Trip to Northern Utah and Northwestern Colorado 2013

(Our Working Diary)

Rosemary Santana Cooney and Patrick Louis Cooney, Ph. D.s



Day 1. May 3, 2013, Friday

We usually take flights out of Newark, New Jersey. But there were no direct flights to Salt Lake City, Utah from Newark. So we had to fly out of JFK Airport in Queens, New York City, New York.

We use a valet service. We drove out to Queens to a parking service near the airport known as U-Save. They then drove us to our terminal to take a Delta flight to Salt Lake City.

It was a 5 and a half hour flight out to Utah's state capital. And it seemed like a long, long flight.

The Hertz Car Rental agency rented us a Nissan Ultima with only 4,403 miles on the odometer. As soon as we get the car we thrown our luggage and bags inside and take off for a nine day adventure. There are mountain to the east (the Wasatch Mountains) and to the west (the Oquirrh Mountains). I knew about the Wasatch Mountains, but in my readings and had not heard of the Oquirrh Mountains. So that was my first surprise of the trip for me.

Today's journey will take us to the town of Price in north central, Utah.

A surprise for both both of us was: how long US Route 15 north and south went; how many lanes there were, 5 in each direction; and how many thousand of cars were on the road. It's always a surprise to us how fast you have to drive and are allowed to drive in the Four Corners states: Utah, Colorado, Arizona and New Mexico. There was no way we could stop on US 15 and takes shots of the snow-capped mountains.

At Spanish Fork we switched from US 15 to Route 6 heading southeast to Helper and Price.

Odometer 4460. Before really getting started on Route 6 we stopped at Wendy's and I got a drink and a hot spicy chicken sandwich, one of my favorite fast-foods.

Took some mountain pics east of Spanish Fork on Route 6. At Spanish Fork Wind Park we saw a lot of windmills with huge wings and took quite a few pictures.

Mile marker 179.

Odometer 4466. Stopped for Mountain pics. We go around a bend with railroad tracks on the right.

Odometer was 4466 is equivalent to mile marker 180.

Odo 4469. Yellow rocks.

Odo 4470. River picture.

Nice wide open space near mile marker 184.

Spanish Fork River Park.

Mile marker 186. We stopped at a large pull-off area on the right. This is the place of the 10983 Thistle landslide. Route 6 and the railroad had to be detoured.  You can see the old and new roads, the old railroad bed, the new train tracks and the Spanish Forks River.  Near the landslide are two railroad tunnels going through the mountains that were constructed for the new railroad. This place is wide open and has great views.

Odo 4477. Reddish tinged rocks.

Mile marker 191. We pass by lots of conglomerate red rock on the left.

Mile marker 194. Drive out of the red rock zone.

Mile marker 197. Rocks with a light green tinge.

Odo 4486. White and green tinged rocks.

Just before mile marker 200 Rosemary took some pics of greenish rocks.

Odo 4504. We see the Price River. The valley here is wide open now.

Odo 4507. Emma Park Road. We went down this road and took pictures from the bridge over Price River. This road we will see again as it goes horizontally parallel with Route 6 and hooks up with Rt 191 that we will be taking tomorrow as we head north from Price.

Odo 4508. Saw railway tracks.

Odo 4516. Evidence of coal mining and the coal industry.

We arrive in Helper, the town north of Price. Here there is a huge statue of a coal miner with a pic axe in his hands. His name is "Big John" and he's located on Main Street in front of the public library. Also in Helper is the Mining and Railroad Museum.

We took some pictures of Main Street with a mountain at its back. There is a local park by the Helper U.S. Post Office. Took pictures of cute houses dwarfed by the the mountains at their backs. Also took photos of Price River which goes through town.

Got back on Route 6 to head to Price There we found an historical marker for a man named Ewell.

Mile marker 238. We enter Price.

We had lunch at Los Dos Amigos. It was okay.

Rt 6 Spanish Fork to Soldiers Summit

Rt 6 Helper and Nearby


Day 2. May 4, 2013, Saturday.

Before leaving Price we took some pictures in the early morning. The traffic is very light. Took photos up and down the street in front of the Best Western Motel where we stayed the night. Took some pictures of hoodoos set in the eroded yellow cliffs that were relatively far from us.

Driving around Price we took photos of the Book Cliffs. We then drove over to Washington Park and Pioneer Park. We saw the yellow eroded cliffs and took more photos.

We see a CEU (College of Eastern Utah) sign on top of the Cliffs. In Pioneer Park there are two log cabins maintained by the Price Daughters of the Utah Pioneers.

Went over to the bridge near the intersection with Route 6 and JB's Restaurant. Then we got back on Route 6 but heading back up north. We saw six mule deer by a fence paralleling the highway.

Just before mile marker 239 we took photos of the mountains waiting in front of us. We went just beyond mile marker 239 for more pics -- still in Price.

Stops around the bend just before marker 238 and just beyond marker 238. Here there is a big, open area. We see more yellow cliffs.

At a pull-off we stop for photographs of the Book Cliffs and the Roan Cliffs in the background.

Beyond mile marker 237 there is a valley with homes and mountains. Just before the exit for Carbonville, we take pics of what we think might be Roan Cliffs.

The next stop was just beyond Helper, Main Street. The mountains have a yellow-pinkish cast. We an odd shaped object up on one of the mountains near the highway. We went to a Shell gas station to get some gas and use the restroom. Rosemary took pics of the oddly-shape rock on to of the mountain. A fellow told her of another hoodoo that most visitors do not get to see because it's just behind the one visible from the highway heading north. So we drove around back of the gas station and came to the corner of North Main and Orchard. Sure enough there was another unique hoodoo to photograph.

We get back on Route 6. A sign says that's it's 114 miles from Helper to Salt Lake City.

Odo 4549 as we pick up Route 191 separating from Route 6 around Castle Gate. Route 191 from Castle Gate to Duchesne is called Indian Canyon Scenic Byway. We are headed for Duchesne, Roosevelt and eventually Vernal, all in the Uinta Basin. Almost immediately we are in a narrow valley at mile marker 252. Duchesne is 44 miles from here says a mileage sign.

Odo 4550. We stop in the narrow valley at a pull-off for more photos. Yellowish rock around here. Around the bend just before marker 253 and just beyond mile marker 254, we stop for more photos.

This road 191 seems to be nearly deserted compared to the busy Route 6. It's still a narrow valley. Willow Creek is on the right side of the road. It's a small stream.

Just beyond mile marker 255 Willow Creek is more exposed and we can get some photos of it.

Odo 4553, just before mile marker 256. Good pull-off. Willow Creek is at the bottom of a ditch.

Mile marker 257. Take pictures of the road going through light greenish tinged mountains.

By mile marker 258. More pics.

At odo 4556 there is a big open area.

Mile marker 259, at odo 4557. We stop at the intersection of Route 191 with Emma Park Road, mentioned the first day of the trip. It's a wide open area again. On the landscaape map this open area is called Emma Park.

Odo at 4557 still, see the Utah Gov. Bamberger Monument with the Roan Cliffs on the right.

Mile marker 26p. See a sign for Duchesne County.

Between 261 and 262. Big yellowish and greenish mountain ahead. Open space on the right.

Between 264 and 265. Green and white band on rock on left. Big fall-off on the right. Big climb up the hill. Pretty view of climbing road looking back down the hill. Green and white layers.

Between mile markers 265 and 266 we see our first patches of snow.

