Saturday, June 23, 2007

Dinosaur National Monument

Well, day 6 was a good, but long day. We rode from Steamboat Springs into Utah, home of the Dinosaur National Monument. It was a nice ride on a 2 lane road with rolling hills and mountains off to each side. A very desolate area, with houses and buildings miles apart for most of the way. Actually, we've been through many miles like that--very sparse population. Guess it's just too dry to support higher population??

Dinosaur was great. We went first to the Canyon Area Visitor Center, still in Colorado. We asked about the park and learned that the main center has sturctural damage and is off-limits. So, no real dinosaur bones to view! Darn!. But since we were there, we made the most of it.

We rode into the park to the Canyon Overlook viewing location. A nice ride, with lots of ups and downs and sweeping curves along the way. It was already hot, but we got pretty high and it cooled off to a comfortable temperature. The ride was great.

The overlook was over the Green River, one of the major river systems in the area. It had carved a canyon through the region and was pretty with green vegetation outlining the water. Very pretty!

We rode the 17 miles back to the center and headed to the Dinosaur Quarry Visitor Center, in Jensen, Ut. The ride there was unremarkable except for some fool woman who decided to try to pass a car, not observing that we were coming towards her in our lane. We had just stopped at the Utah state line for a picture and pulled out onto the road. We were on the road for probably 30 seconds when she decided to pass. Gary swerved to the right, which apparently caused her to see him, and she pulled back into line. Stupid! All is okay.

Inside the park, there were two options. One was a 1.5 mile walk to observe some fossils still in place. The other was to ride into the park to the end. We did both.

The walk was good, but hot. We filled up with water and walked the route. Saw a few things that mght have been fossils. Actually, several things were defintiely fossils. And many others might have been. But it was a good experience.

Then we rode to the end of the road, to Josie Morris cabin. It was built by Josie Morris and she lived in it for 50 years, doing it all herself. It was pretty interesting.

The last 3 miles to the cabin were unpaved. Except for one spot, the ride was easy. The one spot was SAND!! Going to the cabin, the spot was squirrley. No problem going to the cabin.

However, leaving the cabin, I can't say the same. We were riding along, in the dirt, gravel and dust (and it was all very dusty), suddenly the bike turned right, then left, then right and again back left ALL BY ITSELF!! I was totally out of control, wondering what all would be torn up from the imminent fall. Hoping I would not be one of the torn up things. Somehow it corrected itself, with my only input to hold on and to make one quick jab with my left leg (which I don't think was smart, but was completelt autonomic--I can't think that fast!) In any case, all was okay, but it was due to God looking after me, not my riding skills.

The rest of the ride back out of the park was pretty and easy.

Having left town, we decided to ride Flaming Gorges National Recreational Area, to the north. A BEAUTIFUL ride, one to do again. I can't describe it to do any justice at all, so I won't try. But it was a do-again ride.

Then on to Salt Lake City. We rode a 2 lane road, pretty fast, with lots of ups and downs and sweeping turns to I-80. Got a hamburger at Burger King and rode into Salt Lake City and the motel.

A long, but good day. 469 miles. Got to the hotel around 10:30pm.

Tomorrow--races at Tooele.

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