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Recent Journal Entries

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Team: North
Dana Bell
Monday, September 23
FIREHOLE CAMPGROUND, FLAMING GORGE NATIONAL RECREATION AREA

Total frustration! Stayed up late last night to complete Journal entries for September 21 and 22. Stephen had kept the RV open and the satellite on so that I could download my entries onto the website. Then, when we tried the website refused to accept them. We tried again this morning again with no success. Journal keeping in the beginning was a task. However, as the Journey progressed I’ve found myself anxious to put the day’s happenings and my thoughts down. Now, towards the end it is so frustrating to want to share what is happening to us and to have the website closed to us. Hopefully, whatever the problem is will be corrected soon.

Today is a day off. Our only responsibility is to be back to camp by 5:00 for a presentation on the Flaming Gorge National Recreation Area (NRA) and on dam impacts on native fish. Charlotte, Stephen and I decide to drive to Dinosaur National Monument supposedly about an hour and a half away. Directions to the Monument are simply to go out the road to Highway 191 and head south toward Dutch John. Well, we drive out of the campground and there is a sign pointing to Dutch John. We turn right (south) and proceed on a dirt road (that turns out to be County Road 33) for the next hour at times wondering where in the earth we are as Highway 191 was supposed to be only about 10 miles away from the campground. We finally reach 191, breath a sigh of relief, and head south to Dutch John and Vernal (where we will head east to the Monument.) The scenery if high desert flat gray sage land until we drop down through a small pass and into Utah then suddenly changes to stunning red rock cliffs and juniper woodlands. We cross Flaming Gorge Dam and the scenery changes again to yellow aspen and meadows. At Vernal we decide to have a quick lunch that turns into at least an hour trying to find the Cracked Pot Restaurant we see on a billboard just before Vernal. We stop at an Ace Hardware store, get directions, still can’t find it, finally ask a postman, get new directions, and then when we drive there find out that it is closed. We end of at a so-so Mexican restaurant, but at last get lunch. Then it’s on to the Monument just a half hour east of Vernal. The Monument is worth every minute of the drive. The quarry, a slab of vertical rock that was once lakebed, is actually in the Museum of the Monument. Many of the bones remain in the slab. Bones that have been removed are in Museums across the country, on display on site or are being worked on in the Museum laboratory. The laboratory is behind glass walls so that visitors can view the work in progress. After seeing the quarry we decided to quickly take the auto tour through the southeastern portion of the Monument. Well, quick it was not but it was just fantastic. We took a ton of pictures of neat rock formations like Turtle Rock and Elephant Toes, petroglyphs and rock caves. But the best place was at the Split Mountain Campground where the Green River has created a magnificent canyon, sliced through a mountain and created a towering rock wall beautifully grooved by the rivers passage over the centuries. At the base of the wall is a commemorative rock plaque for Major John Wesley Powell.



Major John Wesley Powell

“First explorer of the Green and Colorado Rivers. On June 8, 1869 the Powell Expedition entered the canyon of Ladore, now within Dinosaur National Monument, and on June 26, 1869 landed near this location. Powell later remarked of his experiences, ‘The scenery was on a grand scale, and never before did I live in such ecstasy for an entire month.’ To his adventurous spirit, courage, and foresight this monument is dedicated.”

The same statement could be made of our Journey by simply changing “one month” to two months.

The driving tour had fifteen stops but we only made it to fourteen. The fourteenth was petroglyphs etched into the desert varnish (a natural shiny dark surface to ancient rock faces) on a sandstone ledge. The predominant etchings were two large lizards, absolutely perfect in shape. But on hiking up the ¼ mile trail you could see many other etchings including human figures. We had decided to head back to camp at 3:30 in order to be there by 5:00. However, I got carried away with taking pictures of the lizards. Then it took about 15 minutes to drive out of the Monument. Then we had to stop at the Ashley National Forest Office to get Ashley Forest maps for Bob Ashley. Then we had to stop at the local radio station to make sure that they knew we were passing into Utah (they did – and spent all of the next day with us.) Then we had to find our way back the right way. So, in the end we got home at 6:30. We were forgiven and got to eat dinner and listen to the presentation.