4564. Summit of the mountain at elevation 9114. There is a big overlook on the left, another valley and Unita Mountains ahead..

Mile marker 267. Here there is an 8% percent downgrade. It's a little chilly on the summit.

Mile marker 273. In view of a narrow valley.

Mile marker 275. The ground has leveled off.

Odo 4573. Talus slope with an unusual sight that resembles frozen mud drizzle.  The mud drizzle turns out to be clumps of grass.

Mile marker 276. Close-up of muddy talus slope. Then a forward shot of a bend in the road with mountains around. We see two white and one black horses on the side of the mountain and Rosemary just has to take their picture.

Mile Marker 279. Leaving Ashley National Forest.

Between mile marker 281 and 282. There are a lot of pumping rigs at work in this area along with oil storage tanks.

Right fork Indian Canyon, between mile marker 284 and 285.

Mile Marker 289. Uinta Mountains. Snow-covered mountain tops. We got beeped at by a trucker because we were parked on a road curve in a somewhat blind spot.

Mile marker 292. Small hills in the area.

Mile marker 293. Outskirts of Duchesne.

Mile marker 294. Duchesne city cemetery. Duchesne is a small town. There is a nice little park near the visitor center where we stopped. There is a monument to the Escalante-Dominquez expedition that went through the future four-corners states. In 1776 in search of an easy route, the Spanish priests left Santa Fe in an attempt to reach California. They never made it to California, but left a lot of good descriptions of the lands they found.

We have extra time so we turn around to take 40 west.

Near mile marker 87 is the Strawberry River.

Between mile markers 83 and 82 is the Duchesne River.

Odo 4598. Starvation Reservoir . We stop to take some pictures. Here there is another historical plague dedicated to the Escalante-Dominquez expedition.

Odo 4603. We turn around and head back to Duchesne.

Past mile marker 88. Here is a ridge known as Blue Bench. Behind the ridge area the Uinta Mountains. Also here is a valley area with houses spread far from each other.

Mile marker 91. The Blue Bench is still here.

Mile marker 96. Blue Bench peters out. Now we have much better views of the Uinta Mountains.

Go across Antelope Creek.

Mile Marker 98. There is another ridge, but it disappears at mile marker 99.

Mile marker 100. We note that we can't see any details of the Uinta Mountains.

Mile marker 102. There is a radio antennae on an isolated hill on the left.

Mile marker 105. The Duchesne River goes by a small town.

Mile marker. Going over a ridge.

Mile marker 108. Now there are better views of the Uinta Mountains.

Mile marker 114. Welcome to Roosevelt the town. The town is one of strip development so popular in the USA. We stop at McDonald's in Roosevelt.

Mile marker 116. Best Western Plus Landmark Motel.

Mile marker 117. Strange rock formation on the left.

Mile Marker 121. Ute Tribal Plaza. Uinta River.

Mile marker 122. Town of Gusher.

Mile marker 125. Relatively flat land.

Mile marker 126. Landscape is not all that interesting. Low hills.

Between mile markers 128 and 129. Flat land with red ridge and mesa.

Mile marker 131. Ridge line on the left. Flat land and small ridges. The shrubs are gray green.

Mile marker 133. Approaching a big red ridge.

Mile marker 134. Going through the ridge.

Mile marker 135. Rocks dull red and dull green.

Mile marker 139. Viewing area ahead. The viewing area near Vernal has some good views of Vernal in the distance. There are three painters here. Rosemary spoke with Lynn E. Mecham who is a good painter and is part of an art exhibition coming up in New York. He is part of a group of five painters who like to go out and paint together on Saturdays. Today there are 3 painters.

Odo 4657. We stop for pics outside Vernal.

Odo 4659. Vernal.

Odo 4661. Antlers Best Western Motel. This is where we will spend the night.

Odo 4666. We go to the Utah Field House of Natural History State Park Museum where they specialize in dinosaurs. They have a lot of models of Dinosaurs. Some of them are Diplodocus, Allosaurus, Protoceratops from Mongolia, Triceratops (largest of the horned dinosaurs at 7-8 tons), and Stegosaurus (24 feet long, green colored and weighing 4-6 tons).

We had a good laugh when we saw the store next door to the Field House, which is known as Redneck Archery.

We ate at JB's Restaurant next door. The waitress was very pleasant and gave us some suggestions of places to see in the area. The food is so cheap in Utah compared to the New York Metropolitan Area.

Price and Heading North

Rt 191 Indian Canyon Scenic Byway

Duchesne and Starvation Reservoir

US 40 From Duchesne to Vernal



Day 3. May 5, 2013, Sunday.

Today we head to the Flaming Gorge National Recreation Area in southern Wyoming and northeastern Utah. The Flaming Gorge Reservoir is 91 miles long. It was the famous river explorer John Wesley Powell who on his 1869 Green River expedition named the area "Flaming Gorge" for the red of the sandstone cliffs part of river.

Workers built the dam that made the reservoir in 1964.

Eat breakfast next door at JB's.

The drive today is predominately on route 191 from Vernal to Dutch John and is known as the Flaming Gorge - Uintas National Scenic Byway.

Odo 4667. Start of our day trip, since we are returning to Vernal.

Odo 4670. Took photos of the Uinta Mountains. We saw a bird with a very yellow belly across from Christensen Auto Repair. A magpie or two, black and white with long black tails, were also present.

Odo 4671. There is another ridge.

Odo 4672, mile marker 356. There is a geological sign saying Mancos Shale: sea deposits with squid-like creatures.

Odo 4673. Frontier Sandstone. This was followed by a sign for Mowry Shale with a predominant talus slope. Then there's a sign for Dakota sandstone.

4673. We reach a beautiful sight that really buoys our spirits. It's the Steinaker Dam and Reservoir. The damn is partially visible on the left. There are lots of gnats of some kind all around us. The area is wide open for viewing and very impressive in size and color.

4673, mile marker 357. Here is one of the Lake Steinaker parking areas. Rosemary takes photos behind the car.

4673. Sign saying Cedar Mountain Formation across the road from the reservoir.

4674. The Steinaker Nature Trail is closed. The boardwalk is a bit in disrepair and is referred to as a "hazardous area". Saw lots of sea gulls and Canada geese by the lake.

Nearby mile marker 358. Steinaker State Park entrance. There are lots of purple four-petal flowers here. There is a bit of Chinle Formation in the area.

Mile marker 359. There's a greenish ridge on the left.

Mile marker 360. More Chinle Formation on the right.

Mile marker 361. Odo at 4677. Chinle Formation followed by a sign for the Morrison Formation. The later formation has been the most fertile source of dinosaur fossils in North America. This formation is spread out over many western states.

The speed limit drops to only 55 mph.

4679. Stump Formation with attractive yellowish swirly looking rocks. Also in the area is the Carmel Formation. It contains alabaster from an ancient tidal flat. Following this is the entrance to Red Fleet State Park. We takes pictures of the sign, but head up to the road a little further north known as Donkey Flat Road.

Odo 4679 at mile market 363. A sign for Nugget Sandstone: ancient desert sand dunes. There is a huge yellow rock on the right.

4680. Chinle formation sign: dinosaurs and mammals first appear. This is follow by a sign for the Gartra Formation.

Odo 4680. Further along the road, we reach the Red Fleet Dinosaur Trackway.

Odo 4681. Dark red rocks on the right. A little farther along the run we see white swirls and red mountains on the right. There are also parts of the rock that are really dark reddish brown.

