|Jone’s Hole & High Uintahs
Trailhead: NAD83 zone 12 664487e 4494449n
Andra came out for a second visit in mid-September.
I was staying in Park Housing at that point with Jeremy and Melissa, so
she drove right to the house instead of me meeting her somewhere. She arrived
early afternoon after leaving early from work. She had cut her hair very
short and it was a shock after 4 years of knowing her with relatively long
hair. She was also fighting a head cold, so was not feeling great. Pizza
was called for, of course, so off to Vernal we went to dine at Five Buck
Pizza where all pizzas are said price. It was good pizza, although a little
heavy on the cheddar cheese. To me, the verdict is still out on cheddar
cheese-topped pizzas. I insisted we stop at the grocery mart for ice cream
so we did. She insisted we stop at the gas station for windshield cleaner,
so we did. It was dark by the time we got back to the house. We watched
Citizen Kane and ate ice cream.
The next morning we left for Jone’s Hole to backpack.
I had camped there only a couple of weeks earlier with Dave, and enjoyed
the place very much. Andra and I had intended on camping there while she
was visiting in August, but there were no more permits left, so we had
to camp elsewhere, which is when we ended up at Crouse Canyon. We had our
permits this time. The road we followed dropped down steeply into Jone’s
Hole where one of the few whirling disease-free national fish hatcheries
is based. They raise trout of different types. We watched a guy throw food
into the water and then watched the water boil with anxious fish snapping
up their ground-up cousins.
We made it to the campground in little time, and
quickly made it up to Butt Dam Falls where Andra proved that you could
indeed dam the waterfall by sitting in the rock channel above it.
Science in action. Hypothesis proven correct.
|We did some aimless hiking around the rocks and
explored more of the Labyrinth. Andra became very tired and I left her
alone to nap while I bushwhacked up the canyon into heavily vegetated deep
crevices carved in the sandstone. I was impressed to find such large Douglas
firs in such a dry region, but there they were, seeming more like the dinosaurs
the park was named after. I found some really entertaining places, but
after an hour felt I should get back to Andra. When I returned, she was
still sleeping, but my appraoch woke her up. It had clouded up and sprinkled
a bit while I was gone. We walked back to camp and went to bed shortly
next day we left camp early, and encountered a herd of around 30 bighorn
sheep just off the trail. We stayed and watched for a bit until a big ram
came walking resolutely right down to the cliffside to where I was standing.
When he got to within 30 feet or so, we left. After we completed the trail,
we drove up north into the Uintah mountains. It clouded up for a few hours,
but then the sun came out again. We stopped and hiked around a beaver pond
and into a beautiful aspen forest (more aspen in one place than I’d ever
seen). Our hiking wasn’t very serious, and we had no destination overall.
We just stopped at anything that looked interesting, and walked around
a bit. One of the places we stopped was the area where I had camped during
fire school. I was disappointed to see that they had never set the prescribed
burn we had dug line for. Perhaps the fire season was too intense to have
time for that burn. It was a nice afternoon. When the sun was out the golden
aspen leaves were brilliant against the blue sky. Unfortunately the demands
of work forced us to cut short our carefree exploration of the Uintahs.
We stopped at a Mexican restaraunt on the west side of Vernal that turned
out to be not so great. Back at the house, we hiked in the dusk around
the park housing area and climbed the rock formations to the south.
Andra stayed another night at the house, feeling
worse than before. The following morning we took a short hike around to
the north of the housing area, but she was feeling so terrible it wasn't
very long before we were back inside. She took a nap, then had to leave
for the Fort.
Imagery from this, and other, trip locations is
available for sale in the Utah album at