Unfinished Business - Fall/Winter - 2017/8 travel blog

The plan for today was to go to the Flaming Gorge National Recreation Area. From what we've read it is typical of Utah. Colorful arid rocks loom above a lake created by a dam across the Snake River. However, a cold front came through. It was warm and sunny where we were camped, but as soon as we climbed up a few passes on the way to the gorge, we were in the clouds and it was 42ยบ and raining. We wondered if it would be snow if we continued to climb. Never mind! We tuned back, hitched up the motor home and made our way a few more hours west.

Most of the drive was on a two-lane road. We felt like we were in a truck parade. We had seen some mines when we started to drive into Flaming Gorge, so we weren't surprised to see double length ore trucks filled with rocks. But we were surprised by the steady stream of double length oil trucks. We asked around and learned that there are significant oil fields around Vernal and these trucks were bringing crude to refinery in Salt Lake City. And then returning empty as fast as they could to get more. This got us thinking about land use, a regular topic in the news when you are out west. Recently our federal government has proposed pulling back on lands preserved in the national park/monument system. As park lovers our immediate reaction when we hear those things is to feel sad about what will belts to mining/forestry/animal husbandry/etc. But when you googled how much land out west belongs to the federal government and see that in Utah the figure is almost 60%, you can see why the locals resent ever more land being set aside and protected. Not as simple a question as it appears.

We are camped very close to Park City where the Winter Olympics took place. We're in a state park on a hillside overlooking another one of those dammed up lakes. It's jacket weather here too, but the forecast is for sunshine tomorrow.

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