Fragrant Quote for August 10th, 2012-Railway review, Volume 59 edited by Walter Mason Camp

The Curecanti Needle in the Black Canyon of the Gunnison River, Colorado. Image Credit



On the eastern side there are three large tributary canyons, from north to south, as follows: Black canyon, Bull Elk canyon, already mentioned, and Devil canyon, which connects with the main Big Horn canyon at the southern or upper end. Coming in from the west there is one large tributary canyon known as Dry Head, which joins the main canyon about a mile above the Horse Shoe curve. All of these tributary canyons are deep, rugged and very beautiful, and each of them carries a stream of clear and cold mountain water well filled with trout of large size. The Big Horn river itself, with its drainage area of 21,000 square miles, as is well known, is formed in part by tributaries from an alluvial country and is at times a very murky stream.

Mr. W. W. Gail, editor of the Billings Gazette, has eloquently pictured the scenic features as follows: "One needs but a glimpse of it to realize that here nature has designed a masterpiece of scenic art, here attained most nearly to perfection in the handicraft from which mankind derives joy and inspiration. Rugged beyond description, replete with delicate tints which merge and mingle upon precipitous cliffs, and jutting crags that seem to pierce the very sky, twisting and turning incessantly as it cuts its way through walls, the shadows of which play in constant change upon the sparkling surface of the stream, the canyon reveals new wonders and delights at every turn: and its lure calls one on and on into the primeval fastnesses in the depths of which bear and wolf and mountain lion still live in almost undisturbed seclusion, and in whose crystal streams huge mountain trout sport like 'naiads of the wand'ring brooks.' And though far above, where a narrow strip of blue shows between the lofty walls, the air may be awhirl, within the deep recesses of the gorge the atmosphere is still and quiet, and with the rippling music of the river the gentle canyon breezes carry the fragrance of cedar and wild flowers and the coolness of the stream in a mingled lullaby of sound and sense."