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Posts Tagged ‘steinaker state park’

Flashing rays of the morning sun at Steinaker State Park near Vernal, Utah — where dinosaurs once roamed. — Photo by Pat Bean

“Exploration is really the essence of the human spirit.” — Frank Borman

Steinaker State Park

Pepper and me enjoying our morning walk at Steinaker State Park. — Photo by Pat Bean

“I’m fond of camping at state parks. I’ve truly never found one I haven’t liked. I’m also fond of traveling backroads and avoiding major highways and crowds, which you might say is how I ended up during one of my journeys spending a few days at Steinaker State Park near Vernal, Utah.

As far as campgrounds go, it had all the right stuff: a scenic lake setting and an ample tree-shaded campsite. But what made this off-the-beaten-path park special to me was the chance it offered for a bit of solitude among nature’s marvels. As our world population explodes, and more and more people seeking relief from the daily chaos discover the healing powers of Mother Nature, being alone on established trails and in parks has become a rare thing. Although opportunities exist to escape to this country’s true wilderness areas, at my age this has no longer become a viable option.

I wasn’t able to capture the golden eagle that morning, but I thought you would enjoy this Wikimedia photo by Tony Hiigett. I did.

While I wasn’t alone at Steinaker, which sits at an elevation of 5,500 feet, other campers were scattered enough that I seldom saw any of them. This was especially true when I took my early morning walks with Pepper, my canine companion.

The best morning was the one in which I was awoken by a hooting great horned owl, an  a golden eagle, its wings backlit by a rising sun, doing a flyover. It doesn’t get much better than that.

Bean Pat: Interesting Literature http://tinyurl.com/y9fjj7fr  Best poems about identity and self.

Pat Bean is a Lonely Planet Community Pathfinder. Her book, Travels with Maggie, is now up on Amazon at http://tinyurl.com/y8z7553y You can contact Bean at patbean@msn.com  (more…)

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If travel is like love, it is in the end, mostly because it’s a heightened state of awareness, in which we are mindful, receptive, undimmed by familiarity and ready to be transformed. That is why the best trips, like the best love affairs, never really end.” – Pico Iyer, “Why We Travel.”

A view of Steinaker Reservoir through the trees on an early morning hike. — Photo by Pat Bean

Adventures with Pepper: Day Five

            Today’s drive down Highway 40 from Jordanelle State Park to Vernal was one I’d driven quite a few times before. The fact is there are very few roads in Utah that I haven’t driven.

As usual, Pepper is waiting for me to catch up with her. My daily walks with my now nine-month old Scotty-mix puppy help keep this wondering/wandering old broad healthy.

I lived in the state for 25 years, and many were the times an itchy foot would attack me early on a Saturday morning. I would throw a few things in my car, gather up my canine traveling companion, and take off for the weekend. The road was always calling to me as far back as I can remember. After a divorce and after my children had fled the nest, I started answering it back every chance I could.

Highway 40 might haven taken me to Heber, where I might ride the Heber Creeper to Bridal Veil Falls; or to Rockport State Park, where I might set up my tent for the weekend; or to Flaming Gorge, where if I had timed it right, I might watch ospreys feed their chicks.

Highway 40 held the key to many of my memories. There was the tiny town of Myton, which recalled my float trips down the Green River and the rough, unpaved road trip back from the Sand Wash take out to Myton, where civilization began again.

Just past Roosevelt, I thought of the fancy Bottle Hollow Lodge, which I discovered no longer existed. The tourist attraction was a joint business project in the 1970s between the Ute Indians and Utah State University’s Extension Services.

I was working as a writer for USU at the time, and wrote about the venture as part of a marketing campaign. I recalled sleeping one night in the huge round beds that were the standard in the motel’s unique round rooms.

Up the road from where Bottle Hollow had been, there was a neon-lit motel, a bare step above a Motel 6, that now provided passersby overnight accommodations. I was glad I wasn’t stopping there.

I ended my day instead at Steinaker State Park, located just seven miles up Highway 191 from Vernal. It was my virgin visit to the park – and it was awesome.

Book Report: Travels with Maggie, 49,387 words.

The Wondering Wanderer's blog pick of the day. Bean’s Pat: 23 Thorns http://23thorns.wordpress.com/2012/09/16/frog/ Ribbit. A long blog, but I loved it. I was hooked when the writer began to explain why his family wasn’t like other families.

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