We found a place to drop off most of our recycling, which isn’t always easy to do on the road. National Parks tend to have it for aluminum and “tin” cans and plastic bottles of things like water and soda. Most can’t take bigger items like laundry bottles or other plastics like salad boxes. Utah doesn’t even try to recycle any plastic right now.
We drove around the south side of Salt Lake City on our way to try to see the wild horses. Sadly, all we could find was some very sweet cows. My “Grandaddy” would have loved them; he always had the sweetest heifers. We gave up on finding the feral horses when the road got too rough for us to keep going it alone.
On the way there, though, we saw some elk. And right after, we saw an antelope looking critter.
Afterward, we headed to Donkey Tails Cantina (next door to the GuadalaHonkys, across the street from GoodWood BBQ, and down the way from Leatherheads sportsbar; SLC is funny!) We then moved on in the direction of our campground and had dinner at Bout Time, and then stopped again at a very cool place. Stockman’s bar has really cool old architecture, and a collection of mini bottles from all over the world from when they were not yet legal in Utah. We met a guy playing himself in pool. I played a game with him and learned a lot; he’s a good teacher. And it must have paid off because I won the second game with an amazing-for-me three-sink finish.
We drove a lot today.
- Mantua Reservoir
- Zootah* – a tiny little zoo of what seemed like mostly rescued animals.
- We saw: birds (including some -of prey and lots of ducks), monkeys, lemurs, foxes, turtles, elk, a reindeer with OCD, an emu, goats with long ears, a bunny, and a funny snake.
- We didn’t get to see: the lynx or the coyote; nocturnal little bastards.
- Cache National Forest and Unita-Wasatch-Cache National Forest – where there are many campgrounds; we saw fish, horses, and cows.
- Bear Lake – there is a “tide” of constant waves. We saw a reference to it being the Carribean of Utah, which fits. And, the lake changes colors with it’s “mood” (which is really the weather, but it’s still cool to learn about).
- Garden City (and Rendezvous Beach) – Garden City is con-ser-va-tive, so we bolted. And the staffer on duty at the Rendezvous Beach campground was rude AF! They blocked the I-didn’t-mean-to or it’s-too-expensive turnaround…and then got mad at us #AsIf there is another way to turn around. Jerk.
- Ricks Spring – this turn out gave us a “what was that?” moment on the way to the lake, so we found it on the way back. It’s totally worth the stop, but a lack of signage makes it hard to stop in time. Thank you Google Maps for the interest point.
- Utah State’s Brigham City campus – orientation or the campus activities fair or something. There was a huge line of students waiting to get into a diamond jewelry store, so I wonder what they were giving away. Probably an engagement ring for the 20 year old guys to give their 18 year old girlfriends.
- On the next part of our drive, I saw a herd of sheep.
- B&B Billards for pizza and beer – the only bar in the area of few drinkers…and where all the non-LDSers hang out.
drive to Vernal, UT – (Dinosaur National Monument – west side)
After Dinosaur west, we are dipping down into Moab to go to Arches. So, rather than the faster route Google suggested, we took the northern one….and wow was that a good choice! It was not an easy drive at all, but it was gorgeous for the vast majority of the drive. And we saw a MOOSE jump a fence. He makes a teensy weensy appearance in the video below from our dash cam.
We couldn’t stop much at all and it was a dreary day (with some rain), so the pics are a little dull from the windshield/windows. And of course, pics do not do justice to the gorgeous nature. (I punched a few just a bit to make them look more like it did in real life.)
Dinosaur National Monument straddles the Utah/Colorado border. The west side has a fabulous exhibit center including fossils you can touch! I learned how cool it is from RVMiles and their dinosaur-loving kiddo.
We stayed in Vernal, near both Dinosaur National Monument (cool) and Dinosaurland (for little kids, not cool). It also happened to the the Dino Soar Festival. (Honestly, how do we get this lucky?) They had two hot air balloons*, a small street fair, and a stage.
Our trip to the west side of the Dinosaur National Monument was fabulous. There was hardly anyone there. We toured the Visitors Center and the Quarry Exhibit Hall without having to interact much with anyone. It was quiet and peaceful and lovely. We were even able to drop off some of our recycling.
The Quarry Exhibit Hall is ah-may-zing! RV Miles described it best, so instead of words, I’ll share a few of our pictures.
After touching some dino bones, we took the Auto Tour to see other key features of the monument, like petroglyphs and an hold homestead. We picnicked at a campground near the boat launch for the Green River. (Another campground near this spot was also quite lovely and if we ever come back here, that’s where I want to try to stay, now that we have solar!)
We also took part of a 4×4 road and found even more beautiful stuff to see. The landscape here changes dramatically from one mile to the next. At one point, we were looking at red/orange/yellow rocks, with white/purple/gray ones in the background, a blue sky overhead, and green hills behind us. It was like standing inside a rainbow.
What a big day that sounds little. We went to see the Moonshine Arch. It has a new entrance, so the map/info is incorrect. It looks like you can drive close to it. You can, in a side-by-side or smaller, but we didn’t want to take those risks with the Jeep. The signs claim it’s a 3/4mile “walk” from the parking lot to the arch. Not hardly! The distance might be correct, but it’s in a different direction than the map indicates, and it’s a hike with quite a bit of elevation gain. Even All Trails has this one incorrect in a couple of ways. It was very pretty and I’m glad we did it, but it was hard.
We stopped by the rig to freshen up and headed into town for less-than-mediocre steak dinner and the second day of Dino Soar Days. We missed day one (and the hot air balloons) because we forgot.We wandered through the tail end (when most vendors were closing down) and deduced that we didn’t miss much. After dinner, we walked over to the main stage for the fest so we could see the Budweiser Clydesdales. After the big hike in the heat, that wiped us out, so we headed back to the rig to upload stuff and to prep for another travel day. We then attended a campground (kids) movie that we like: Zootopia.
* so our travel day will be on the next post, but I have to say that one of the hot air balloons drives like an asshole. More on that, later.