Favorite Travel Quotes

"Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts."
-- Mark Twain
Innocents Abroad

"Stop worrying about the potholes in the road and celebrate the journey." -- Fitzhugh Mullan

"A good traveler has no fixed plans and is not intent on arriving." -- Lao Tzu

Exploring Dinosaur National Monument

Bert Gildart: About five years ago, Janie and I completed a Falcon Guide book for Dinosaur National Park. At first, the book sold well, but then the park had to close the Quarry Center because of a bad foundation. Recently Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar announced a $13.1 million investment to demolish and replace condemned portions of the Quarry Visitor Center, and they now anticipate a reopening by summer of 2011.


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That sounds like a long way away, but not if you want to float one of the monument’s two famous rivers, the Green and the Yampa, for reservations must be made well in advance. In fact, river boat explorations are one of the major reasons to visit the park, but there’s lots more, to include visiting the park’s major petroglyph sites and hiking all the wonderful trails. What’s more, you can still see dinosaur remains in a temporary museum. In other words you can see and do everything this wonderful monument offers, though granted right now you can more fully experience the rivers.

As part of our research for the guide books, we floated them both. On our own, we floated the Green – that was an adventure. The other, the Yampa, we floated with Hatch Expeditions. If you want to float these rivers, you need to begin making plans now, and to give you a sense of some of the excitement we experienced, here is an excerpt from our book, and it took place just below the Gates of Lodor through the exact same section where John Wesley Powell lost his boat. The famous one-armed Civil War survivor was on a survey mission for the government.

FROM OUR BOOK

…Half an hour later we realized we could procrastinate no longer. We shoved our 14-foot raft into the river—and almost instantly were locked in the river’s brawn.

I wish before we had departed home that I had done more push-ups or lifted more weights. Or that my last rafting experience had not been several years ago. What followed was a series of mistakes executed with precision that were a marvel to behold. In fact, you can use my performance as an example of what you should not do.

Immediately, we broadsided the same rock the ranger (he’d just proceeded us) had so easily shipped. Then, as I attempted to push off with the oar, the boat shot forward knocking the oar from my hand and into the water. You should never allow that to happen.


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Just before the oar shot past the boat’s bow, Janie managed to reach out and snatch it from a watery fate. Thrusting it toward me I desperately returned the oar pin to its lock. But during those few moments we had paid a price, for now the boat careened—utterly out of control.

Ultimately, the fates waxed kindly, but not without first presenting a series of challenges. Although I had committed two major blunders in rapid succession, I recovered and had the finesse to pull with my left arm and push with my right just as we slammed onto yet another rock, my actions whipping the raft from that rock and back into the current, which immediately thrust us onto yet another rock.

And now, our raft had begun to fill with water.

WE’D BECOME ONE WITH THE WATER

Our boat is a bucket boat—one that you must bail yourself—and Janie attempted to do just that. But we were floating through powerful waves and our descent down this maelstrom was less than ideal. More water swallowed our boat until we were almost bathing in it. But though we were now in the midst of Upper Disaster, we actually wallowed through—certainly not with grace or dignity—but rather because we had become as one with the water!



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Beautiful Echo Park, once a rallying cry for conservationists.

 

Four days later we completed our float down the Green, but decided we’d leave our float down the Yampa to the professionals, and so we joined up with Hatch Expeditions.  They made it all seem easy.

THIS REMOTE PARK HAS IT ALL

Should you decided you want to see this incredible park that links two states, that contains incredible geology, petroglyphs, wonderful camping and bewildering rivers, one of which John Wesley Powell once floated, we can make it easy. Dinosaur is one of those remote and much overlooked parks and you can still see the park’s dinosaur collection. You can buy Exploring Dinosaur by contacting us. Or you can purchase it through either Amazon or through Falcon. Either way, we’ll appreciate your business.


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THIS TIME THREE YEARS AGO:

*Lessons From Cades Cove

ADS FROM GOOGLE AND AMAZON AUGMENT OUR TRAVEL:




 



One Response to “Exploring Dinosaur National Monument”

  1. tom palesch Says:

    WHOA! Great grab Janie. Reading your blogs, it sounds as if Janie is your guardian angel, except for moose encounters! I like your move on the second float trip. When in doubt, use professional services. Especially when there are few options when things go wrong. Sorta like flying!

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