Unfortunately, I had neglected to confirm that dogs were allowed and a hiker let us know about roving volunteers who issue a $250 fine if you are found walking with a dog. Amy volunteered to turn around while I continued. Hindsight being what it is, Amy's knee probably would have been a problem as she counts down the days to replacement surgery.
The Monument has awesome views as I climbed toward my first look at....
....Independence Monument. There was once a wall of rock but erosion has removed it all except for this remaining piece. The image doesn't do justice to the size of the structure.
Great views every direction.
Each July 4th, a group climbs the spire and plants a US flag on top where it remains for a week before the flag is retrieved. There is a road that follows the rim of a nearby canyon and it is filled with cyclists and vehicles who witness the event.
Knowing Amy and Jack were waiting, I ran at times back often.....
....the scenery would cause me to stop and take a pic. Note the rock balanced, for now on the right side. Finished with 4.5 miles and 750' of climbing. On to the Grand Tetons and Yellowstone NP.