Odo 4682. Hoodoos, lots of them. At this spot on can see back over the wide open area covered with green spots of vegetation on red ground. Moved a little farther ahead and took photos of the gorgeous landscape. We can see signs of a potash mining company here far down the way.

4682,. We reach the Trailhead Parking. Here you can hike over to the Red Fleet State Park and take a boat ride to see dinosaur tracks.

4683. Photo stop on the way back to Route 191. We see a sign for "Simplot" mining.

4685, just before mile marker 364l. Moenkopi Formation. Go farther along the road snd see a sign announcing mining operations for the next five miles.

4686. Dinwoody Formation: deposits after the earth's largest extinction.

Odo 4687 and mile marker 365. Park City Formation: bizarre sharks and phosphate.

4687. There is an overlook on the right. No shoulder available.

Mile marker 366. There are now lots of sharp curves on the road and the speed limit says 20 mph.

4688 and mile marker 367. Scenic overlook from a kiosk. The sign says one can see 75 miles into Colorado. Also visible here is the reservoir at Red Fleet State Park.

More phosphate mining.

Odo 4690 and mile marker 369. Windy Point Overlook. Great views from here. Now visible are both reservoirs: the one at Red Fleet and the one at Steinaker. Vernal and Naples create a very sprawling picture of buildings in the distance.

370. Enter Ashley National Forest. There is a big hill on the left side.

Odo at 4692. Weber Sandstone is here. The formation is a result of the presence of ancient costal sand dunes.

Odo at 4692. Bishop Conglomerate.

Between mile markers 372 and 373. Red Cloud Loop Interpretative Center. A little farther down we see lots of naked aspen colonies. Clumped together their branches make a a nice white-grayish look. There is snow on the ground.

Mile marker 374. Now going down hill. Round Valley Limestone. Only caught the word "sea urchins" on the sign after that. Reach a low area.

Odo 4698 and just before mile 375. Humbug Formation. Lots of conifers. Also present is a big grove of aspens followed by another big grove.

Between miles 376 and 377. Aspen Nature Trail. Then there's a sign for the Madison Formation.

Mile marker 377. Lodore Formation.

Mile marker 378. We reach the summit at elevation 8,428 feet. Sign for Daggett County, named for Ellsworth Daggett, the first surveyor-general of Utah.

East McKee (?) Historical Site Cabin.

Mile marker 379.

Mile marker 380. Wide open area. Took photos of the wide open area with splotches of snow. Cart Creek Meadow Interpretive Site. Cart Creek pullout where the elk meet to greet.

Mile marker 382. Still wide open space.

Mile marker 383. Lodgepole Campgroud.

Between 384 and 385 mile markers. Uinta Mountain Group.

Between 385 and 386. Flaming Gorge Recreation Area.

After mile marker 387. Odo at 4608. Greendale Junction and Interpretive Site. A sign says Dutch John is 9 miles ahead.

Odo at 4709. Just before 388 mile marker. Swett Ranch Historic Site. Oscar Swett built the ranch starting in 1909. The homestead is listed on the National Register of Historic Sites. The site contains two cabins, a five room house, a meat house, root cellar, sheds, granary and barn.

Odo at 4711. Between mile markers 389 and 390. Flaming Gorge Resort, Fly Shop and Store, Lodging, River Trips and Restaurant. Farther down the road is the Firefighters' Memorial Campground. Caught glimpses of the Green River.

4712. Cedar Spring Overlook. Can see the pretty white bridge down below over the Green River. It's name is Cart Creek Bridge.

Mile marker 391. Stopped along the road to take more photos of Cart Creek Bridge down below.

Odo at 4714, after mile marker 392. Had a good look at the white bridge. We pulled off the road by the bridge. There are great views from her. Walked down a fall-off to get pics of the whole bridge. The sun finally came out in force. Then we took pictures of the bridge from the other side of the small bridge.

Odo 4715, mile marker 393. Visitor's Center. Spillway Recreation Area, Ashley National Forest. Flaming Gorge Overlook.

Odo 4716, between mile markers 394 and 395. Uinta Mountain Group and Lookout at a pull-off. Flaming Gorge Area.

We take a good look for the Flaming Gorge Dam and Reservoir.

4717. Off-road Lookout.

Mile marker 396 on Route 191. Right turn on South Boulevard for Dutch John. This is a somewhat large residential area with a few stores and a church. These are nice, spread out, suburban houses. Took a pic of their church.

We stopped at the General Store. They have a gas station, eatery and gift shop there. In the shop there were a lot of items being sold at a very low price. Diet coke, large bottle, selling for 49 cents. We take a picture of one of the T-shirts they were selling with the word Rednecks on it. Of course, I wouldn't be caught dead in such a shirt.

We head back for Greendale Junction.

4729. Back at Greendale. We head west from here on Route 44.

4730. Greendale Junction overlook.

4730 at mile marker 1.

Beyond mile marker 3 we turn right for the Red Canyon Visitor Center. We see great views of the Flaming Gorge Reservoir 170 stories below us. It's a bit spooky looking over the cliffs. Rosemary stayed farther back than I because she doesn't like heights, but she loved what she saw of the canyon. Here there is a Red Canyon Lodge and West Lake Nature Trail.

4738. We get back on Route 44 to head to Route 191 south.

4777. Back at Best Western Antlers Motel. We eat at JB's.

Rt 191 From Vernal to Steinaker's Reservoir

Rt 191 Steinaker State Park to Donkey Flat Road

Rt 191 Beyond Donkey Flat Road to Cart Creek Meadow

Rt 191 Flaming Gorge Recreation Area & Dutch John

Rt 44 Red Canyon Overlook


Day 4. May 6, 2013, Monday.

We are headed into Colorado today going south on Route 139 through the Canyon Pintado (Painted Canyon -- painted in the sense of creating petroglyphs on the mountain sides). We will be settling in at another Best Western Motel, this time in Grand Junction, Colorado, where we have stayed on a previous trip.

Eat breakfast at JB's.

Odo 4784 at mile 146 on Route 40 headed to Colorado.

Odo 4786. Notice that Vernal just melds in with the town of Naples.

After mm 153. Ashley Creek.

Mile marker 157. Before reaching Jensen, Utah, we make a left on Route 149 north that will take us to the Quarry Center of the Dinosaur National Monument. Part of the National Monument is in Utah and a bigger part is in Colorado.

Mile Marker 1. Stop for photos of the mountains. White mountains on the right and yellow-greenish rocks on the left.

Mile 2. Brush Creek.

Mile 3. stop for more pics of the mountains. We are now going along the side of the ridge on the left.

Mile marker 4. Dinosaur National Monument: Fossil Bone Quarry. There is a small marker honoring the Escalante-Dominguez expedition of 1776. The expedition crossed her 237 years ago. it is pretty here.

Odo 4800. Photo of Green River that goes through the National Monument.

We reach the visitor's center. We look through the gift shop as we wait to go on a guided tour of the building holding the exhibits of the dinosaur bones still left in their original place on a mountain wall.

A car convoy is formed and we all drive up the mountain a short ways to the exhibit hall. We parked in the nice sized parking area. The building was just build around the dinosaur wall on the side of what was left of the fossil site. This wall is very small compared to the original wall that was dug out to get at the fossils.

