It’s been a crazy last 24 hours! After writing our blog posts from Echo Park last night we started getting ourselves ready for bed. Since we’re not really campers we really didn’t know what we were doing, but we did manage to improvise a pretty good evening. One of the highlights was warming up brats over a campfire. It actually worked remarkably well. I’m pretty sure that’s going to be a go-to camping meal in the future. The toasted marshmallows between two chocolate chip cookies were also pretty tasty.
Zoe and I stayed up pretty late alternating between watching the fire and watching the stars come out. It was pretty amazing to be able to see so many stars and planets above us. We even spotted a satellite zooming across the sky. As for sleeping, I was pretty much out all night. Remembering the sleeping pads was a good move. I think we made pretty good selections on tents and bags as well. Everything was pretty quick to set up/tear down and kept us plenty warm.
This morning we started the day of with cold & dry cereal, granola bars, and applesauce before heading to the Confluence Trail. Our original plan had been to hike a loop along the river, up through a canyon, across a plateau, and back down the road we originally came in on. Unfortunately about three miles in we came across a stream that we decided we’d rather not attempt to cross. We took a short break and then doubled back the way we came from.
With rain approaching I was a bit nervous about making it out before the storm hit so we piled into Fred. Once again he proved his worth he made the 13 mile climb out along dirt/rock roads with no trouble. Since it was still relatively early in the day we journey the the northernmost point on the East side of Dino NM, Harper’s Corner. A quick hike to a pinnacle brought amazing views over Echo Park as well as to the West. We enjoyed a traditional hiking lunch of pbj and cheetos before heading south and then west.
While researching the trip I didn’t focus much at all on the more touristy portions of the parks and monuments since they’re usually pretty easy to figure out. In fact I hadn’t looked into the dinosaur parts of Dinosaur NM at all. We all were absolutely blown away by the dinosaur quarry. I had no idea how many fossils there would be collected in one place. The geologic history of how they all ended there was also pretty interesting. Definitely worth a stop if you’re ever in the neighborhood.
By this point in the day we were all getting pretty anxious to jump in a pool and/or enjoy an adult beverage. We once again piled in Fred and made a quick trip to Vernal, UT. We all enjoyed a swim, drink, and complimentary popcorn. It seemed like a perfect night to enjoy dinner in the hotel and luckily there was a Cafe Rio just minutes away. Just a few more things to finish up getting ready for tomorrow now and we’ll spend the rest of the evening chillin at the Holidae In.