Friday, June 23, 2017

The Dam and Little Hole

Flaming Gorge  High 82  Low 62

Flaming Gorge Dam is 502 feet high and 1,285 feet long. The spillway consists of a 675-foot long tunnel that runs through the left abutment of the dam. Two 16.75-by-34-foot gates at the tunnel entrance will pass up to 28,800 cubic feet per second of floodwater.

These pictures do not show the force of the water being let through the dam. It was incredible.

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Just below the dam is where the rafters and drift boats put in. There is a Park Ranger (or two) stationed here to keep traffic flowing. It wasn’t real busy when we were there but they do not let you park and walk over to the water. It is kept open for the lines of boats needing to be launched.

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One of the pull out points on the Green River is at Little Hole. Just driving around the backroads, the scenery is amazing. We decided to follow the signs to Little Hole and check it out.

This area was devastated by a wildfire in 2002. A car crossing a cattle guard, had a blow out and a spark from that started this fire. It burned almost 20,000 acres and took 17 days to control.

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We saw these pronghorns very much alive in this fire stricken land.

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There is a scenic overlook just before you get to Little Hole. I run out of words describing how beautiful this land of ours is.

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Can you see the overlook we stopped at?

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There are three boat ramps at Little Hole to handle all of the rafts and drift boats that come down the river from the dam.

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Another one of those hidden gems off the beaten track.

If you plan on coming to the Gorge to enjoy this outdoor wonderland, I would highly recommend you sign up for either a fishing expedition or a rafting tour. I wish we would have.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Swett Ranch Historic Site

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We saw a sign for this historic site and decided to check it out. Really beautiful scenery.

Swett Ranch is on the National Register of Historic Places as an example of an early pioneer homestead and a ranch that was one of the last claims in the Homesteading Act of 1862. It is situated in the Uinta Mountains and is 1.2 miles off of Highway 191 on a narrow, one-lane dirt road.

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Oscar Swett homesteaded the family’s original claim in 1909. Their first home was a one-room cabin where Oscar and his wife Emma lived with their three children.

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The five of them slept together in this single bed which was nothing more than a shallow box filled with straw and covered with blankets.

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When their fourth daughter was born in 1919, Oscar build a two-room log cabin. Spaces between the logs were chinked with mud and the inside walls of the bedroom were papered with pages from magazines.

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In 1929 Oscar and his family built a three bedroom house complete with kitchen and living room. Since at this time, they now had nine children, a larger home was a necessity.

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The card above the phone says that they had a telephone before they had electricity or plumbing in the house. They also were the only people in the area with a phone and they could only call the operator in Dutch John.

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Oscar didn’t think it was right “to have a bathroom inside the house.” So when he finally gave into the pressure of his wife and children, he built the new bathroom in the big white house so that it opened out onto the porch.

Some recipes that Emma used to use.

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DSCN3630This is a creamer that Emma used to separate the cream from the milk in order to make butter.

Oscar worked this ranch with horse powered equipment even through the 40's, noting that "horses don't break down and require a mechanic."

I love it when we find these wonderful hidden gems. The view of the Uinta Mountains from the ranch is incredible.

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Monday, June 19, 2017

Flaming Gorge–Cedar Springs Campground

Flaming Gorge, UT   High 88  Low 64

The boat ramp just below our campground.

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Jim and the pups near the marina.

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Entrance to Cedar Springs Campground

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View from the host spot in the campground.

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Our site. No neighbors in sight. This is supposed to be a pull through site, but there is no way we could fit around that tree, so Jim backed out.

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$12.50 a night with the Senior Pass. No hookups. $6 to dump and fill (not included in the camping fee)

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We had great Verizon service and OTA TV.

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We checked out all the other campgrounds in the area and are glad we picked Cedar Springs. If we were to come back through this way, I would reserve either site A or B. Nice long back ins.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Flaming Gorge Reservoir

Flaming Gorge is a mecca for fishermen, boaters, rafters, drift boats and anyone who enjoys the beauty of the land. It is the largest reservoir in Wyoming and is on the Green River.

Flaming Gorge was named by John Wesley Powell on his 1869 expedition down the Green and Colorado rivers for the "brilliant, flaming red of its rocks.

Can you see the bridge?

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How about if I crop it for you.

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This is the bridge when you get down to the bottom of the gorge.

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You drive across the top of the dam.

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The clouds also added to the beauty of our surroundings.

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The drive up from Utah may have been challenging but so worth it. However, if you want to enjoy Flaming Gorge without the 20 mph curves, come south into the Gorge from Rock Springs, WY.  The road is still curving and up and down, but nothing like the Utah road.

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It’s amazing how far behind you get when you don’t have internet for a couple of days. We are actually in Cody, WY for the night. I’m going to try and get caught up in the next day or so.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Trapped

Monticello, UT  High 75 Low 43

I feel like we are trapped because the wind just won’t give up. The last two days the gusts were 40 mph and today they are predicted to be 60 mph. There is no way we will be out on the roads in that. I know some folks who keep going but we’re not in that big a hurry. We had thought this was going to be a one night stay so we didn’t unhitch. Well, we are still here and still hitched up so no sight seeing has been done.

DSCN3546(loved this silo) We are at the Old West RV Park and it is the type of campground that I prefer. Small, no paved spots, just gravel and a touch of grass or weeds. But well maintained. The owner, Jim, is the friendliest guy ever. He bought a big new grill on Saturday and set it up so anybody can use it. He is also a fast draw sharpshooter (Bill, you would love this guy) and gave us a DVD of his shooting. So we are really happy just relaxing and rocking and rolling.

We finally got to leave Monticello on Tuesday and our next stop was in Price, UT. Driving up through the Moab area is a treat for your eyes. Such a fantastic part of the country.

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We stayed at the Price Walmart and did our share of helping out their economy. The lot is not very level but if you go back where the tire shop is, we were able to get level without having to use any boards.

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Wednesday – oh what a drive. Leaving Price we headed to Vernal and then on to Flaming Gorge. It is an incredibly beautiful drive but I didn’t take very many pictures cause I was too busy helping Jim drive from the passenger seat.

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Shortly after leaving Price, you start climbing from 5600 feet to over 9100 feet. It’s a two lane road with lots and lots and lots of curves. Most of those curves are marked at 20 or 25 mph and that’s pushing it. Not only do you have to pay really close attention to the road but you also have to watch for deer. We saw a really nice buck and a doe and I saw a female Elk.

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Then you have to come back down on 8% grade curves and switchbacks. You drop back down to about 6000 feet but after you leave Vernal you start climbing once again to over 8200 feet. Curves, switchbacks, up and down and up and down. So even though your GPS says it should only take you 2 hours and 45 minutes to drive the 153 miles, don’t believe it.

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We are at Flaming Gorge for a couple of days and are going to enjoy the peace and quiet of a National Park campground.