Many fossils were taken from this site. But after they had taken many fossils out they realized they were now just digging up fossils of dinosaur species of which they already had gotten many examples. So they started to preserve what was left of the wall for the public. Now the public can even touch a few of the fossils still in the original wall. It's impressive and recommended.

Much of the area around the National Monument is the Morrison Formation of rocks. They have a model of a fossil skeleton of an Allosaurus.

It's beautiful looking at the surrounding area of the museum. We took pics of the new group of rangers being trained to work at the National Monument. Took a picture of clumps of violet and white flowers. We notice in the area are bits of Chinle Formation.

Drove back to the main road and drove out of the dinosaur wall enclosure area. We turn left heading away from the visitor's center.

At stop #4 there are some mustard colored rock. Here also are red flowers and white flowers.

Stop #5 gives the visitor views of the Green River. Here we saw our old buddy , the plant Moron Tea. There is a large picnic area below us. We also note the cottonwoods in leafy condition down by the river.

We go down to the picnic area. We notice a chipmunk and a rabbit. Rosemary got a photo of the rabbit, but the chipmunk was too elusive.

4806. Took pictures of the red chevrons on yellowish rock. Chevrons are common in military insignias and resemble the letter V upside down. Took pictures of the violet and white flowers.

4809. Scenic lookout at stop #6. Here is a view of Cub Creek Valley, which lies between Split Mountain on the left and Blue Mountain on the right.

4810. Stop for more mountain pics on the way back to the visitor's center. We bought a few gifts in the gift shop. There we learned that the Colorado part of the Dinosaur National Monument is closed. As it was anyway, we could not have gone to visit that part of the national monument, because our visit to the quarry took way longer than we had expected.

4819. Back to US 40 heading east.

A sign at mile marker 158 says the town of Dinosaur, Colorado is 20 miles away.

Mile marker 165. Yampa Plateau to the north?

Mile marker 169. Blue mountain on the left.

Mile marker 174. Welcome to Colorado.

4839, mile marker 1. Reach town of Dinosaur. We turn right for Route 64 heading southeast down to Rangley, 18 miles away.

Between mile markers 1 and 2. Reach northern part of Rio Blanco County.

Mile Marker 3. Big Power lines here.

Mile marker 14. See more oil pumpers.

Mile Marker 15. Road to Blue Mountain on the left.

Mile Marker 17. Welcome to Rangley.

Between mile markers 17 and 18. We come across the White River.

Mile marker 18. Find a liquor store, which is very rare in Utah.

4858 mile marker 72. Pick up Route 139 south that will take us to US 70 in Colorado.

4861. Enter Canyon Pintado.

Stop at 4864. Take pictures of the canyon that looks here more like a valley.

Mile marker 60 for State Bridge Recreation Site.

Between mile markers 59 and 58 we stop for pictures around a bend in the road.

Mile 58. Cow Canyon.

Mile marker 57. White Birds Recreation Site.

4874. Kokopelli Recreation Site.

West Douglass Creek. Red drawings (petroglyphs) on the rocks on the right.

Mile marker 55. It's raining a little.

Mile marker 52. Enter Encana County.

Mile marker 48 Reddish rocks.

Mile marker 45. Rocks still red. Lots of cows walking close to the road behind a fence, hemmed in between the fence and the mountains. Took some pictures.

Mile marker 42. Fewer cows now.

Mile marker 41. Snow cover partly on the left.

4891. Farm on the left near East Douglas Creek. See a sign for Garfield County near Scare Mountain.

Mile marker 38. Leaving Dowd Creek Conservation Area. Speed limit is 25 mph.

4893. Very Mountainous now. Douglas Pass is 25 mph.

4893, mile marker 37, Douglas Pass has lots of sharp curves. Come across another clump of Aspens.

Just before mile marker 676. 4894 on odo. More Douglas Pass photos. These have to be part of the Rocky Mountains for sure Lots of conifer trees.

4895. Still in Douglas Pass. There is quite a bit of snow in the area.

Mile marker 35. Going very close to the edge with a big fall-off on the left. A pull-off is here so we parked and took pictures of the valley below along with the Route 139 road. The view is really great from here. White Aspens looking very whit4e indeed down in the valley below us.

Up ahead of us is a big descent with switch backs reducing the grade of the descent. Pics from another pull-off.

Mile marker 31. Winter Gate.

Mile markers 29, 28 and 27. Still descending.

Mile marker 22. Back to red rocks.

Between mile markers 17 and 16. Photos of an open area.

Mile marker 16 definitely off the Rockies now.

Mile marker 15. More ridges.

Mile marker 14. Mesa County.

Mile marker 12. Go over a ridge.

Mile mark 11. On top of the ridge.

Highline Lake State Park before mile marker 4.

Mile Marker 1. Town of Loma.

4930 odo. Start of US 70 east. We are headed for Grand Junction, Colorado.

Mile marker 16. The Colorado River is on the right of the highway.

Mile marker 19. Vietnam Memorial Park.

Odo 4940. Grand Junction.

Mile marker 31. Get off for Best Western Sandman.

Odo 4946. Arrive at the motel. We eat at Denny's which is next door.

Rt 149 to Dinosaur NM Quarry Center

Quarry Exhibition Hall and Nearby

Split Mountain and Cub Creek Valley

Pintado Canyon Before Douglas Pass Pulloff

Douglas Pass Pulloff and Beyond


Day 5. May 7, 2013, Tuesday.

Today we exit Colorado to head for the San Rafael Swell and Reef in the state of Utah. Our destination is the small town of Hanksville at the southern end of the Swell. This motel will be the only motel on our trip that is not a Best Western Motel.

Odo 4961. Head west on U.S. 70.

Mile marker 31 and 30.

4965, before mile marker 27. Stop for pics of mountains on the left.

After mile marker 27. Pics of cliffs on the left and the Colorado River also on the left.

4971. Passing the town of Fruita.

Before mile marker 17. Colorado River.

Mile marker 16. Close to Loma.

Exit 11. Mack.

Exit 2. Rabbit Valley.

Mile marker 1. Sign for leaving colorful Colorado.

4993. Go into Utah. We pass mile marker 230 soon.

Stop at a great viewing point. It's the Grand Valley in front of us with the Book Cliffs on the left. The hill up to the kiosk is filled with flowering plants. We took a lot of photos of the plants in bloom.

For instances, we saw cacti with red flowers, Mormon Tea in bloom, small Juniper trees, Brome grass, etc. Out on the Grand Valley there are lots of cows and you can hear some of them mooing away.

Mile marker 228. Exit 227. No services.

Mile marker 227. Wide open area.

Mile marker 226. Arid grassy area.

Mile marker 225. Green River. It is 730 miles long, beginning in the Wind River Mountains of Wyoming, going through part of Utah and ending in western Colorado.

Mile marker 220. Long, wide open area.

Exit 214. Danish Flat. No services.

Mile marker 214. There's a little bit of snow on a mountain left and far away from us.

Mile marker 212. Red rocks far, far ahead and to the left.

Mile marker 201. Small hill, yellow on top and gray on the bottom.

Mile marker 199. Close to the Book Cliffs (?) on the right.

Mile marker 192. Getting real close to the Book Cliffs so we take photos. There is a small ridge on the other side of the road.

Mile marker 190. Visitor Center and rest area.

Exit 187. Thompson Springs.

Mile marker 186. Train on the right.

Exit 182 for Crescent Junction and Rt. 91 which heads southeast of US 70 for Moab, Utah.

