What an absolute treat to sleep with the window cracked open, fresh mountain air, and the sounds of birds chirping in the morning. We opted for breakfast 17 miles outside of Steamboat Springs at The Clark Store. A general store for locals, fresh breakfast, great coffee, and a fun mix of locals and travelers. The breakfast burrito was amazing. While lingering over breakfast and looking at routes for today’s drive, I spotted one that would take about an hour longer, but would bring us through Wyoming. If you’ve followed our past travels, you know which route we took!
We drove north on County Road 129, passing through Hahn’s Peak and Iron Mountain. We watched stands of white birch and aspen groves glistening in the warm summer breeze. The first highlight, though, was the sight of sheep on the side of the road, the rancher on horseback at the edge of the woods, and the little lamb who decided to nurse as momma crossed the road.
Suddenly we were looking at a dirt road, but GPS still indicated it was the correct route. I figured we could always turn around if it got too bad. The most glorious 39 miles of the trip so far! I think we saw maybe 10 other drivers along the way. Each one giving a friendly wave as we passed. As we passed into Wyoming, we found ourselves in the Little Snake River Valley. The Snake River Valley was one of my dad’s favorite places. Seemed appropriate we would stumble on the Little Snake River Valley.
When you take the less traveled road, you get to see all sorts of fun things…
My favorite sign of the day was “Drive Slow. Free Range Children.” We crossed in and out of Wyoming and Colorado several times, and eventually stayed on a more western route toward Dinosaur National Monument in Jensen, UT. We even spotted two St. Paul’s Episcopal churches…one in Dickson, a town with population of 97, and the other in Jensen.
The traffic was a a little hard to deal with!
The Dinosaur National Monument was more fun than either of us expected. Seeing an actual archeological dig site, touching dinosaur bones and realizing that dinosaurs really did roam the US millions of years ago brought a new perspective to the day.
We checked into our hotel, relaxed a bit and decided on a place to eat. The smoke from the wildfires burning in the area was a bit thicker than when we’d arrived, and we noticed ash on the car. We were happy to realize the red glow on the way back from dinner was the sun setting and not flames in the distance. Tomorrow we plan to be up and out a bit earlier than usual, and hopefully get into some clearer air and back to blue sky. Our prayers are with all those fighting the fires, those who are being evacuated, and those keeping a close eye on the situation in case they need to evacuate.