Saturday, September 22, 2007

More of the (long) Way Home

The world is a marvelously strange place. For me, nature makes up most of the marvelous part and human beings the strange part.

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I got away about 8am. One advantage of being on my own is that I can stop whenever I get the urge to take a picture, like here:

The funny part is that I didn't even realize I was getting the car in the background!

I stopped at the Dinosaur Monument visitor center and decided to drive in to Harper's Corner even though it would add several hours of driving. I was glad I did because the views of the canyons of the Green and Yampo rivers were great.

This canyon was the site of a famous conservation victory where a proposed dam that would have flooded the canyon was blocked. The sad part is that they simply built the dam 100 km up stream at Flaming Gorge (below). And to add insult to injury, although the canyons in Dinosaur Monument aren't flooded, the ecosystem has still been destroyed. Because the spring floods and the silt are blocked by the upstream dam, the original plants and fish are being lost.

I ended up skipping lunch, but I stopped at the Bedrock Cafe (in the town of Dinosaur) for a homemade ice cream and a latte. Both were excellent and the coffee was even fair trade! I sat outside to eat the ice cream where I was serenaded with Christmas music! (I can't stand Christmas music at Christmas, let alone in September!) There was a huge mud coated 4x4 truck parked outside. The "good old boys" were busy inside using a change counting machine to empty their piggy bank jar. Like I said, human beings are strange!

I stopped at Sheep Creek to see what the signs were about and found the creek had Kokanee salmon that were imported to the reservoir and spawn in the streams. It's hard to see through the water but they are strange looking creatures when they're spawning, with their bright orange bodies and strange green jaws.

I love the fall colors. It's hard to capture the brilliance:

Unfortunately, the nice sunny weather turned to pouring rain for the last two hours of driving and I was really wimpy and decadent and checked into the Holiday Inn in Evanston. (Which is why I was able to do this post.)

I had supper at the restaurant next to the hotel. Someone from the restaurant (I'm guessing the owner) had a Lamborghini parked outside and drove off in it! One way to (very publicly) spend your money, I guess. I don't imagine there are too many cars like that around here!

With my canyon tour I didn't make a lot of distance today. Tomorrow I'll go through the Tetons and Yellowstone and after that it should be faster the rest of the way.

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