Saturday, July 25, 2009

Dinosaur NM

Monday, July 20

Our drugs arrived! So we kicked the tires and lit the fires and drove WAY north to Dinosaur NM to meet up with Betty and Terry. Our travel time was 7.5 hours. Of course that includes Wal*Mart, hunting for propane, lunch, etc. Still, we were tired puppies when we got to Deer Lodge CG, which is just over the line in Colorado. Three high balls later, I was in much better shape.

The CG is not much - a dirt parking lot. If you are tenting, you have some tall grass for your tent site. However, it is right on the shore of the Yampa River, which is a fast moving shallow river, entirely appropriate for rafting and yakking. The first night there were three of us there. Full house, the next night, seven.

The deal is Dinosaur is low, 5 to 6 thousand feet and so it’s warm.


We all piled in the Peli [blessed a/c] and drove the phenomenal Yampa Bench Road. It’s only 30-odd miles, but the loop is over a 140 miles. It took us seven hours. Four very tired puppies.

However, the overlooks have some of the most spectacular views anywhere. Plus we had near ideal weather for photography.

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Terry woke us up at 5:45 to prep for moving and hiking. We drove east to the Harper’s Corner Overlook and hiked the one-mile trail out to the confluence of the Green and Yampa rivers. SPECTACULAR! Sadly, the fine weather we had yesterday did not continue. It was sunny with a blue sky, but hazy, so we could not take any decent pictures.

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After the hike we continued west to the Green River CG in the west end of the park. It’s even lower, 4,800 feet and so it is warmer. We are going to try to put up with the heat and enjoy the park.


We started slow today, not getting into the Jeep until 9. Our goal for the day was to get a “Play Permit” which allows you to float/paddle the Green River through a section of the park. We thought it would be a cool way to spend part of the day. By the time, we got the permit and located both the put-in and take-out points it was getting warm, so we explored some other places in the park and made it back to KoKo in time for lunch and a nap before the heat arrived.

During the afternoon heat, we enjoyed the a/c of Lowe’s and the library.


We all piled into Pelli and drove to view the petroglyphs at McKee Springs. They were well worth the trip. In the afternoon, it was too hot, 97, to do more than drink cold water and sit.

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Saturday, July 25

We kept putting off the yak float. Today was to be the day. We awoke to a very light drizzle and completely overcast skies. Without the sun, the trip would not be scenic and so we are sulking around the CG. However, it’s much cooler without the sun, low 80’s.

In the morning, we will head to Flaming Gorge and our tour guides, the Woods, will go to Jones Hole to hike down to the Green River.

We plan to come back here, when it’s cooler. Maybe next May.

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