Sunday, September 15, 2013

Flaming Gorge–Red Canyon

Monday Sept 9th, 2013 – Last night Fred was miserable with a stomach bug, an unfortunate ‘first’ for us, as we have not actually gotten sick before on any of our travels. It passed, but left Fred weak and washed out feeling and me without sleep and worried if I might be next. We spent this morning dozing and recovering……

By afternoon, Fred was feeling well enough to want to get out and do a bit of a drive. We headed out to sightsee a couple of overlooks…….


Flaming Gorge was given its name by John Wesley Powell in 1869, as he set out to explore the Green and the Colorado Rivers. He wrote of the Green River,  “it enters the range by a flaring brilliant red gorge that may be seen from the north more than a score of miles away…….we name it Flaming Gorge.”

This area seems to have had a rather colorful past. It is situated on the legendary Outlaw Trail, a travel corridor from Canada to New Mexico that was heavily used by outlaws from the 1870’s to about 1910. It was, also, where Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid hung out between crime sprees. It is where they lived, played and spent their ill gotten gains.


In 1963, Flaming Gorge Dam was built and operational, flooding the gorge and creating a reservoir that, when full, stretches 91 miles long. Now boating and fishing are big recreational pastimes.


We drove around to Red Canyon Overlook. Sadly, the visitor’s center was closed for the season, but the views were still there……..


There is a nice rim trail with a number of overlooks…….we walked around just a bit……


Marveling at the red rock wall of the canyon and the numerous crevices and fissures along the rim. We noted the signs “Guard your children!” You really wouldn’t want your child to fall through a fissure……


We sat overlooking the Green River at the bottom of this beautiful canyon.

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At another overlook…..a Mountain Blue Bird. You can’t see his front in this picture, but it is blue, also, not the rust-red that our Eastern Blue Birds have.


I liked this tree…..growing out of the rock at the canyon’s edge.Standing steadfast and determined……

On our way back to the campground, we drove along Sheep Creek Geologic Loop, a scenic byway noted for having a population of Big Horn Sheep.


We did not see any sheep, but loved the tall rock pillars and spires.


Massive rock…..the signs pointed out the age of the rock formations….some dating from the Jurassic period when dinosaurs roamed. This area had once been a tidal flood basin, under water, then later, a desert. I wish I knew more about Geology and the Earth’s history.

For today, however, we were tired and heading back to our camper.

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