brdgt: (Mrs. Robinson Closer)
[personal profile] brdgt
When we drove back to Wisconsin last summer, after apartment hunting, we briefly stopped at Dinosaur National Monument and knew we had to go back - so that's what I asked for for my birthday :)

We left Thursday night and spent the first night at a campground near the Visitor Center - convenient to get started the next day. Sadly, the park rangers were not as useful with back country advice as we've experienced in the past, but we were able to put together a nice weekend, including several hikes, an amazing drive, and the best backcountry site you could ask for.

Seriously, when people say Zion is their favorite Utah national park I am starting to think they are oncrack.

The Mitten Park Fault - our view after we hiked out to a beach on the Green River:

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Happy campers:

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The view of the Mitten Park Fault and Steamboat Rock from 2,500 above. It's hard to tell, but the Yampa River (which you can see a little of in the center of the photo) is actually meeting the Green River (which you can see more clearly on the right side) behind Steamboat Rock, even though those rocks look continuous.

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Lots of abandoned (and not abandoned) ranches:

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Our campsite at Ruple Point. No complaining allowed:

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Split Mountain dominates the center of the park. The Green River splits the mountain (which is the far eastern edge of the Uintas - the highest east-west mountain range in the lower 48) in half lengthwise - so, you can see how each side would match up with each other by matching the geologic layers.

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Dinosaur National Monument is named for the massive Dinosaur quarry formed by a "log jam" of dinosaur bones that then fossilized and folded on it's side, preserving many specimens that are usually found flattened.
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There are also many Fremont Petroglyphs.

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This is the only place one can find Fremont lizard petroglyphs.

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Seriously, if you want beautiful scenery, quiet, space, and variety I highly suggest this gem. We are already planning our next trip there to see the northern side of the Green River and explore some slot canyons.

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Date: 2014-06-10 01:31 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] loreofcure.livejournal.com
I just love all your camping pictures. They keep getting more and more dramatic in terms of sweeping views. I mean, criminy!

Date: 2014-06-10 02:34 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] brdgt.livejournal.com
I thought of you when we were there - "I wonder if Miranda thinks we are hunting a bison right now..."

This place really takes the cake for those views - I really wish I had a camera that could capture them better, especially the colors.

Date: 2014-06-10 03:05 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] astronautical.livejournal.com
SO lovely. I am SO in love with your backcountry camping adventures.

Date: 2014-06-10 03:10 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] brdgt.livejournal.com
Thank you - so are we :)

Date: 2014-06-10 04:37 pm (UTC)
mizrobot: (Chunky Rice)
From: [personal profile] mizrobot
Man, you make me want to visit Utah!

What do you do for food when you backpack? Curtis really wants to get into it, and he doesn't want to buy the gross dehydrated meals from REI that cost a fortune or subsist on Clif bars. Any suggestions, websites you use etc?

Date: 2014-06-10 05:19 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] brdgt.livejournal.com
You know, I tried making some of my own meals but the extra weight just wasn't worth it to me. I made the mistake of doing that for a four day trip in Yellowstone and my pack was so heavy I almost tipped over several times fording streams. Bear canisters are quite small too, so size matters.

To be honest, you are so hungry after hiking 10 miles with a 50 pound pack, it could be cat food and it would taste delicious - although there are some freeze dried meals that are better than others (stick to simple ones that don't have too many ingredients - Nick likes the pasta style ones and I like spicy ones so I can taste some flavor - just discovered the sweet and sour pork and enjoyed it). Consider clean up - cheesy ones are hard to clean and you need to limit food waste if bears are around, even dish water. Also, you'd be surprised how expensive making your own meals can get!

That being said, I would like to try again, especially since I need to get a food dehydrator for the apricots in the back yard.

For lunches we do tortillas and peanut butter - good calories and lightweight/compact for packing (Nick ran into two grad students in Yosemite out collecting data for three months - they were subsisting almost entirely on tortillas and peanut butter). Snacks are beef jerky, swedish fish (don't do chocolate - it melts), and trail mix (if you can get fruit mixes with dried strawberry? Mmmmmmm). I also bring gels when I need extra energy/caffeine (although I always bring coffee - Starbucks Via packets are great for that).

Date: 2014-06-10 05:30 pm (UTC)
mizrobot: (Chunky Rice)
From: [personal profile] mizrobot
Yeah, I was thinking that it sounds like a bit of a pain in the ass to make your own meals and our cheapo dehydrator is essentially a hair dryer with some trays attached so I'm not sure how ambitious you can get, but Curtis is into it as a PROJECT. I probably won't get to go this year because we don't have the same days off together and my PTO is tapped out, so I'm just kinda like whatever. Was curious what other people do though. Thanks for the info!

Date: 2014-06-10 05:51 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] brdgt.livejournal.com
Ah, I see. I think that thinking of it as a project is actually the way to go, then it's more about enjoying the fruits of your labor! I will obviously keep LJ posted if I end up trying it again :)

Date: 2014-06-10 06:53 pm (UTC)
mizrobot: (Chunky Rice)
From: [personal profile] mizrobot
Curtis wants to make a test meal this week I think, so I'll let you know how it goes. :)

Date: 2014-06-10 05:41 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] pot-t-mouth.livejournal.com
That fault is so gorgeous!

Date: 2014-06-10 05:50 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] brdgt.livejournal.com
I think it was my favorite part of the trip - I could have stared at it for hours as the light changed.

A lot of the landscape there you have to imagine as actually on it's side due to all the uplift and folding!

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