On Tuesday I drove west from Colorado Springs to Montrose. As I approached Montrose I arrived first at the Curecanti National Recreation Area, which consists of three large lakes (they are actually called Basins since they are part of the Blue Mesa Reservoir), then a long, thin Reservoir called Morrow Point, then a long, thin Reservoir called Crystal, then the Gunnison River, which runs through Black Canyon of the Gunnison (get it now?) National Park. Water flows east-to-west through those venues.
The surface of the 3 Blue Mesa Basins are at 7,719 feet. After passing through the first dam, the surfaces of the Morrow and Crystal Reservoirs are at 7,160 feet. After passing through another dam the water enters the Black Canyon at 6,547 feet and then continues to drop very quickly as it passes through the Park.
Here is the water exiting the first dam, flowing west (in this photo, up)
A small cactus (about the size of a large navel orange)
A sequence showing a boat traveling west to east. Look closely in the center of the first picture.
Further west in the Morrow Reservoir (note the difference looking west with cloud cover reflecting off the water versus looking east with blue sky reflecting…). These were taken just a few minutes apart.
This formation is called the Curecanti Needle. The first picture was taken Tuesday, with cloud cover, the second on Wednesday when it was sunny.