July 26-29, 2012 – Flaming Gorge National Recreation Area, UT (continued)



Thursday we spent most of the day relaxing at the 5th wheel and getting caught up on some chores.  After lunch we took a tour of the Flaming Gorge Dam.   Construction of Flaming Gorge Dam, as part of the Colorado River Storage Project (CRSP), began in June 1958 with the last bucket of concrete placed on November 15, 1962.   On December 10, 1962, the waters of the Green River began filling the reservoir behind Flaming Gorge Dam and nearly a year later on September 27, 1963, President John F. Kennedy initiated the first power generation at Flaming Gorge Power plant. President Kennedy agreed to return the next year to dedicate the dam, but as we all know, he was assassinated a few weeks later. The dam was dedicated on August 17, 1964, by First Lady, Claudia “Lady Bird” Johnson.  The power plant is now operated by Western Area Power Authority and the electricity generated is used by the Western states.  We were fortunate to be the only people on this tour so we got a more personal tour with Fran, our tour guide.  Fran’s father worked at the dam and we enjoyed her stories about growing up around the dam (the dam was her playground).


The tour continued onto a catwalk along the base of the dam where we were able to see many fish swimming around the outlet.  Fran threw in a handful of fish food and a feeding frenzy ensued.

  





This marmot was enjoying a rest in the shade.  Fran said the dam workers and tour guides feed this marmot, his mother and siblings so they are almost pets.  Of course, there was a sign posted that said you should NOT feet the animals.

 
This was a very interesting and informative tour and we certainly enjoyed talking with Fran.



Friday we took the kayaks on the Green River from the dam to Little Hole Landing, about a 7 mile trip.  This was by far the most challenging river we have kayaked – classified as a Class III- section of the Green River.   The rapids were the biggest we have encountered and we had to stop several times and empty the water out of our kayaks.  After surviving one challenging rapid where waves rolled over the front of our kayaks, we had about 2-3 inches of water in the bottom of our kayaks.  It took a while to get all this water out using our sponges – we need to carry something to bale water if we continue doing rivers like this.  Unfortunately we did not get any pictures of the rapids as we were too busy dodging rocks, trying to keep the kayaks going straight into the waves and keeping the camera dry.  The scenery was beautiful as we started our trip.




Entering Red Canyon we encountered a small rapid that did not prepare us for the larger ones farther into the canyon.


 






 
Rex is getting ready to start down river.






 Nancy is eager to get started but a little apprehensive about what we are going to experience down river.




  


 

These three fishing gnomes were busy catching their dinner.  The third gnome in the middle is hidden by the tree branch.  

 





A doe and her two fawns were getting a drink when we came by.  The doe had already started up the mountain but her two fawns were very interested in watching us pass by before they also ran up the mountain side.

We made it to Little Hole Landing safe and sound although a little wet.  What a great ride on a beautiful river.  We enjoyed this trip very much but don’t think we want to try anything more challenging than a class III- rapid.

 Saturday we spent the day relaxing and taking care of some chores around the 5th wheel.


Sunday, we celebrated our 23rd wedding anniversary by kayaking on Flaming Gorge Reservoir.  We put in at the Cedar Springs Marina and paddled along the shoreline.  We paddled under this bridge into a beautiful side canyon.


  




The side canyon went back almost a mile and had some beautiful rock formations.   


 We paddled to the end of the canyon where Cart Creek flows into the reservoir.  After leaving this canyon we paddled around a couple of small islands and then headed back to the marina.  The weather was beautiful and we had a great time. 

We also celebrated with a great dinner at the Flaming Gorge Resort.

We really enjoyed our time here at Pine Forest Park.  We hiked with the dogs to the reservoir overlook every day and saw deer almost every time.  We also saw deer in and around the campground every day – like this one that was feeding on the apricot tree in the park managers front yard.


 Tomorrow we are heading to Bear Lake on the Utah/Idaho border where we will stay at Apple Garden Park which is another park in the Camperworld membership park system.









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