Vernal Utah, 7-20-01
I got into Vernal and Virginia from the newspaper did a story on me. After the interview she & her husband Richard took me out to Steinaker State Park, located north of Vernal. All this area is known as Dinosaurland, because during the Jurassic Period 130 million yrs ago Dinosaurs inhabited this area.
On Saturday we drove up north of Vernal and back into the mountains. The paved roads became gravel roads the further up we went. The Uintas are the only east-west mountain range associated with the Rocky Mountains. Bighorn sheep, elk, eagles & beaver can be seen, and bear signs were posted. At one point we hiked up a steep trail to see petroglyphs etched into the rocks.
The weather that day was spectacular, and the higher up we went the cooler it got. We saw a man repelling down a steep rock cliff and stopped to watch him for a few minutes.
Many trails wound up & over & around & through, plus there were a few campgrounds. We stopped in a few areas and hiked around, then drove to Red Canyon Lodge and had lunch.
After that we drove around Sheep Creek Geological Loop, then on up toward Manila, over to Antelope Flat, and on down to Flaming Gorge Dam. The drive was spectacular and took all day. I used up over 2 rolls of film! The trip up into the mountains & scenic backroads was a wonderful way to spend a day in Utah.
Vernal is a friendly town. The KOA Campground is letting me pitch my tent & stay a couple days for free. An ice cream parlor gave me a HUGE ice cream sundae for free. I stopped at a travel agency to get some maps and they were so impressed with my walk that they helped me find places to stay in my next 3 towns: Jensen (campground, free) Dinosaur (city park, ok'd by police,) and Rangely (motel, free.) Plus Virginia (newspaper lady) and Richard will haul my cart for a couple days. A lady who works at this KOA Campground is going to take me to see Dinosaur National Monument, where approx 2,000 fossilized Dinosaur bones are displayed in the shale & sandstone walls of Dinosaur Quarry.
I've called up the District Gov. of the Lions Clubs in Nevada and asked if he'd contact the Lions Clubs in Rangely CO & Grand Jct CO, where there's a stretch of about 70 miles that I'll be walking & camping along. Plus the lady who works at the Utah Field House of Natural History State Park said she'd try to contact people to watch for me along that stretch.
The weather has been nice, 85-90, and the nights are cool, even almost cold. I'll stay here mon & Tues and head for Jensen on Wednesday. Hope y'all had a great weekend! KB
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