Weekly Photo Challenge: Grand (2)

This week’s photo challenge is GRAND and though I’ve already posted once, I must post again, for I live in the GRAND VALLEY with the GRAND RIVER (changed to the Colorado River in 1921) running through it, the incredibly grand Colorado National Monument to the south, and the 10,000 foot GRAND MESA (largest mesa in the entire world) directly to the east.

The Grand Valley, in the fall, with Mt. Garfield on the left and the Grand Mesa in the distance.

The Grand Valley, in the fall, with Mt. Garfield on the left and the Grand Mesa in the distance.

My daughters and friends climbing Mt. Garfield, high above the Grand Valley.

My daughters and friends climbing Mt. Garfield, high above the Grand Valley.

Another view of our Grand Valley, with the vineyards and peach orchards in the foreground.

Another view of our Grand Valley, with the vineyards and peach orchards in the foreground.

This view of the Grand Valley was taken from the incredibly grand Colorado National Monument.

This view of the Grand Valley was taken from the incredibly grand Colorado National Monument.

Taken from the Colorado National Monument, with Independence Monument in the foreground and the Grand Valley beyond.

Taken from the Colorado National Monument, with Independence Monument in the foreground and the Grand Valley beyond.

Following my dog down the Colorado River, which was formerly the Grand River. It starts high in the Rockies at Grand Lake.

Following my dog down the Colorado River, which was formerly the Grand River. It starts high in the Rockies at Grand Lake.

The Grand Valley from Powderhorn Ski Area on the Grand Mesa.

The Grand Valley from Powderhorn Ski Area on the Grand Mesa.

Cross country ski trails on the Grand Mesa.

Winter splendor on the Grand Mesa.

Lake kayaking at 10,000 feet on the Grand Mesa.

Lake kayaking at 10,000 feet on the Grand Mesa.

My daughter snowshoeing across Island Lake on the Grand Mesa.

My daughter snowshoeing across Island Lake on the Grand Mesa.

Fall colors on the Grand Mesa.

Fall colors on the Grand Mesa.

Life is grand here in the Grand Valley. So lucky to live and play here!

My Grand Backyard

I live in the Grand Valley, a wide expanse of western Colorado desert bordered by the canyons and red rock monoliths of the Colorado National Monument to the south; the Grand Mesa (largest mesa in the world), with an elevation of 11,000 feet to the east; and, to the north, the 200 mile long Bookcliff Range. And, as if that weren’t enough, the Colorado River carves a path through this valley on its way to Utah and beyond.

Each of these gems–the desert, the Monument, the Mesa, the river–is a unique portion of my vast backyard into which I can step and lose myself at any time. Early mornings, trail running in the dark. Blazing hot days tempered by a float down the river. Strenuous climbs, with breathtaking views of the valley below. Time in the snowy desert on a sunny winter afternoon. And, like this past weekend, a hike to another world, though it is right there, right out there in my backyard.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

What’s in your backyard?