Between mile markers 180 and 179. Odo 5045. Pics of Book Cliffs.

Exit 175 for the town of Floy.

Exit 164 where there are lots of motels and places to eat.

5060. Emery County.

5061. Overview of the town of Green River.

5061. Sign in honor of Major Powell, Colorado River Explorer. Here is the John Wesley Powell Museum next to the Green River Bridge in the town of Green River. Across the road is the Tamarisk Restaurant and we see some Tamarisk shrubs by the Green River. Book Cliffs are near the river.

The museum is a good one and has many informative exhibits about Powell and about other people affecting the town of Green River, such as the Escalante-Dominquez exploration and the Sundance Kid and Butch Cassidy of the Hole in the Wall Gang. They also have a good gift shop.

The town is another strip development town. It's real small and many businesses have closed. And there are no big chain stores here.

Mile marker 156. No services on US 70 for the next 100 miles.

5071. Between mile markers 154 and 153. San Rafael Reef. The mountains are a little orange-pinkish rocks along with white ones.

5073. Between mile markers 152 and 151. San Rafael Reef. The Mountains look like turtle heads with the upper part of their shells trying to emerge from out of the ground. It's pretty distinctive and the San Rafael Reef is easy to recognize.

5075. Between mile markers 150 and 149. This is near Exit 149 for Route 24 to take one through the San Rafael Swell area and down to Hanksville. We take photos at the junction with Route 24. The Chinle Formation is here.

Mile marker 160. Take photos of the Chinle formation. A sign tells us that Goblin Valley State Park is 36 miles south of us and that Hanksville is 44 miles away.

5080. Mile marker 156. San Rafael River. Chinle Formation on both sides.

Mile marker 155. Faux Chinle Formation.

Mile marker 154. White and red mixture in the San Rafael Reef on the right.

Between mile markers 139 and 138. Temple Mountain in the distance.

5103. Turtles are gone. White swirly rocks.

5104. Now it's 7 miles to Goblin Valley State Park.

We got off at mile marker 136 for Temple Mountain Road that takes the driver to Goblin Valley State Park.

5105. We stop to take photos of a pinkish mountain isolate known as Wild Horse Butte.

5107. Stop for photos on the right.

5108. Another shot of Wild Horse Butte.

5109. Still another shot of Wild Horse Butte.

5110. Take a picture of the park sign.

5112. Take pictures of what looks like three chess pieces on a board. Rosemary said these three pieces look like Donald Duck and friends. Take a picture of a cream sickle swirl. We reach the top of the rise where the parking area is. Here there is almost a 180 degree panorama of the goblins (hoodoos which are estrada sandstone and that mostly resemble huge mushrooms but take other wierd shapes too). There seem to be thousands of these huge figures in a valley. We see people walking on top of the mushrooms. Rosemary says one of the hoodoos looks like a Tyrannosaurus Rex.

Rosemary starts taking pictures of the hoodoos, but soon the rain starts. People start hunkering down under the large roof over the picnic tables. And then it really starts raining hard with small hail stones.  Now comes the lightning and the thunder. And what a display that is. The lightning seem to hit close to the area of the picnic tables. People start becoming disturbed by the frequency and size of the lightning bolts and the ferociousness of the thunder booms. After a little delay, people start heading for their cars. We did the same thing. We waited of the storm to pass, but it wasn't passing so we left the park.

We stopped at the small gift store for the park and Rosemary bought some T-shirts with the park name on them.

We head back to Route 24.

5125. We turn right and head for Hanksville. Along the way we find sand dune remnants.

Mile marker 133. Gilson Butte.

Mile marker 126 Wayne County.

Mile marker 125. Hoodoos on the left.

Mile marker 123. Scenic view.

5138 scenic view of dark brown and light brown talus slopes. The Henry Mountains far away are capped with snow.

Mile marker 120. The Hanksville Airport.

Mile marker 119. Dirty Devil River.

Mile marker 118. Welcome to Hanksville sign.

Mile marker 117. 5144. Intersection of Routes 24 and 195. We turn left onto Route 195. Very soon we find our motel: Whispering Sands Motel. Across the road is a hamburger/gift shop named Blondies.

We ate next door at Stan's Burger Shak. There are fellows in cowboy hats eating there. There are not many customers, but we were there early: around 3:30 pm. The burgers were good and the french fries. The chocolate milk shake was weak on the chocolate flavor, but overall it was good. The milk shakes are served in a strange shape. A large part of the thick shake towers up out of the medium sized cup by about four inches. It's wierd and also makes the customer immediately start working on the over the top section of the shake or it starts to melt all over the sideof the medium sized cup. And that's not too pleasant.

US 70 View Point in Utah near Colorado border

US 70 West to John Wesley Powell Museum

US 70 West to Rt 24 San Rafael Swell and Reef

Goblin Valley State Park

Hanksville Outskirts


Day 6. May 8, 2013, Wednesday.

Head to Richfield off of US Route 70.

Odometer 5145. We are driving north back to US 70 then heading west.

Around mile marker 122. We see the hoodoos along Route 24.

Mile marker 132. Stopped and took pictures of the sand dunes that lay very low on the ground. They have a light reddish-brown color.

5162. Mile marker 133. The sand dunes here are a bit larger.

5161. Turn left to go to Goblin Valley State Park again. It's 5 miles in to a left turn and 7 miles headed south to the entrance.

5177. We retraced our steps and got more shots of the hoodoos in the park. The Carmel Canyon Trail takes you to the hoodoos. It's a 1.5 mile walk. The hoodoos are a light orangish-brown color.

A sign tells us that from the parking lot the Henry Mountains are to the south and even further south is Lake Powell. We take more pictures of Wild Horse Butte, but now it doesn't have that pretty light pink color as in our first photo. Stop for a photo of a white wild flower.

5180. Take road heading west which eventually goes to Little Wild Horse Canyon.

5181. Pic of a white ridge on the right.

5182. Sign announces that we are leaving the park.

5183. The mountains have gray caps over reddish orange bases.

5184. Took photos to the north of San Rafael Reef and to the south of Big Wild Horse Mesa.

We are back on Route 24 heading north to US 70.

5224. We get back on 70 west at exit 149. Cross over the San Rafael River.

After mile marker 147. There is a scenic view here. We stop for photos at San Rafael Reef View Point.

Mile marker 146. Go through an opening through the San Rafael Reef.

After the pass, mile marker 145. Stop for more pictures of the pass.

Mile marker 144. Up a big incline.

Mile marker 143. Black Dragon Canyon Viewing Area. Head of Sinbad. Looks like two battleships here at the viewing point.

Mile marker 142. A sign says that Salina is 87 miles away and Richfield is 103 miles away.

Mile marker 127. Yellow white rocks behind brown rocks.

Mile Marker 126. Yellow rock on the right. Sign: "Drowsy driving causes accidents." Another sign: "Drowsy drivers pull over, if necessary."

Mile marker 123. Ghost Rocks Viewing Area. This is a big deep canyon. Take pictures of two rock domes near the Viewing Area. Photos of an alternate-leaved bush with small white flowers. Took a picture of the capitol dome across US 70. It can be seen from far away.

Mile marker 122. Descending.

Mile marker 120. Eagle Canyon. There are small mountains on both sides. Dull colors. We miss the viewing area for Eagle Canyon.

Mile marker 115. Stop for another pic of Eagle Canyon area. Another stop down the road. Here is a huge, wide open area.

