Tuesday, September 21, 2021


We stopped in the Helper/Price area of Utah in order to drive through the Nine Mile Canyon petroglyph "outdoor museum"  It contains some of the best preserved examples of Native American petroglyphs starting with the Fremont people in  950 A.D. through more "modern" peoples of the 1600's.    There were initials from the Buffalo Soldiers who built the road, and early settlers.  I had read about in friend's blogs and it's been on my list for quite awhile.

Since we had two days, we took yesterday morning to just relax and enjoy our pretty site and then spent the afternoon just getting to know the area a little.  

our sweet spot in tiny Blue Cut RV (12/23)

One of our favorite things to do is just turn off the pavement and follow an interesting looking dirt road to see where it goes.     Yesterday afternoon we did just that and had a very pleasant afternoon.

 Evidently there had been a pretty good rainstorm here in the last few days and there was plenty of mud in the usually dry stream beds.

   Today we got an earlier start, packed a lunch and headed towards Wellington and the turn off for the Nine Mile Canyon.    The  Canyon drive is actually more like 50 miles long, further if you continue past the end of pavement,  but by the time we got to that point we were both on extreme overload.   Our necks were stiff from craning them to scan the sandstone cliffs, our eyes were tired from looking and looking for images.    Is that a drawing - or is that just a lichen pattern?    Some of the pictographs were close to the road, easy to see and some were high above, binoculars needed high.   Some were extremely clear and some were very faded.    Our minds were numb from seeing people, and animals, and symbols carved into or painted on the sandstone by people over 1000 years ago.   What were they saying, what were they seeing all that time ago?


 The owner of our campground gave me a very rudimentary, barely readable mile marker guide to help us locate some of hundreds of prehistoric petroglyphs and pictographs.    She also gave me her own, personal take on the meaning of some of these strange representations.     While archeologists and historians don't really know the exact meaning of them, she felt strongly that they were pictures of aliens and their crafts as they encountered native animals, snakes, big horn sheep, etc.      She showed me (on her phone) several examples and shared her rational.    Interesting.

We just marveled at them for what they were, windows into the past.


The scenery was astonishing also.   We swiveled back and forth between rock art and the soaring, layered walls of the canyon.    Added to the mix was the fact that most of the way was free range and we needed to be mindful of large, black roadblocks when we were driving and gushy cowpies when we were bushwhacking and not necessarily looking where we were putting our feet.

Our last panel was called The Great Hunt.  It is said to be a representation of a real Big Horn Sheep hunt.

As we were walking to this panel we saw the results of a very recent flood event.   Debris was jammed into all the fences and there was a build up of mud that almost covered a stone bench in front of The Great Hunt.    We were very very glad we hadn't started up the canyon in the rain.......

It's been a wonderful two day stay here, we're so glad we stopped at this out of the way spot.   We're on our way tomorrow, next, a quick stop in Monticello, Utah.

Here is totally unrelated picture for Gramma Pamma.   Lewis performs his patented licky lick procedure on baking dish before it gets officially washed.

Sunday, September 19, 2021


 I forgot to show you one last photo from Henrys Lake.   If you know me, you know that I rarely ever see a sunrise.   I'm sure they're always pretty and I know lots of people enjoy them, I'd just rather sleep!    I did manage to see this one, however, and I loved it.   Henrys Lake saying goodbye!

We stopped in Tremonton, Utah for a few days to explore the huge Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge and do a bit of housekeeping and grocery shopping.    The ever present housekeeping and food shopping.....     

Dave had a serious hankering for a hamburger and french fries....perhaps it was reading Gay's blog that put it in his mind.    No Five Guys in Tremonton or anywhere close so I found a place that I thought would fit the bill.    Peach City Diner in nearby Brigham City.   It was on the way to the Refuge and had outside seating so it was the first stop of our day.

The burgers were delicious as were the fresh cut french fries and homemade fry sauce!   The day was sunny and warm so sitting outside was delightful.

