Monday, September 20, 2010

National Public Lands Day 2010

For National Public Lands Day this year, I once again joined up with the Wasatch Cruisers to head out to Heber, Utah to help the forest service continue the fence building project they had started a while back.

This was more or less in the same area we did this last year just further back on a temporary road the forest service created.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Dinosaur National Monument and then some - Labor Day Weeked 2010 Day 3

Day 3

Again, day 3 started with a 630am wake up call (I just woke up)and a chilly morning. After a quick breakfast of oatmeal, a banana and some more hot chocolate I was off for the final leg of the trip back on Brown's Park road to the highway that would eventually take up to Rocksprings, Wyoming and the interstate.

Looking back out too were I had been the previous evening

Somewhere along the way out

This cabin was on private property but clearly visible from the road

I made one side trip on the way out top try and find 'Three Corners' you know where Utah, Wyoming and Colorado meet.

Unfortunately, when you come across down signs it's kind of difficult to know where to go. So I turned around and headed back. I believe had I taken the trail on the right it would've taken me to my goal.

Back into Utah

The remainder of the trip was pretty uneventful, I could've taken an alternate route to Rocksprings, Wy along the gravel but I was getting tried of gravel and I just wanted to get back to rest and clean up before heading back to work the next day.

Overall, this trip was well worth it despite my nervousness at the beginning. It was sorely needed. There so much more to do in the area that will require another trip some time in the near future.

Dinosaur National Monument and then some - Labor Day Weeked 2010 Day 2

After I returned from the side trips to various overlooks I settle into camp for the night. Dinner was chicken, rice and carrots and an ice cold IBC Root Beer (yum!). I was questioning whether or not to have a fire that night because of the wind in canyon was not too to my liking but I went and ahead and made one anyways. As well as some other folks. All was well while the sun was still up but once the sun went down the wind picked up and you would have little micro burst here there that would send cinders into the air, which you would have too go stomp out. After about an hour of that I had enough and decided to put the fire out and hit the hay. It was close to 9:00 pm by this time.

One thing I like about being out away from the city is that the sky's are clear and the stars fill up the night sky. It was great.

The wind that continued to blow though out the night shaking my tent at times like someone was their moving it around. Every so often you'd hear the dog in the campsite bark echoing throughout the canyon. This started to get annoying about 1am but then to my pleasure (I hate to say this but I was tired)you'd hear the dog yelp as if the own had down something to it.

Morning came all to early for me as I was up at 630am, with my allergies going wild (just peachy). After a breakfast of oatmeal, a banana and hot chocolate I packed up camp and went on a short hike around the campground before heading out for the day.

Camp in the morning

One of the reasons why I picked this spot was because of the views from inside the canyon and river.

Steamboat Rock early morning (if you look to the right of the photo you can see two people and their dog, they were the only ones up besides myself at this time).

Rangers Cabin

After dinking around here for a bit I took a short hike along the river just too see were it went.

As I was coming up there ridge line I heard movement and much to my pleasure this is what I saw.

I believe another deer had past me when I heard the noise.

The trail continued on past the point where I saw the deer but I need to head out so back to camp I went to head on out.

First stop Whispering Cave

Being the individual that I am (meaning being skinny, I was able to shimmy back a ways between cracks of the rocks too see how far back it went. Which needless to say I couldn't get since it got narrower. Oh, well. Moving on.

Chew Ranch was the next stop on my way out of Echo Park

Playing around with the camera

Looking inside the wagon seemed to setup pretty well. Then was an area on the right were a stove was with an opening in the roof for the stack.

I'm assuming this was some sort of handbrake system but why would you need all the notches for.

The old homestead

After tooling around here for a bit it was time to head on out on Yampa Bench Road. The ranger the previous day had told me that if if the road was wet that it would nasty slick since it was clay in a lot of the areas. Fortunately, the road was dry as bone but I could easily see where it would not be a place you'd want to be in a rain storm. Nasty slick with a couple of creek crossing.

