Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Peaches and Dinosaurs

While in Colorado we noticed that the very best peaches in grocery stores come from Palisade, Co.  Consequently we were thrilled to find out that we are parked close to that town and its peach orchards. Palisade is only about 15 miles from Grand Junction.  In the town of Delta we saw a mural which celebrates all of the fruit of the Grand Valley, which also includes cherries, apples, and pears.
We are in dessert country in Grand Junction, the average temperature every day here has averaged in the mid- nineties.  There is arid land here, and there is also lush green land with trees and grass.  The Redland First Lift Canal has carried water from the Gunnison River since 1907.  It has turned the arid Redlands into profitable fruit and vegetable farms.  I heard on the local news the other night that Colorado may pass legislation dedicating a certain amount of land in this valley for only the purpose of orchards.  This morning, while looking over the Valley from Riggs Hill, I can understand the concern of the farmers.  Development of residential homes seems to be encroaching on orchard land.
That is a new sub-division pictured above, in the middle of farm land, a water canal is the light blue area.  We did not need to drive to the orchards last Friday, but we did and bought half a bushel of peaches.  They are large, sweet and juicy!  We also discovered a number of wineries in that area.   And there is a Farmers Market every Thursday afternoon which is located on Main Street, in the downtown area of Grand Junction.  When we visited the market we noticed that practically every farmer was selling peaches, as well as other fruit and vegetables.  The Grand Valley has a lot to be proud of with its very productive farms, thanks to a water supply provided by the Colorado and Gunnison Rivers.
While strolling around the Farmers Market we notice a variety of sculptures located in the downtown section of Grand Junction, part of their Art on Every Corner project.  I thought the dinosaur on a bike was a cute idea for the town.  Besides peaches, Grand Junction is the location of some dinosaur bones.  Earlier in this posting I mentioned Riggs Hill.  In 1900 Elmer Riggs (Assistant Curator of Paleontology at the Field Museum in Chicago) and his party came to a hill overlooking Grand Junction and found huge fossilized bones of the dinosaur Brachiosaurus.  While climbing Riggs Hill we saw the replica of the backbone of a dinosaur.  I can imagine the excitement a paleontologist would feel finding bones of that size.
In 1937 another scientist found partial skeletons of other dinosaurs 42 feet above Riggs' quarry.  Unfortunately, due to lack of funds, the bones were not removed and souvenir hunters took them. 
We are leaving this area today, fortunately our refrigerator is full of peaches!

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