We could see the spire of what we were pretty sure was the Temple, so after lunch we drove down pretty, Sycamore lined Main Street to see it.

We got a real bonus.....We found the Temple, and right across the street stood the beautiful Brigham City Tabernacle, built in 1897.

What beautiful buildings they both were, standing in places of prominence.   I have to admit that we were both drawn to the old Tabernacle rather than the more stark Temple.

After a little stroll around we got back into the Jeep to head for the Wildlife Refuge.

"World's Greatest Wild Bird Refuge"?   I'm not sure.    We stopped at the Visitor's Center and then took the 12 mile auto tour through the marshes and waterways.    

We didn't see many birds other than the normal swallows (zooming around eating the everpresent and annoying midges).    

There were a few white pelicans, and many Western Grebes diving and eating in the deeper waters.  It was fun watching them dive, disappear  and come up with dinner!

We're sorry to say that our visit to the "refuge" was a disappointing one, not because of the wildlife we saw, but disappointing nonetheless.    I'll leave it at that.

Today Dave and Beluga fought the strong winds to get us safely to our next stop in Helper/Price, Utah.

This is the view out my window today - Blue Cut.   Exploring Nine Mile Canyon is on our agenda tomorrow or Tuesday.    Stay tuned. 

Friday, September 17, 2021

Moving along towards home - Montana fun

 Let me say this right off the bat.....I am officially in love with Montana.   It's wide open vistas, mountains, rivers, lakes and forests have swept me away.

Our first stop (sadly, for only one night) was in Three Forks.   As soon as we unhooked and set up we got in the Jeep and went in search of the Headwaters of the Missouri River SP.     We've never gone siteseeing on our arrival day, but we only had that night....   My pictures didn't really show the joining of three rivers into one major one, but we had lots of fun following them to their confluence.   I'd not heard of the Jefferson River, the Madison River or the Gallitan River before nor did we know their importance.   

 We did spend a half hour or so on the shore of the Madison River watching and laughing at two adolescent Bald Eagles trying to fish.   One parent was watching from above, loudly voicing either encouragement or annoyance, we don't know which one.   The pictures aren't good, but you get the idea....

They'd circle around and around before dropping into the shallow, swiftly moving water.   No luck in the fish department and instead of lifting up and flying away, they'd try to swim to the shore, flapping and waving their wings to move forward.    They'd sit together on the stony shore, commiserating probably, before trying again.   

There are a few more interesting places in the area so next time we'll spend a little more time before heading on.

Around lunchtime the following day we pulled into a rest area to eat a quick lunch.  Dave went out to perform his normal walkaround as I prepared our food.    I wondered what was taking him so long, if there was a problem with the Jeep or Beluga.   I went to the door to check and found him standing outside, waiting for me to unlock the door and let him back in.      Hmmmmm.   It wasn't locked.   I couldn't open it from the inside and he couldn't open from the  outside.    He's so calm.....he opened Beluga's outside compartment door, took out his ladder and climbed in the window! we were both locked inside.    He fiddled and wiggled and finally got the door open. the door opened, but wouldn't latch closed.

After we ate and thought a bit, he went back out and fiddled/wiggled/greased/unscrewed/took apart/put back together and managed to get the door to latch, tentatively.


We didn't have very far to drive to our next stop so he was able to lock the lock and bunge the broken latch to the base of my seat (gasp) and we set off again.     It held and we made it to wonderful Henrys Lake State Park.

Due to an error on my part, a lucky error, we got the absolute perfect back in spot overlooking the slough (where moose were perported to frequent).  After all the rigamarole with the door lock earlier that day Dave kindly drove into the site instead of backing in as was intended.    I say - kindly - because it took quite a bit of back and forth to position Beluga in the site backward with enough water hose and electric cord to reach the services.     What a man he is, how lucky am I?    I'm sure he was on his last nerve by that time, but the resulting windshield view was worth it. 

my windshield view

 We had no television so the view became "moose tv" as we spent a fair amount of time in Beluga's front seats watching for one while enjoying the swans, ducks, herons, Sandhill cranes, etc. and the light playing over the mountains.

