Tuesday, May 31, 2011


IMG_1933 A couple of people told Jim that there was some really good walleye fishing at Seminoe Reservoir. After church Sunday, we packed a picnic lunch, loaded up the girls and headed out to explore.

Seminoe State Park is about 40 miles from Rawlins, the last couple of miles on a dirt road.

IMG_1939 Wyoming has got to be the antelope capital of the world. They are everywhere out here. They are such beautiful animals and they really do behave themselves by staying off the road. Just in case, though, we did slow down when we say some close to the side of the road.

IMG_1940 The drive to the reservoir took awhile which is okay because the sun was shining and the scenery was wonderful.




IMG_1936 We checked out the campground on the south rim but there weren’t very many spots for larger rigs and they definitely weren’t level. We decided that we couldn’t bring our motorhome here. Then we decided to check out the north rim campground. Much better. We would definitely camp there.

IMG_1935 Seminoe Reservoir went on our list of places to return to.






Doesn’t this cloud make the mountain look like it’s erupting?


Monday, May 30, 2011


wyoming-prison-5293 Saturday afternoon we took the tour of the Wyoming Frontier Prison. This is a definite must if you are ever in this area. A wonderful tour with really great stories about the inmates who served time here.



A Little Background

IMG_1895 The cornerstone of the prison was laid in 1888, but due to funding issues and Wyoming’s notorious weather, the doors wouldn’t open for thirteen years. In December of 1901, the prison opened and consisted of only 104 cells (Cell Block A), no electricity or running water, and very inadequate heating.



IMG_1889 Throughout the prison’s 80 years of operation, approximately 13,500 people were incarcerated, including eleven women.






IMG_1893 The prison was equipped with several different means of disciplining inmates throughout its operation, including a dungeon, several variations of solitary confinement and a “punishment pole” to which men were handcuffed, and whipped with rubber hoses; this method was practiced legally until 1930.



IMG_1911 The prison used different execution methods throughout the operation. The first two executions were carried out using the “traveling” Julien Gallows. In 1916, the penitentiary completed the addition of a “death house” which consisted of eight cells to house inmates on death row, and a unique indoor version of the Julien Gallows. From 1912 - 1933, inmates in the death house were hung on this awful invention where condemned prisoners were forced to kill themselves. By stepping onto a trap door, a stream of water was started which eventually opened the trap door, causing the condemned to drop through the trap door.  Unfortunately, this do-it-yourself gallows didn't drop the condemned man far enough to break his neck, and they died a slow death through strangulation.

 IMG_1917The building also housed the gas chamber when it was chosen to replace hanging as Wyoming’s execution method of choice in 1936. Ultimately 14 death sentences were carried out; nine men were hanged, and five were executed in the gas chamber by the use of hydrocyanic acid gas.




IMG_1899After serving the state for eighty years, the prison closed its doors, and sat abandoned until 1987; a low budget movie titled “Prison” was filmed on location when significant damage was done to the prison grounds. In 1988, the penitentiary was dubbed The Wyoming Frontier Prison, and  was established as a museum.

If you want some really entertaining reading, go to their website at http://www.wyomingfrontierprison.org and click on inmate profiles. There are some amazing stories of crimes and escape attempts. You won’t regret visiting here.

Sunday, May 29, 2011


I love it when we arrive somewhere in the middle of nowhere and find some really neat treasures.

That would be Rawlins, WY. I needed someplace for us to be off the road during the Memorial Day week-end even though the traffic wasn’t going to be too bad. The weather was. The wind has been really howling since we’ve been here. So welcome to Windy Wyoming.

Once we arrived at RV World Campground and I had internet access again, I googled things to do in Rawlins. Didn’t look too promising but there was one thing that was recommended and that was the Old Federal Pen.

Then I checked Yelp for a restaurant. After traveling most of the day, I don’t want to cook so we usually go out to eat the first night we’re camped. 1880’s Coco’s came up as the place to go. So with the rain falling and wind blowing off we went to dinner.

IMG_1881 It was wonderful. Jim and I both had their 8 oz sirloin with steamed red potatoes and asparagus. We also had their soup and salad bar which was excellent. The clam chowder and the meatball soups really hit the spot with the cold weather. (We had to go back the next day to take a picture because I forgot to take one the night before.)

