Thursday, August 22, 2013

Flaming Gorge to Vernal

From Jackson Hole to Rock Springs, Wy was an easy trip on two-lane country roads.

 The day offered little more than great open spaces of sage brush and sky.

After a while I began to notice evidence of 'fracking'....


And before long realized that I was never out of sight of a well or installation...

or storage facility.  The countryside was not that pretty so I guess I'd rather see those installations out there instead of in our parks or neighborhoods.  After all, we have to feed our gasoline addiction...don't we?

I spent one quiet night in Rock Springs. parked in the Rec Center parking lot, then bought a shower from them for $6.  Rec Centers and Fitness Centers have become my 'go-to' places for good showers.
(Did you know that if you have Silver Sneakers with your health insurance you have free entrance to most of the major fitness centers in the country?  Check their website for the list.)

The next day as I drove closer to Flaming Gorge National Recreation Area I began to see the change in the terrain.

Things were getting interesting again.

Oops, another storage tank.

The Flaming Gorge was named by Major John Wesley Powell in 1869 when he completed an exploratory voyage down the Green and Colorado Rivers.

The Hilliard Shale in this spot was deposited 87 million years ago in what was then an ancient seaway. Evidence of mollusks, fish and marine reptiles are found in abundance here.  Footprints of dinosaurs are imprinted into veins of coal.

Geologists say the red sandstone dates back 1.1 billion years.  

So this is where we spent the night.
  It was a great spot to have breakfast...
 And we could see the dam off in the distance. 
Later we drove around and took this picture from the dam looking upstream.  I saw photos in the visitor center of this part of the gorge before it filled with water--it was rather spectacular.  We have traded a large part of the canyon for a lake for recreation. Much like Glen Canyon Dam and Lake Powell.
Years ago my husband and I took a motor boat trip up Glen Canyon before the dam was closed and the lake filled it up.  I was enthralled by the beauty that now lies under the water.

We have another addiction--water.  We need water to support our swimming pools, fountains, lawns and golf courses.

There never seems to be enough water to satisfy our craving.

Some years ago I heard from a government hydrologist that the Army Corps of Engineers had plans on hand for a dam to fill the Grand Canyon. The plans were drawn up for sometime in the 1950s but it was thought to be too difficult to get the public's approval at that time.  Is it possible that we would ever get that desperate for water that we would vote to fill the Grand Canyon?

Something tells me it is more than possible.

  The red canyon walls get their color from iron which was oxidized during the process of rock formation.  

As we approached Vernal, Utah the temperature was rising.  I had hoped to escape the extreme summer heat but it had caught up with us.

And heat makes us sleepy.


  1. I loved your photos, but what is happening to that country is frightening.

  2. Still enjoying the tour.....been there.....wonderful memories......thanks