One afternoon we took the Jeep to investigate nearby Earthquake Lake.    We were both blown away by what we saw and the fact that we'd never heard of it.    In August of 1959 a 7.5  earthquake caused an 80 million ton landslide to race down hill at 100 mph and and completely block the flow of the Madison River in a mere 20 seconds.  The water rose behind the blockage at a rate of 9 feet a day until it formed a 190 foot deep lake.   Twenty eight people were buried under the rubble, unable to get out in time.    I guess the News broadcasts of the day weren't as far reaching as they are today because we, in the east, didn't hear about what was the second largest earthquake in the continental United States in the 20th century.     It's a fascinating story, read more about it and the management that was necessary to keep this lake in it's bounds - if you're interested.

the slide

looking down at the Madison river from the landslide

Quake Lake with the landslide scar and dam

"ghost trees" standing in the lake

We enjoyed stopping to read the plaques placed at different point around the lake and in the surrounding area.    They were so very well done, giving pertinent facts and figures but also telling a very real and emotional story.    

 We saw a sign for the earthquake scarp and turned down a dirt path to investigate.

scarp where the ground dropped almost 22 feet during the quake

Another day we followed  Jodee and Bill's footsteps and took dirt Red Rock Pass Road over the continental divide and into the broad Centennial Valley.    I'm so glad we took their advice - it was a fabulous drive,  even if we did make a wrong move at the end.    (alright, we did ignore a tiny little "dead end sign" but it turned out ok).

so wonderful to see blue sky again

We stopped for lunch alongside pretty Widgeon Pond.   It was absolutely silent and beautiful.   We explored a bit before moving along toward Elk Lake and Hidden Lake.

our lunchtime visitor

driving along Elk Lake

   It was beginning to get late and we had a long drive back the way we came so I thought I'd see if there was a cut across route to shorten it up.   I consulted the Jeep's GPS and saw that there was a perfect road, Culver, that would take us past the other end of Widgen Lake and bring us back out on Red Rock Pass Road - just what I wanted.      Half way along there was this tiny little sign - dead end it said.   Ah well, lets just see, we could always turn around.

Yep, it was a dead end.     Not so much as a dead end as a "bridge out" end.    The little bridge was out (submerged really) about 200 feet away from Red Rock Pass Road!

but the GPS says the road continues!

Dave didn't want to chance this water crossing.....

Back we went.

But, if we had not ignored that little tiny sign, we wouldn't have seen beautiful Picnic Spring.....and a Bald Eagle!

Picnic spring tumbling down from the forest

it's hard to actually see the's that clear

On our last day we didn't want to go far, so we went looking for two nearby lakes.    Wade and Cliff lakes sit on a geologic fault that split and filled with water from deep springs.   Their color is unbelievable, unlike any other fresh water lake we've seen.    They're cold and clear and ringed by evergreen forests.    There are a couple small Forest Service campgrounds on the shores.

On the way there we encountered a formidable road block.    We stood still for at least 5 minutes, waiting for the girls to break up and move on.    One, with a particularly charming nose ring, waddled slowly toward us,  keeping eye contact all the way.   Everyone else walked off, looking over their ample shoulders, but she was curious about our bumper mounted winch.    She carefully sniffed and touched it before satisfying herself that it wasn't all that interesting.    I couldn't get a picture because she was too close!

Cliff Lake

Wade Lake

On our last morning we just hung around, watching for a moose.   It was very windy for our second cup outside and Lewis finally had to turn around and face the wind in order to see anything at all.

he wanted a hair net......

And, finally, on our last day, a huge bull moose sauntered into view - right in front of us.    Here he is!

We're in Trementon, Utah tonight - goodbye beautiful Montana!