June 30, 2004

The Moose

Sunday June 27th, 2004

Our friends Meade and Lee Ann Harbison- Congrats and all our love.

Their wedding marked our last day in Durango and what a fabulous day it was.

Sunday morning we had a farewell breakfast with Dan's family and then at around 11am we hit the road.

First stop lunch in Ouray.

We were serenaded by this waterfall during our lunch.

After lunch we headed up towards Rangely, Colorado. Hwy 139 between Loma and Rangely is truly beautiful, with Douglas Pass topping off at around 8600'. Amazing views and it is open range, so the cow-dodging kept us on our toes.

After Douglas Pass you enter the Canyon Pintato area, which is riddled with ancient Indian art. Signs along the road point to the paintings and there are great interpretive placards all over to answer your questions. If you go there pick up a map in Loma or Rangeley, since there is only one map along the road.

This is a photo from the White Birds site, the first one we visited.

The Cow Canyon site- note the picture of a rifle in this one.

We made camp about 3 miles up Philadelphia Draw on BLM land. This dirt road is also part of the Rangely Loop Mountain Bike Trail. Here's a view from our camp and a picture of Rach showing her feelings on yet another uphill climb just before we hit the top of the road.

This week will be a-typical of our general plan. We will be covering a lot of miles to get things started. We are expecting to go over our $40/ day budget during this time. But, once we hit Jackson we should slow down to more like 50-100 miles per day and then stay on budget. Additionally we started out with a full pantry and semi-full fridge. So our expenses are a bit askew.

Day One: Miles-266, Expenses- $3.26 for groceries.

Day two:
We woke up to a 5-6 mile mtn. bike ride up the road we camped on. The views from the top and the downhill back made this a fabulous ride. Then we hit the road again stopping at East Four Mile Canyon to see some more Indian art. If you only have time to visit one of the sites in Canyon Pintada this is the one to see. There is a 30 minute hiking loop with signs to explain all of the paintings and even an old pioneer cabin.

The Sun Dagger site.

From here we headed towards Flaming Gorge on the Utah/ Wyoming border. We headed up HWY 139 from Vernal. This too is a beautiful drive with impressive views and beautiful aspen fields. National Forest camping is plentiful here and there we many roads to potential boondocking sites along the way. We were ready to see Flaming Gorge though so we pressed on, arriving at the dam around 2:30. As avid river runners dams are always interesting if a bit frustrating to us. We decided to tour the dam, since neither of us had ever toured one before. I must say it was truly impressive to see and a bit freaky to be inside of. We recommend touring this if you are ever there- takes about a half hour and its free. No cameras are permitted in the dam (an after effect of 911)- so here's an outside photo.

We checked out two of the campsites on the lake, they were both $13/ night and neither seemed like a place we'd like to stay so we kept on to Green River. This may not have been the best decision as there is only one campground in Green River, Tex's, which charges $25 for a hook-up site. We opted for the $16 "primitive" site, which oddly enough had water and electricity, and there was a nice shower facility for campers. Not quite sure how this classifies as primitive- but hey- works for us.

Before we checked into Tex's we saw a sign to a "Whitewater Park". This is like Mecca to my husband so we went down to Expedition Park where the signs led us. Primarily this is a memorial park to where John Wesley Powell launched his river expeditions, complete with a trail commemorating many who used or ran the Green River in the past. Dan quickly eyed the whitewater park and we made a note to come back the next morning.

Day two: Miles- 190-ish Gas $68, Park fee $2.00, Groceries $4.75, Camping $18 (after taxes) an expensive day!

After a not-so-scenic night at Tex's we loaded up and headed back to the park. But first a detour to an RV shop for two new drains. Seems the Lance installers may have overlooked o-rings in our kitchen sink, so we had to buy new drains and install them.

Once at the park I took the bike for a ride along the river/ bike trail, which was amazingly nice and beautiful, to the grocery store. I came back to find my husband spinning away on this wave with a grin from ear to ear. For any of you kayakers here's the scoop. As best as I can figure, Green River got a ton of money from oil and gas or maybe the trains and they poured it into their parks. The Whitewater Park is located on both sides of an island. The river right channel is a slalom course and the left is the whitewater section. Here there are two man-made u-drops. The lower one was a perfect surfing wave where you could sit and surf forever and never take a paddle stroke. On the sides of the wave were two frothy holes perfect for spinning.

We stayed here until 2pm. The park made a nice place for us to have lunch but as you'll see in the picture below, it is a bit of a squeeze to get there.

Dan come on- we gotta go, say goodbye to your wave.

From Green River we headed west and made a stop for a 35 cent ice cream cone at Little America. What a place! To quote my husband's journal: (note: southern twain implied in his prose)

"Little America the most largest truck stop ever! RVer/ Trucker heaven with gas, roller dogs (that's Dan-speak for gas station hot dogs), postcards and ice cream. Also a free pooper pump-out. hooo-weee!"

Our intention was to spend the night in Cokeville which allows ofree vernight camping in their city park. However, about 30 miles shy of Cokeville we saw a turn off for Logan, Utah. Right about then Dan's brother Pat called and invited us over to his house for a dinner of fresh Alaskan salmon and hallibut which he just brought back from a trip there. Well it just so happens that he lives in...you guessed it... Logan, Utah. So here I sit in brother-in-law Pat's driveway with a clear Internet connection and no pressing engagements, updating -and rather long-windedly so- our blog.

Day 3: Miles- 175, Groceries $23.89, Drains for camper $9.90

One final note- while I have no photographic evidence... Yesterday along the Logan River in the canyon leading to the town of Logan, I saw the 4th moose I have ever seen. It was pretty cool.


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