Sunday, August 05: Flaming Gorge to Jackson
A lot more nothing
We went to bed around 9:30 last night. As in many previous nights in the tent, I just could not get comfortable. I don’t know if it is the sleeping pad, or the cocoa, but I was wide awake until after midnight.
I find nothing quite as frustrating as being tired, trying to sleep, and being unable to. This isn’t the first time on this trip that this has happened. We are camping for about a week in Yellowstone. I hope this pattern doesn’t continue there.
We had breakfast, broke camp, loaded up the car, and headed out. But we didn’t go far. We went to the dam’s visitor’s center, and went on the dam tour. In what seemed ridiculous, we had to go through airport type security. I couldn’t take my tiny pocket knife or my camera bag.
The Flaming Gorge dam is a thin-walled concrete arch dam. It is about 450 feet above the water on the downstream side. Particularly with the railings the height didn’t bother me. For comparison, Angel’s landing was three times higher with no railings.
They had a picture of a guy, during the construction, walking out on one of the cables they used to haul concrete buckets. It was unbelievable. They guy is walking on one thick cable, covered in grease, inspecting it. He has two other cables a few feet higher to hang on to. He is probably 500 feet in the air, and he is not clipped in. That is, he is not attached to any of the cables. If he were to slip and not catch himself (remember he is walking on a greased cable), he would fall 500 feet to certain death. (This was before OSHA.) I find the whole situation mind-boggling.
We went down into the dam, out through the turbine room, and out by the outflow. Then we spent some time feeding the huge trout that live there. They are particularly big because they can’t be fished that close to the dam.
Then we hit the road. The road goes up and down past the lake. It looks like a great lake for boating and maybe for fishing.
We continued north until we hit I-80 at Rock Springs. That was a fairly big place, so we stopped for lunch. Then we continued north on 191, which pretty much goes straight from Dinosaur to the Tetons.
North of I-80, the land becomes totally flat and boring. There was a whole lot of nothing in that stretch.
At Pinedale, which was an amazingly big place (the first halfway decent sized place we found north of the interstate), we stopped at an outdoors store, and I bought a new air mattress (Big Agnes) to see if that would allow me to sleep better in Yellowstone.
Then we continued up to Jackson. I thought that we would have to go over big mountains to get there, but the road followed river valleys, and we didn’t have any high passes.
At Jackson, we found a hotel room and moved pretty much all of our stuff in there. We wanted to clean out the car and get our food in order, because of the bear situation in Yellowstone, and because we’re camping.
Right now we have two loads of laundry in the wash. After they cycle through the drier, it will be time for dinner.
We went to a BBQ place for dinner. Then we reorganized things to put all of the food together (so that we could put it into bear-proof containers), then went to bed.