Published: May 27th 2006May 26th 2006
May 26 Day 12 Vernal, utah, Dinosaur National Monument, Flaming Gorge, Rock Springs, Wyo. GPS Lady's Revenge.
Our drive to Dinosaur National Monument is supposed to take about 15 minutes. The GPS lady had us driving down a road barking commands to turn right on nonexistant roads. I don't know what got into her mind. Maybe she was still upset from yesterday when I didn't pay attention and missed a turn. Geez, give me a break, having two touchey females in the car is just too much to take.
I turned around and found drove for 5 miles and found a crossroads grocery store. M went inside to ask directions (men do NOT do that
) and was told the Dinosaur place was just down the road we were on. Another 15 minutes and we were there.
This is a really interesting place. The fossilized bones are still buried in the hillside are shown in bias relief. They built a whole enclosed shed over the hillside to protect them from the elements. About 200 feet of the clif is exposed for us to see the many bones of prehistoric animals from 175 million years ago. Evidently this place
is loaded with dinosaur bones. We walked up and down the enclosed viewing area looking at all the bones. There are exhibits there that help us understand what we are seeing. Very nice. Very interesting.
Utah's senator must have some connection with the asphalt industry. Lots of the roads have fresh asphalt. The roads are beautiful, smooth and there is very little traffic. A road tripper's dream come true.
We drove north on Hwy 191 towards Flaming Gorge. John Wesley Powell discovered this place and gave it the name because of the red colored cliff walls. Actually there are many colors: red, white, grey, black, green and blue (the sky). Sometimes the colors are in layers caused by the different colored sedimentary layers as they laid down on top of each other. We climb another beautiful mountain (8,600 ft) and look down on the Flaming Gorge Reservoir and dam. The dam backs up the Green River for 91 miles. The river below the dam is famious for its trophy fish. A 51 poound Makinaw trout was caught here as well as a 34 pound brown trout.
We followed the gorge north for about 70 miles, then turned
north east towards Rock Springs, Wyoming traveling through bucolic meadows and cattle ranches. It's a pretty drive, but not very exciting.
Rock Springs is a booming town with its own college and miles and miles of fast food operations. We arrived at 4pm and checked into the hotel - Best Western Outlaw Inn. I immediately knew we had left Utah and were in Wyoming when I found the hotel had a real honest to goodnes salon. In Utah, we wanted to buy a bottle of wine for our room. We were told to go up to the truck stop's dining room and ask there. We did. The lady pointed to a small display case containing maybe six different bottles of wine. We told her what we wanted and she went into a locked closet and handed us the bottle. I mean, it's almost a clandestine operation where you whisper and give a code word. Well welcome to Wyoming. Our hotel sports a drive-liquor store and real bars that serve real booze. It may not be as scenic as Utah, but Wyoming makes up for it in other er ways.
Wheezer, you were right, Rock Springs is NOT scenic.
We drove through the town. It's windy and there are dust clouds in the air and the stuff blows into my eyes and there's grit in my teeth. Awful. Maybe a nice martini will make me fee better. Maybe two will make me feel much better.
Bye for now.
There are more photos below