IMG_1882 And such a friendly town. Everybody in our part of the restaurant was visiting with each other and included us in their conversation along with a single gal that was driving from New York to CA for the summer. Talked to Jim about fishing, and offered to take the other gal out into the desert to see where the Oregon Trail and the Mormon pioneers had walked through this area. Waitresses were also joining in and offering suggestions. Definitely a small town treasure.

IMG_1879 I asked the waitress where the grocery store was and she gave me directions to a City Market. Then she proceeded to tell us about the Discount Grocery store. She said they handle lots of dented cans at good prices. But in the back of the store is a bakery and deli. Then somebody else chimed in and told us about the great cinnamon rolls that you could get at this bakery. Well, guess where we had to go the next morning. Driving by this place, if you didn’t know about it, you would not probably go in. The bakery/deli is run by Amish and the sticky buns were incredible. Another small town treasure.


IMG_1831 Flaming Gorge Dam rises 502 feet above bedrock, and forms the reservoir from the water of the Green River. The reservoir extends 91 miles to the north from the dam. Flaming Gorge is about equally in both Utah and Wyoming.

IMG_1841 On a spring day in 1869,  John Wesley Powell and nine men boarded small wooden boats at Green River, Wyoming to embark on a daring exploration of the Green and Colorado Rivers. Powell and his men slowly worked their way downstream, successfully completing their journey in late summer. It was on May 26, 1869 that Major Powell named the Flaming Gorge after he and his men saw the sun reflecting off of the red rocks.

IMG_1835 We didn’t see much of the flame because once again the weather didn’t want to cooperate. But – it was really nice because there wasn’t anybody in the campground except one fifth wheel. It was so quiet and peaceful. I loved it.

IMG_1825 We camped at Cedar Springs Campground and found a couple of spots that we could squeeze into. Our motor home is 37 feet and most of the sites in National Forest Campgrounds really aren’t long enough for us. But we persevered and found a beautiful site. It really helped that there weren’t any other campers in the campground.

IMG_1824 We had deer for neighbors and a yellow belly marmot but he moved too fast for me to get a picture. Sure was a pretty fellow though with all that gold fur on him.



marmot I found this picture of him on line.

Jim always wants to check out the fishing anytime we are near water. Because the reservoir is in the mountains, the water stays quite cold all year and the main fish is trout. Jim isn’t really a trout fisherman – he prefers walleye or bass. But he did drop his line in the water and let his bait get wet. No bites.


A wonderful couple of days with lots of quiet time. I needed that.




Originally named Artesia, this quaint town became the gateway community to the archeologically and paleontologically rich Dinosaur National Monument, and renamed itself Dinosaur as a result.

IMG_1805 After our drive up and down Rte 139 we were ready to call it a day. We pulled into the Welcome Center in Dinosaur and asked to spend the night. Permission was granted and this was our address for the evening.


This is main street.IMG_1808 Kids were riding their bikes up and down the road and nobody was worried about them. Definitely small town America.




IMG_1811 Then this dinosaur greets you when you arrive in Vernal, UT.


memorial-day-banner1 Memorial Day, originally called Decoration Day, is a day of remembrance for those who have died in our nation's service

To help re-educate and remind Americans of the true meaning of Memorial Day, the “National Moment of Remembrance” resolution was passed in December 2000 which asks that at 3 p.m. local time, for all Americans "To voluntarily and informally observe in their own way a Moment of remembrance and respect, pausing from whatever they are doing for a moment of silence."

By Brooke O'Neill Emery:
For Our Troops

Though I don't know your name
And I have never seen your face
I shed tears for you.

Though my memories don't contain a time
We shared together
I miss you.

Though we are not related
You are in my thoughts.
When I'm eating, or taking a shower, or doing housework,
I think of you, knowing how much you wish you could be at home,
Your stomach full, doing mundane chores such as cleaning your house,
Clean from a fresh shower.

Though you are at terrible risk, and perhaps may not survive,
You are NEVER ALONE, and will always be alive
If only in our spirits, hopes and memories, our dreams for your future.

There are MILLIONS of people praying for you tonight
And throughout the day.
Praying for your safely and return as a whole person
In mind, body and spirit.

We are crying because we know. We know you are scared, and lonely.
And that you'd give anything to see your family, to hug you mother, father.
Your child, sister, brother, aunt, uncle.
To be showered with love and comfort,
Instead of sand and shrapnel.