Anyhow moving on

Some where along Yampa Bench Road

First stop along the route was Castle Park

It took me a minute to see this but if you look down to the left you can see people in the above photo hiking along.

These are them zoomed in

On the way to the next overlook I came across this site

This was not something I wanted to see. I stopped to get out too see if anyone was around but there was no one. Judging by the mud on the truck I believe they came though after the last rain a little too quickly around the corner and slid off the road. The only thing keeping the truck from rolling down the hill were the trees. Otherwise it would've been gone.

How they are going to recover it is a good question since it's in the middle of an S-curve. This goes back to my previous statement where I understand what the ranger was talking about.

Since no one was around I went ahead and headed on out to the Harding Hole Overlook

After that I stopped at Wagon Wheel Point the last overlook along Yampa Bench Road (the photo's here came out kind of crappie)

There was one other stop along the ay “Bakers Cabin” but I was unable to locate it so I continued on.

Somewhere along the bench

After this point you come to the junction of Yampa Bench and country roads 14 and 95. Here there is a little signage post with maps of the area and additional information. I stop here just briefly to add some fuel to my 4runner and grab a quick snack before heading on out on Blue Mountain Road an easy gravel road with some fun corners.

An old Chevy at the junction of 96 and 16(Blue Mountain Road)that has seen better days.

Somewhere along Blue Mountain

Old Cabin along the way

I really wonder why they have to include the 3rd sentence in the sign.

Second half of Blue Mountain Road after a quick trip along pavement

One of the things that stuck me in this photo is the bowl on the right hand side of the photo. You can see were the rock surrounding has been uplifted I'm assuming from it was a caldera or some sort of impact crater (continues past the photo).

After I reached highway 40 I headed back into Naples to fill up with gas, grab a drink (energy drink #2, day 2) and some lunch. Before heading on back out.

Next up was the Island Park area and back into Dinosaur National Monument

First stop along the route was Rainbow park, I didn't stay here long as there was a group camping at the end.

Island Park Overlook was next

Then down to Ruple Ranch

Ruple Ranch

Down by the river

The huge tree that you must pass to continue on down the road

The one thing that I noticed was that there was no sign saying that you couldn't go up to the cabin to have a look around. Hopefully, I did no wrong here but I went ahead a took a look around.


Only half finished?

Weird rock formation and lizard #4

The final stop for the day or so I was hoping was the swinging bridge the crosses the Green River and campground right after. Unfortunately, once I reached the road for Crouse Canyon that lead to it there were signs noting that the bridge is was closed (repairs I believe)not to be detoured from my goals of seeing it I pressed forward I had plan out plan 'B' in case something like this happen and one I saw the sign I started planning 'C'.

Route out to Crouse Canyon

Butch Cassidy Hideout I believe, at least according to my map.

Into the canyon

Ye, old 'Bridge Closed' sign

After seeing the bridge I turned around and started to head out to Taylor Flats and the second bridge crossing

Some where along the route to Taylor Flats

Taylor Flats

Camp night two

Stony Cabin

Jarvine store and house

The Jarvines first resident

The old water wheel


Surprisingly this wagon was used from 1900 to 1970

Old Equipment

Looks a little dangerous

Blacksmith shop

Chicken Coop and Ice House

Doesn't look too comfortable

After tooling around here for a while it was starting to get dark, windy and besides all I was hungry. Beef stew, pita bread, cookies and another ice cold Root Beer was on the menu tonight. There would be no fire tonight as the wind was worse here, with taller grasses and I just didn't feel like dealing with it. So off to bed or so I thought I don't think I got more than an hour of sleep before the wind started to howl again shaking my tent like crazy and up lift the rain fly on the top of my tent.

After about half an hour of this I said screw it and packed up my gear back into 4runner tent and all and just curled up into the back seat of my 4runner not my preferred sleep arrangement but it worked and I was able to get some sleep.