Friday, May 25, 2007

To Yellowstone or bust

So I made my great escape from Moab, before becoming one of those "just passing through" folks who have been there for months... I'd been fretting about getting caught up in the Memorial day crunch @ Yellowstone, so was fast-tracking my way in that general direction. Into Colorado I rolled, and made the mistake of stopping at the welcome center and eyeing the brochures of all the fantastic places and adventures that awaited me here. NOoooooooooo! I stuck to the plan, but started thinking that I might have to backtrack here in the fall and let winter chase me out:) I did make a couple of stops, but managed to be out of the state in a days time.

Dinosaur National Monument-After spending some time taking in petroglyths (have no idea why they put a cable across "Kokopelli!) on hwy 139, I rolled into the town of Dinosaur, Co. Just the name was enough to get me to make a quick stop at the welcome center...RIGHT! An hour and a half of chatting with Brenda, explaining my voyage and geocaching and so on, and after she donated a molded toy dinosaur and a couple of collectiong cards on state bird and other into my swag bag, and after some time of trying to convince me that not spending time in the state was one of the worst calls I could make...I finally got back on the road and up to the Dino NM visitor center and Harpers Corner Auto tour. This was a nice scenic drive out to canyons and a green river overlook, just as Brenda had promised. Unfortunately, I wiled away the afternoon out here, stopping for lunch, hiking out to the point for the best view, and whatnot. I say unfortunately because by the time I got to the Utah side of the park and out to the visitor center there, it was closed for the day. I was unaware that Dinosaur trail would close when the visitor center did. The trail is along the cliff face, and dinosaur bones are scattered within the facing. it looked like it would be a fascinating display, but I was unwilling to stay over another day for it :(.

On my way to the Utah visitor center, I happened upon a huge stretch of road where there were oodles of Prairie Dog colonies :). I had wondered when I might get a real look at some of them. After a quick drive thru of Vernal, Utah, I headed north into BLM land and camp. This route was along "Dinosaur Circle" and there were plaques along the way explaining finds or geologic formations. Now I find out that you can pick up a pamphlet explaining these points in detail...back in Vernal! One that I found most intriguing stated "fossilized crocodile teeth found here". OK, I bite... In the morning I went back to this spot, but the road was so rutted that I could not drive it, and besides, I did not know how far in to go or where to start a search. Oh well. After hiking a mile on "Dinosaur Track" loop trail, I saw nothing but numbered signs and nothing obvious, certainly no dino prints, and called it quits and headed towards...

FLAMING GORGE- So named by John Wesley Powell as his expedition made its way along the green river. Today, it is dammed and a recreation area. Still a very nice place though. I slowly made my way through, but chose the less scenic route up to expedite my way into Wyoming. There were certainly some nice kayak opportunities here if I so chose.

After a quick pass thru Rock Springs, Wy, I made my way up to just south of Jackson, arriving at camp just at sunset. This would be my jumping off point for Jackson Hole, the Tetons and Yellowstone. Now, the question will be, when will I ever leave this area ;')

No comments: