flood hiking no thoroughfare canyon colorado national monument

No Thoroughfare in Flood

“Eventually, all things merge into one, and a river runs through it. The river was cut by the world’s great flood and runs over rocks from the basement of time. On some of the rocks are timeless raindrops. Under the rocks are the words, and some of the words are theirs. 
I am haunted by waters.” 
― Norman MacleanA River Runs Through It and Other Stories

Lots of rain lately, and I’ve been aching to see it in full-on action in some of the Monument’s canyons. Not always a safe thing- going where you know there will be flooding when you’re pretty sure it could flash any time- so I went for No Thoroughfare where I knew it was plenty wide, several drainages, and potential awesome waterfalls. The park ranger who let me past the gate was actually excited for me. Funny.

The only disappointing issues were that I had a late start and couldn’t spend 6 hours up my favorite canyon, and that my phone batter was nearly dead when I started. I could only get so many shots since I had to save at least enough battery for an emergency call. Thus, the engagement of Airplane-mode, my good friend from our hut trip.

It was crazy to see so many flowers this late in the season! There were some that I had seen in May that were blooming fresh and new in this late August. The flood waters didn’t disappoint- though they were a creamy tan and at times made me imagine the water was something closer to chocolate milk.

At times the clouds would part and the evening sun would break through the clouds and light up the sandstone and it was like magic. I love this place.

Here’s a little tour of interesting things I saw in just the first mile of trail:

Revegetation sign on the edge of a cliff.
Revegetation sign on the edge of a cliff.
Stairs.
Stairs.
First pool/falls in flood- mui rapido!
First pool/falls in flood- mui rapido!
These are those purple flowers that bloomed months ago and are back with a vengeance.
These are those purple flowers that bloomed months ago and are back with a vengeance.
Kissing weed (nod to my sister, Wendy_
Kissing weed (nod to my sister, Wendy_
Sheep prints in the wet sand
Sheep prints in the wet sand
Juniper trees bursting with berries
Juniper trees bursting with berries
Cliffs lit up in the evening light
Cliffs lit up in the evening light
Drainage draining
Drainage draining
Really tall Indian Paintbrush entwined in a bushy sage
Really tall Indian Paintbrush entwined in a bushy sage
Yellow flowers in bloom
Yellow flowers in bloom
Cactus with LOTS of fruit.
Cactus with LOTS of fruit.

 

Way to go reading down this far. Now you get to enjoy the REALLY good pictures:

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