Ilene, District Ranger for the Flaming Gorge Ranger District (Including the Flaming Gorge NRA) told us about the District and NRA. The NRA (one of 38 nationally) receives about 2 million visitors annually. It’s mission is to promote recreational, scenic, historical and natural resources but with recreation as the primary mission. The NRA reservoir is 91 miles long, and provides opportunity for fishing, boating, water skiing, camping, and rafting. The NRA since 1997, as one of the original Fee Demo Sites, does charge fees of $2.00 per day or $20.00 for an annual pass.

Our second presentation by Gordon Mueller, with the USGS Biological Research Division, was “Lost, a Desert River and Its Native Fish.” Gordon covered the history of the Colorado River Basin (the Green River is the largest of its tributaries) from the native people to its discovery by Cortez in 1539 to present. The Basin is part of seven states and its water serves 30 million people and irrigates 30 million acres of agricultural land. The decline of the river and loss of 95% of the indigenous species has been due to the damming of the river begun in the 1920s and today includes Hoover Dam, Flaming Gorge and Glenn Canyon among others. It was an interesting presentation and discussion including the purpose of dams, value of native species, current recovery efforts and options for the future.

The grand finale for the day was the return of the moon over the chimney buttes and a starry night to sleep under. From the Journey, dana


Biographical Info
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Team: North
Dana Bell
Dana and Mike by a beaver dam.
Dana Bell is the Project Coordinator for the National Off-Highway Vehicle Conservation...
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List of All Journal Entries
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Monday, September 23
Dana Bell
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Sunday, September 22
Dana Bell
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Saturday, September 21
Dana Bell
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Thursday, September 19
Dana Bell
Seedskadee NWR
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Wednesday, September 18
Dana Bell
KEMMERER TO SEEDSKADEE NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE
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Monday, September 16
Dana Bell
SCALER CABIN TO WEEPING ROCK
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Sunday, September 15
Dana Bell
JACKSON TO SCALER CABIN
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Saturday, September 14
Dana Bell
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Friday, September 13
Dana Bell
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Thursday, September 12
Dana Bell
LITTLE GREYS RIVER TO BLIND BULL MINE TRAILHEAD
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Wednesday, September 11
Dana Bell
CLIFF CREEK TO LITTLE GREYS RIVER
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Tuesday, September 10
Dana Bell
KOA CAMPGROUND, WILSON, WY
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Monday, September 9
Dana Bell
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Sunday, September 8
Dana Bell
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Saturday, September 7
Dana Bell
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Thursday, September 5
Dana Bell
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Wednesday, September 4
Dana Bell
SUMMIT LAKE TO MADISON CAMPGROUND
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Tuesday, September 3
Dana Bell
BUFFALO CAMP TO SUMMIT LAKE
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Monday, September 2
Dana Bell
BLAIR LAKE TO BUFFALO CAMP
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Sunday, September 1
Dana Bell
SPRING CREEK TO BLAIR LAKE
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Saturday, August 31
Dana Bell
EAST CAMAS TO SPRING CREEK
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Friday, August 30
Dana Bell
DAY 31 - TABLE MOUNTAIN & MISTY OF KILKORE
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Thursday, August 29
Dana Bell
Shineberger to Old Beaver Campground, Dubois Ranger District, Targhee National Forest, Idaho
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Thursday, August 29
Dana Bell
LITTLE SHEEP CREEK TO SHINEBERGER
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Tuesday, August 27
Dana Bell
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Monday, August 26
Dana Bell
Camp Life and Lewis and Clark
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Sunday, August 25
Dana Bell
My Tent
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Saturday, August 24
Dana Bell
WILDLIFE DAY
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Thursday, August 22
Dana Bell
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Wednesday, August 21
Dana Bell
Day 22: Bushwhacking by Foot & Horse
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Tuesday, August 20
Dana Bell
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Monday, August 19
Dana Bell
COLD CREEK WATER & MICKEY
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Saturday, August 17
Dana Bell
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Friday, August 16
Dana Bell
FAMILY & HAPPY BIRTHDAY JON
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Monday, August 12
Dana Bell
SCAPEGOAT MOUNTAIN
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Monday, August 12
Dana Bell
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Sunday, August 11
Dana Bell
SENTINEL MOUNTAIN
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Saturday, August 10
Dana Bell
Sentinel Mountain
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Tuesday, August 6
Dana Bell
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Friday, August 2
Dana Bell
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Wednesday, July 31
Dana Bell
Get ready, get set, go!
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Tuesday, July 23
Dana Bell
First Journal Entry
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