We long for you too, with an ache so desperate as to make us insane.
To touch your face, see your smile; share your laughter and your tears.
We love you so much soldiers, you cannot know. You cannot fathom the swelling of pride in our chest
as we think of you. Of your courage and your sacrifice, the hope that you can come home soon.

And those that have returned, we have not forgotten you; you are in our prayers,
That you may recover from your experience and be healed.
No matter what anyone says, not matter the reason you are there,
You are a UNITED STATES SOLDIER, and you make us PROUD!!
Every day for that beautiful flag, for our great fortune to be Americans.

There are no politics, no scandals, no mistakes, NOTHING, which can diminish the sentiment we have
for you. And even as democracy permits free speech, as it should, which some may use to make
judgments or cast aspersions, Remember always, we know you'd rather be on the couch debating it
with us than spending your days trying just to stay alive.
Let no "freedom of speech' EVER make you doubt the American people's faith in and love for you.

We are PROUD!
I've never met you, but I want you to know that I love you.
I'm praying for you.
I honor you.
I'm waiting for your return.


One additional comment on Moab. It appears from the comments I’ve received that October would be a good month to visit this area (as long as the weather is still cooperating). So I will give it a second chance and return some October.

When we left Moab we decided to head up to Flaming Gorge and spend a couple of nights there. We took I-70 towards Grand Junction but turned north on Rte 139 before reaching GJ. We could have gone up through Price, UT and then into Vernal, UT but thought maybe we could see some of Colorado going up Rte 139.

IMG_1791 The weather wasn’t bad when we started. A little bit of sunshine, not too much wind.

IMG_1795 Then we reached the never again road for us (Rte 139). You have to cross Douglas Pass at 8,268’. Now we’ve been over several mountains in our journeys, and some at least this high. But this road was in such rough shape that in some places, it was really only a one lane road. And there were several trucks coming up the other side that we had to pass. Oh, such fun.

IMG_1796 It was raining, then sleeting, then foggy. You could see where they had had a couple of recent rock slides.

I’m sure it would be beautiful in nice weather, but I really doubt if we’ll ever try it again, at least not in the motorhome.

IMG_1801 What is that up ahead? A clearing sky. I sure hope so.

IMG_1803 Finally – the sky we were looking for at the bottom of the pass.



These are the La Sal Mountains – notice all that snow.

IMG_1747 Canyonlands has often been described as a mini-Grand Canyon. And it really is. Very spectacular. We took the drive along the top of the rim to the Needles Overlook and then on to the Anticline Overlook.

IMG_1759 I am so glad we took this drive. We were almost completely alone. What more could I want. The first half of the drive is paved all the way to Needles Overlook. There were two other cars at this overlook.

IMG_1746 The next 17 miles is gravel road but quite well maintained. This takes you to Anticline Overlook. We were alone when we reached this overlook.

IMG_1736 The views are amazing and my photography skills do not do them justice. It’s hard to show the depth and ruggedness of the area. But it was beautiful.

Returning back to Hwy 191 we passed two other cars headed out to Anticline. That was it. There was also a sign that said that we could take a different route back to Hwy 191.

IMG_1768 It was a dirt road but we figured, why not. Well, we ended up going in a circle and ended up back on the paved road to the Needles Overlook. No idea how we did that but we finally got home.



IMG_1714 IMG_1742


Saturday, May 28, 2011


Refusing to give up, we decided to take one more drive along the rim of Canyonlands. The floor of Canyonlands requires a lot of walking and that just isn’t part of our life anymore.

IMG_1772On the way to the drive, is this interesting, strange place. Not content to be just another guy with a drill and a dream, Albert Christensen hand-carved his luxurious suite of rooms out of a natural cliff face in the 1940s. He called it Hole N' The Rock.

IMG_1773Albert blasted and drilled for 12 years, then moved in with his wife Gladys in 1952. Inside is a 5,000 square foot home with 14 rooms.




IMG_1775The couple operated a diner in the first room until 1955 (Albert's first heart attack). Albert died in 1957, but Gladys lived 17 more years, running a cafe and gift shop.



Now it’s one of those quirky places where you need to stop just because it’s there. We didn’t take the tour but they have lots of pictures posted on their website.

IMG_1776 IMG_1777 IMG_1779

IMG_1782This golfer is made of golf clubs and golf club heads.