Mile marker 114. We are still in the wide open area. Stop to see the red colors of the Red Ledges.

Mile marker 111. Stopped for pictures of Red Ledges and big Molen Reef. Reddish gray look. Lots of red rocks straight ahead.

Mile marker 110. Stop for photos of a red rock isolate. Lots of red here, even the soil is red.

Exit 108 for Lone Tree.

Mile marker 107. Salt Wash viewing area.

5268. Pics of red and gray-green mountains.

Mile marker 106. Salt Wash viewing area. Castle Valley.

Mile marker 105. Big red isolate in the median with roads on both sides in the pass.

Mile marker 104. Through the pass.

Mile marker 101. Stop for pic of mountains, brown on top and black at the base. Rosemary checks the map and realizes that these are the Coal Cliffs. The black is the coal.

Exit 99. Stop for more pictures of the brown and black mountains.

Mile marker 95. Sevier County.

Exit 91 for Route 10, Emery and Capital Reef National Park.

Mile marker 91. A sign says Salina is now only 35 miles away.

Mile marker 88. Enter Fish Lake National Forest.

Mile marker 86. Going through a section with mountains on both sides. There is snow on the mountains on the left.

Mile marker 84. It's been raining pretty steady since our last viewing area.

Mile marker 83. We reach the summit at 7,886 feet. Start a descent. It stops raining.

Mile marker 73. Rocky road next 10 miles.

Mile marker 72. This is a mountain area with winding roads.

Mile marker 70. Abandoned tunnels.

Mile marker 62. More open road, bigger valley.

Mile marker 61. Stop for pictures of the red and green in the mountains.

Before mile marker 60. Reds rocks again.

Mile marker 59. Leaving Fish Lake National Forest.

Exit 56. We get off for Salina. We take pictures of Mom's Cafe. Notice that there are not many customers in the cafe. The place has huge parking areas for its customer so they must get a lot of them. The place is rather small compared to its parking areas.

One store has kept its original name: Salina 5 & 10. Of course, those are not the prices of the goods inside the store. But the 5 & 10 brought back good memories to Rosemary and me.

A lot of trucks come past the intersection of Main Street and Route 50 (which is State Street). Took some pictures up and down Main Street.

Mile marker 49. Snow on the mountain on the left.

Mile marker 46. Cedar or Black Mountain? Reddish rocks on the right.

Mile marker 44. There's a farm on the left.

Mile marker 40. Pass the place for our motel in Richfield for the night. We decide to go see the Big Rock Candy Mountain and then come back to Richfield.

Mile marker 33. Row of black and green mountains on the left.

Exit 32. For Elsinore.

Mile marker 29. Quite a few farms on the left.

Exit 25 for Joseph.

Exit 23 for Marysvale. We take Route 89 south toward Marysvale.

5354. On route to Big Rock Candy Mountain we take pictures of the mountains.  This is Sevier Canyon.

Go past Clear Creek. Come upon the fast flowing Sevier River.

Mile marker190. 5396. Pull-off by the Sevier River. The mountains are close on both sides. The river is on the right. Sergeant Mountain is on the right and the Antelope Range is on the left. We are in the Sevier Canyon.

5361. Pull-off by a small yellow mountain with brown areas on the left. On the right up ahead there is the Big Rock Candy Mountain, a bigger yellow mountain with brown areas. The yellow really stands out from the surrounding mountains. We pass by Candy Mountain Whistle Stop Trailhead. We take pictures of the buildings at the base of the Big Rock Candy Mountain. Everything is closed, although people keep telling us the facilities should be open.

Mile marker 183. 5363 on the odometer. Take pics of roan colored mountains.

Mile marker 181. Beaver Creek.

5365. Reach Marysvale.

Mile marker 180. There is a big M for Marysvale painted on the mountain on the left.

Marysvale Motel 4-U.

The place seems like a ghost town. We don't see anyone around the town. A Baptist church has a message sign: "Choosy Moms Choose Jesus." We had a big laugh at this.

We turn around and head back north on Route 89. Take more mountain photos around Marysvale.

Before mile marker 181. 5369. Took photos or a roan colored mountains with cows in the valley below it.

Took photos of the very green leaves of the cottonwood trees along Sevier River.

Get back on US 70 heading northeast to Richfield. Pictures of white mountains by the exit for Route 89. Also took pictures of some of the farms in the area.

Back in Richfield we eat at Pizza Hut.

Return Visit to Golbin Valley State Park

US 70 View Points San Rafael Reef to Ghost Rocks

US 70 Castle Valley to Coal Cliffs


Rt 89 Sevier Canyon to Marysvale


Day 7. May 9, 2013, Thursday

Odo 5400. We get back on US 70 at mile marker 40.

Mile marker 37. Clouds on the mountains.

Mile marker 22. Stop on a bend in the road for photos of the area.

Just before mile marker 21. Cottonwoods on the right and mountains on both sides. Roan color. On the left is the Tushar Mountains and on the right is the Pahvant Mountains.

Mile marker 19. Fremont Indian State Park sign.

Exit 17 for the state park. We turn right and then another right onto Clear Creek Canyon Drive. Take a picture of the sign for the state park.

Point of Interest #2 shortly after the sign.

Point of Interest #3. Alma Christensen Trail. Reddish and white rocks.

The visitor's center has a nice gift shop. The museum is small, but interesting. The Fremont people (AD 700 to 1300) gets its name from the Fremont River in Utah. [John Charles Frémont was a famous American explorer.] The people lived in Utah, Nevada, Idaho and Colorado. The first Fremont sites were discovered here at this state park.

The museum has a 15 minute video to watch and lots of hiking trails.

Point of Interest #9. Cave of a Hundred Hands. The rocks here are very pitted.

Point of Interest #10. Arch of Art.

Point of Interest #11. Picnic grounds and a small centennial cabin.

Point of Interest #12. Sheep shelter/Indian Blanket.

At mile marker 5 we took a picture of the area. We couldn't find the signs for Point of Interest numbers 13 and 14. Take some photos by the creek. We turn around and go back the way we came.

Odo 5430. The road parallels US 70.

Before mile marker 16 we enter the Fish Lake National Forest.

Mile market 15. Lots of forest here.

Exit 7. Clear Creek Canyon Road.

Reach the summit at 7180 feet.

Pretty open green area.

Millard County. Descending.

Mile marker 5. Big mountains ahead far, far away.

Mile marker 4. Mineral Mountains?

Mile marker 3. Leaving Fish Lake National Forest.

Exit 1 on US 70. Odo 5449. Heading for the Mormon fort known as Cove Fort. Parked in the parking area and took a picture of a bush with yellow flowers. They have a barn here, some small cabins and sheds. Also here is a small covered wagon.

The fort is rather small,100 feet square. As we approach the fort a man walks up to us and we soon learn that he will be our guide through the fort. He tells us that the walls are 18 feet high and four feet thick at the base and two and a half feet thick at the top. There is igneous rock, limestone and rhyolite (an igneous, volcanic rock, of felsic (silica-rich) composition). In the backdrop of the fort is a cinder cone.

The fort was built in 1867 during the Black Hawk War (1865-1872). The war was between Mormons and other settlers in Sanpete County, Sevier County and other parts of central and southern Utah, on the one hand, and the Ute, Paiute, Apache and Navajo tribes, led by local Ute chief, Antonga Black Hawk, on the other. Brigham Young called Ira Hinckley (the paternal grandfather of Gordon B. Hinckley) and his family to come and direct the building and operations of the fort. Later Ira's brother took over at the fort.

