Monday, November 3, 2014

No Dinosaurs, just tracks!

It was a pretty quiet night at Antelope Flats, with the campground being closed and no one else around.  After a short hike down to the shoreline and around the campground, and a walk-about for Hailey, it was time to face the ugly washboard on the exit route.


Instead of going slow and feeling every bump like on the way down, we tried the fast approach this time where you just hit the top of every third washboard with pedal to the metal.  Not sure which method was worse.  This way was certainly faster, but there were quite a few things shaken out of place at the next stop.


Just up the road was the Flaming Gorge dam and visitor center, so that was the next stop.


It was a beautiful day and there was a steady stream of traffic into the parking lot, but for some reason the visitor center was closed  Sad smile.


After a few photos, it was back to the open road.


After yet another high mountain pass, there was a very long grade down into Vernal.  Signs indicated how many more switchbacks to go.


We spent the day in Vernal, getting caught up on all things needing caught up on, then headed east to have a look at Dinosaur National Monument. The park is unique in that it has two visitor centers, one each in Utah and Colorado.  We headed towards the one in Colorado, but instead stopped at the state welcome center to pick up a map and brochure.  On Google Earth it all looks flat, but of course it was another good climb getting back north and towards the monument.


On a side road, Hailey liked the view, so we pulled in for the night and had a little campfire with a 60 mile view.  Kind of like being in a fire lookout again!  It was definitely shirt-sleeve weather, but when the sun went down there was no mistaking that fall was in the air.


The next day was a tour into the monument, requiring two more crossings of the state line.



We never did see a dinosaur, but rumour has it that there are tracks around here.  There were signs warning of bears in the area, but nothing about dino’s. 

Next, it was off in a southerly direction again, down through Rangely, Colorado, and heading for the Grand Junction area.  There were a number of small state recreation sites along that route, but there were no advance warning signs until the actual turnoff, and I was disappointed that my brand new Delorme mapbook for the state did not show them either.  As a result we summited Douglas pass at over 8200’, and began another long, long way down. PA310104Fortunately, not long after reaching the flats north of Loma, there were a few welcoming BLM roads leading off into the gently sloping open desert, that provided a welcome place to stop for a few days.



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