The gate doors are large enough to drive a wagon inside the fort. There are seven black locust trees planted at the fort.

The fort has 25 gun ports.

We tour with the guide the rooms built around three sides of the fort interior. There is the telegraph office, the boys' bedroom, male guest room, the "best room" where Brigham Young stayed, a nursery for the kids, a girls' room, a parents' room and a room with a kitchen and dining room.

Our guide, Elder Rosen, was very friendly and informative. We even got to meet his wife.

We get back on US 70 with only one mile to go to the intersection with US 15 north.

Start at mile marker 133.

Exit 135. Here is another exit that leads to Cove Fort.

Mile marker 139. Hills dotted with shrubs.

Mile marker 142. Great views of wide open spaces with mountain in the background.

Mile marker 144. There is white sand on the left.

Exit 146. Kanosh.

Mile marker 147. There is an 80 mile speed limit, so one can legally drive up to 85 mph on this road.

Mile marker 149. Pavant Range on the right.

Mile marker 153. There is a huge mountain range here.

Exit 158. Meadow. There is a lot of farm land here.

Exit 163. Fillmore. From 1851 to 1856, Fillmore [named for President Millard Fillmore] was the capital of Utah Territory. The original Utah Territorial Statehouse still stands.

Exit 174. We get off US 15 and get onto Route 64 headed north to Holden and Delta.

Odo 5493. Left turn. We go through Holden, another small town.

Mile marker 2. Left turn to pick up Route 50 headed for Delta some 28 miles ahead.

Mile marker 116. Lots of farm land.

Mile marker 113. There are sand dunes on the way to Delta on both the right and left. The Pahavant Mountains are on the right.

Mile marker 107. Pretty deserted road.

Mile marker 98. There's desert on the left.

Odo 5519. Turn left for Delta, three miles ahead.

Mile marker 92. 5520. Welcome to Delta sign.

We couldn't find the Great Basin Museum so Rosemary went into the Delta City Library for directions. Apparently, the museum moved to Main Street and Google was not aware of it.

Rosemary comes out with Jane Beckwith the President of the Topaz Society that runs the museum covering the Japanese-American Topaz Camp, 16 miles from Delta, Utah. She drove over to the Museum of the Salt Basin with we two following in our car. From there she went home to get her keys to her Topaz Camp Museum. We started looking around in the Great Basin Museum.

It was not long before Jane returned to the Great Basin Museum. We followed her to a fenced in area where the items in the future museum are stored.

Of the items the biggest one is the barracks that was at Topaz Camp, one of ten such camps spread out in different states in the southwest. Actually the building is only half the size of the original. When the camp was closed, the authorities cut the barracks in half and sold the halves to anyone who would buy them. The halves are size 50 by 20 feet, while the originals were size 100 by 20 feet.

Of the actual site of the camp one square mile has been saved. The buildings are all long gone, but photographs show that there are some traces of the building foundations still left. The original camp with its surrounding land was 31 square miles in area. Most of the area was to be used to plant agricultural crops.

We took a photo of an announcement for the Japanese Americans to report to the authorities.

Jane showed us some of the artistic folk art made by the inmates, who were mostly from the San Francisco area. They were carved pieces about the size of a large broach. Two of the items where carved from plum pits and represented the three monkeys of the phrase see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil. At one time the ancient Lake Bonneville covered this area. The Japanese Americans could sift through the sands to pick out very colorful shells or parts of shell and they could use these to make folk art.

The internees would eat in the mess hall.

Jane explains that she started working on this museum project in 1982. She goes back and forth to San Francisco to speak with the still living former internees, most of who were of high school age during the internment. She would also go to the big city to raise money for the museum and that took many, many years. But now she has the money and construction will begin on the museum building beginning this June, 2013. The museum will be next door to the Great Basin Museum on Main Street.

Jane Beckwith has done a wonderful thing to preserve an important period of American history. The website of the Topaz Museum is

From the website:

"The internment of Americans of Japanese ancestry during WWII was one of the worst violations of civil rights against citizens in the history of the United States. The government and the US Army, falsely citing “military necessity,” locked up over 110,000 men, women and children in ten remote camps controlled by the War Relocation Administration and four male-only camps controlled by the Justice Department. These Americans were never convicted or even charged with any crime, yet were incarcerated for up to four years in prison camps surrounded by barbed wire and armed guards."

We returned to the Great Basin Museum. They have a lot of information about Delta and the surrounding area. One of their maps shows the full extent of the ancient Lake Bonneville (which at one time nearly covered all of Utah with parts extending into Idaho and Nevada..

We took photos of the historic plague dedicated to the Escalante-Dominquez expedition of 1776 and the historic plague in honor of Captain John Williams Gunnison who was killed by the Indians in 1853. On the morning of October 26, 1853, during the Walker War between the Mormons and the Ute Chief Walkara, Gunnison and the eleven men in his party were attacked by a band of Pahvants (Ute). In the resulting massacre, Gunnison and seven of his men were killed. Their bodies were mutilated.

The museum has many exhibits of historical items. Their website is at

We spent such a long time in Delta that we ate up all our time for the day trip. So we went back the way we came to Richfield.

Fremont Indian State Park

Cove Fort

Delta - Great Basin and Topaz Museums


Day 8. May 10, 2013, Friday.

5641. Get back on US 70 but go east to Route 89.

Exit 56 for Route 89 north.

Odo 5660. Go through the center of Salina.

Just before mile marker 229. There is a broad valley with mountains on both sides. White Hills are on the right and Valley Mountains on the left. This is Sevier Valley. Take photos south to east to north to west.

Mile marker 231. Big broad valley.

Mile marker 232. San Pete County.

Mile marker 233. Lots of farms in the area.

Mile marker 234. Town of Axtel.

Mile marker 238. Town of Centerfield.

Just before mile marker 240.

Right turn to stay on Route 89.

Mile marker 244. More green fields.

Mile marker 246. Stop for photos of the green covered hills.

Mile marker 248. Nine Mile Ranch lake on the left. Lots of mosquitoes here.

Just before mile marker 250. 5683. Gunnison Reservoir on the left in the distance. Big hill on the left with a house half-way up on it.

Mile marker 254. Manti and the Manti La Sal National forest to the right. We then go through down town Manti. We take a photo of a prominent Mormon church.

Mile marker 257l. More green pastures. We are in Sanpete Valley.

Mile marker 261. Ephraim, Utah. A banner across the road announces the Scandinavian Day Festival on Memorial Day weekend. There are also lots of banners announcing Snow College, a two-year state college. It was founded in 1888. The college was transferred from the LDS Church to the State of Utah in 1932.

Mile marker 263. Walmart store.

Mile marker 264. Leaving Ephraim.

Mile marker 266. Stopped for San Pete Valley pics on the left. See more San Pitch snow covered mountains on left and Wasatch Plateau right. Very bucolic atmosphere here.

Mile marker 273. Snow capped mountain on the left.

Mile marker 276. Mount Pleasant has the Basin Drive-In open Friday and Saturday at 6:30 pm.

Mile marker 283. Fairway City. Rodeo stadium here.

Mile marker 284. Turn to the left. San Pitch River looks more like a creek here.

Mile marker 287. Looking behind at loads of big snow-capped mountains.

Mile marker 289. No farms on either side of the valley.

Mile marker 290. Summit 6,446 feet.

Mile marker 291. Stop for pic of snow-capped mountain on the left. It is still a valley here.

Mile marker 294. Town of Indianola to the right.

Mile marker 297. Utah County. The town of Birdseye.

Mile marker 298. Valley getting narrower.

Mile marker 301. We are very close to the snow-capped mountain.

Mile marker 302. Sliver of a valley now.

Mile marker 304. Continue descending from the summit.

Mile marker 305. Bennie Creek on the left.

Mile marker 306. Snow-capped on the left.

Mile marker 307. Descending.

Mile marker 310. Going through a narrow pass.

Mile marker 312. Get onto Route 6 heading west.

Mile marker 187. The first Route 6 mile marker we see.

Odo 5755. Turned right off Route 6 to stay on Route 89.

Mile marker 326. Springville.

Mile marker 330. Provo.

Odo 5771. We reach Utah Lake State Park. Took pictures from the two piers here.

Odo 5831. We are at the Saltair Pavilion and Beach by the Great Salt Lake. For now the Saltair Pavilion is close. The beaches on either side of the Pavilion are absolutely huge.

Then we travel the short distance to the Salt Lake Marina which has lots of boats in the water.

The last stop on the Great Salt Lake takes us over a very rough side road down to a viewing area by a huge rock isolate known as Black Rock. A fellow climbed up the rock to get on its flat top. We took pictures of the rock and from the area.

Finished for the day we travel to Exit 113 of Route 80. We go to the Airport Best West Motel.

We at next door at Denny's. This was a different type of Denny's. They give you a menu and you sit down at a table. When you have decided what you want,. you have to go up to the casher and order the food from the waitress. You have to get your own drink. The waitress brings the food to your table. Neither of us were crazy about this type of arrangement.

Rt 89 Salina Outskirts to Birdseye Outskirts

Utah Lake State Park

Saltair Pavilion, Marina and Black Rock


Day 9. May 11, 2013, Saturday.

Odo 5849. Get on US 80 west headed to Wendover on the Utah/Nevada border. We start out from exit 113.

Mile marker 102. We pass by the rock isolate on the shore of the Great Salt Lake.

Exit 99 for Tooele and Stansbury.

Mile marker 98. Snow-capped mountains in front of us.

Exit 88 for Grantsville.

Mile marker 87. Stansbury Island.

Mile marker 86. Mud flats around Stansbury Island. Stop for a photo of Stansbury Island.

Mile marker 85. Morton Salt factory on the right.

Mile marker 84. Grantsville.

Mile marker 80. Stansbury Mountain on the left.

Mile marker 78. Lakeside Mountain?

Odo 5886. We tried to to find the Timpie Springs Waterfowl Management Area, but it seems it's inaccessible.

Mile marker 74. The mud flats are white and all dried up.

Mile marker 70. Town of Delle.

Mile marker 69. Cedar Mountains on the left. Lakeside Mountains on the right.

Mile marker 64. Puddle Valley on the right.

Mile marker 63. Skink Ridge?

Exit 62. Grassy Mountains ahead?

Mile marker 60. wide open on the right. Still in Puddle Valley.

Mile marker 57. Exit 56 for Aragonite.

Mile marker 56. Ripple Valley.

Mile marker 51. Exit 49 for Clive.

Mile marker 49. Gray Back Hills on the right.

Mile marker 44. This area is more arid with fewer plants.

Exit 41. Town of Knoll.

Mile marker 39. Whitish mud flats.

Mile marker 36. Big mountains are ahead of us. Probably the Nevada Range.

Mile marker 31. Hard to see far over the salt flats because there are some low built-up border areas that block the view. Bummer. There's a train on the left with lots of oil carriers.

Mile marker 28. There are still no long range views.

Mile marker 27. Tree of Life sculpture. No stopping. Swedish artist Karl Momen created the Metaphor: Tree of Utah, an 87-foot (27 m) sculpture resembling a tree in the Bonneville Salt Flats of US 80. He built it from 1982 to 1986.

Mile marker 24. Now there is no blockage destroying the long views of the salt flats.

Mile marker 13. A ditch shows that the salt is at least 3 to 4 feet thick.

Mile marker 12. Salt is really white.

5961. Stop at a rest area. The white surface does not look smooth here. The color is white, white. There's another rest area on the US 80 eastbound road. Here they have a foot wash station for people who go out on the salt flats and walk around

Exit 4 for the Bonneville Speedway. Took a picture of a map of the area at a kiosk. Then made a right turn and went all the way down to a turn around point. There were cars out on the salt flats. Someone was racing an electric car on the salt flat.

We turned around and returned to Exit 4 on US 80 west.

Odo 5977. We drove over to Wendover, Utah. The Wendover part is not very impressive. But when you go into Nevada at West Wendover there is a mini-Las Vegas there. We took several photos of some of the casinos: Concert Hall, Montego Bay, Peppermill Hotel Casino and Rainbow Casino.

Took a picture of a big cowboy model. It's "Wendover Will" who welcomes you to West Wendover, Nevada.

At the Historical Site Parking on the right there is a monument to Victory Highway, put up in 1925. The signs talk about the Hastings Cut-Off that the Donner-Reed wagon train followed. Also mentioned is the California Trail which they should have stayed on.

We took a photo of a great overlook of Wendover and West Wendover from a hill on US 80 east and the Great Salt Lake Basin.

We head back to Salt Lake City. Since we still had a lot of time, we decided to get off at Exit 84 to go south to Grantsville.

Odo 6081. A couple of miles down the road Rosemary takes photos of the Stansbury Mountains.

Mile Marker 456. Welcome to Grantsville. We went to the Donner-Reed Museum. They have a very knowledgeable guide there who is very helpful. His name is Craig Anderson.

In 1846 Grantsville was a part of Mexico. The Donner-Reed party spent three days in the area of Grantsville. The town used to be called Twelve Wells for its abundance of water. The party also had to bury one of their own in Grantsville.

The Hastings cut-off proved a very rough route. It delayed the wagon train so much that the convoy missed the success of getting safely into California by three hours.

At Cooley Street and Clark they have a part of the original Lincoln Highway. The Highway lasted from 1913 to 1919.

Craig Anderson suggested we go over to Ophir, an old mining town. So we decided to go. First we had to go to Toole via Route 12. In Toole we turn right on Route 36 and head south.

Mile marker 52 on Route 36.

Mile marker 47 in Stockton. Rush Lake.

Mile marker 43. We pick up Route 73 heading southeast. We drive almost 5 miles and turn left.

Odo 6122. Ophir is in the Oquirrh Mountains.

6126 three miles up the road.

We reach Ophir. There are a lot of old buildings saved from the old mining days. Ophir was named for the nearby canyon and mining district, where gold was discovered in the 1860s. The mining district was named for the biblical Ophir, from where King Solomon brought back gold to Israel. Most of the mining was of lead, silver and zinc. The town has also saved the little mining cars used on switch back tracks.

The population of the town was 23 at the 2000 census.

Odo 6130. Turning for 36 North.

Went back to Salt Lake City too the Airport Best Western.

In the 9 days, we drove a total of 1,776 miles.

US 80 Mud Flats to Wendover

Wendover & West Wendover

Donner-Reed Memorial Museum

Ophir A Former Mining Town

My Favorites Northern Utah & NW Colorado



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