Jensen, Utah

Good morning, my friends. We crossed over into Utah yesterday afternoon. We'll be heading back across the state line into Colorado for today's activities, but it doesn't change the fact that we're one state closer to home. 

As I mentioned in yesterday's post, it was a slow morning since our day of driving would be short. I spent some time working on my slow stitching, and made a little more progress.

The kitties enjoyed a slow morning too. Smitty snoozed beside me while I did my stitching.

Sadie enjoyed her morning from her window hammock. Please do not disturb.

As we drove out of Kremmling, I noticed this bank building with a quilt block.

The wind was blowing hard. And since it's Memorial Day weekend, what better example of the force of wind than our own stars and stripes.

There were only a couple of options for fuel in Kremmling, and we chose the last station along our way. There happened to be a barn right there.

It was a mostly gray day of driving with just a few sun breaks.

We drove up and over the top of the mountains, hitting snow at around the 8,000 foot level. Aspens were growing on the hillside thicker than hair on a dog's back. They're just now starting to leaf out.

As we crested the summit, we could see the road ahead and this green valley below.

There were plenty of barns along our way. This part of Colorado is sparsely populated, and the folks who live here are cattle and sheep ranchers.

We passed through Steamboat Springs, known colloquially as "The Boat." It's located in a part of Colorado we've never visited before. Yeah, don't ask me about the "sold" sign there. I'm thinking it's somebody's idea of a joke.

Steamboat Springs is the county seat of Routt County, and so we passed by the county courthouse. This was all I could see of it as we drove by.

I found this image online.

(Image credit: "Routt County Courthouse." by Jeffrey Beall is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0.)

Of course, Steamboat Springs is a ski resort, and mainly powered by tourism. Notably, Steamboat Springs has produced more athletes for the Winter Olympics than any other town in North America. The town is located in the upper valley of the Yampa River, along U.S. Highway 40, just west of the Continental Divide and Rabbit Ears Pass. I loved all the historic buildings we saw as we drove through the main part of town.

The area surrounding Steamboat Springs was originally inhabited by the Yampatika band of the Utes, who hunted in the valley during the summer. Trappers began to move through the area during the first decades of the 19th century. James Harvey Crawford, the founder of Steamboat Springs, first arrived in the spring of 1874. The Crawford family moved there in 1876, and for the first five years were the sole permanent caucasian residents of the town. The native Utes were forcibly removed from the area to a reservation in Utah by the U.S. Army starting in 1879. 

Steamboat is home to several natural hot springs that are located throughout the area. Upon first hearing a chugging sound, early trappers believed that a steamboat was coming down the river. When the trappers saw that there was no steamboat, and that the sound was coming from a hot spring, they decided to name the spring Steamboat Spring.

Originally, skiing was the only method of transportation during harsh and snowy Rocky Mountain winters. In turn, the popularity of skiing as a winter pastime catalyzed development of the town and other communities all over the Rocky Mountains. 

In 1913, Carl Howelsen, a Norwegian, moved to town and introduced ski jumping. Howelsen built the first jump on Howelsen Hill, now part of the Howelsen Ski Area. He also founded the annual Winter Carnival, a celebration still held each winter. The festival includes ski racing and jumping, dog sledding, and chariot events down the city's main street. Howelsen also founded the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club and built the town's first ski jumps. The oldest continually operating ski area in North America, Howelsen Hill, now bears his name and is one of just three complete ski jumping complexes in the United States.

After passing through Steamboat Springs, we saw more barns.

We also passed through the village of Maybell, Colorado. The town, founded in the 1880s, was named after May Bell, the wife of a local cattleman. It currently consists of a meat processing plant, general store with gas pumps, a garage, an elementary school, a residential hotel, a restaurant, a post office, and some housing. 

There wasn't much to see in Maybell, but I mentioned it here because the coldest ambient air temperature ever recorded in the state of Colorado was −61 °F (−52 °C) at Maybell on February 1, 1985. Brrrrrrrrrr.

Just after passing through Maybell, we saw an antelope pair. I hoped we'd see more, but only these two showed themselves.

We were just a few miles away from our final destination when we crossed the state line into Utah.

Looking to the north, we could see Dinosaur National Monument. The national monument spans two states.

We crossed over the Green River.

And we passed this structure just before turning into the RV park. I got a chuckle from the mailbox. It doesn't look to me as if anyone has occupied the home for a long, long time.

And so we find ourselves in Jensen, Utah, this morning. Jensen was first settled in 1877 and named for Lars Jensen, an early prospector and ferryman. Today its main importance is as the Utah entrance to Dinosaur National Monument, and that is our sole reason for stopping here.

It rained off and on for the remainder of the day and into the night. This morning we're looking at clear skies and sunshine for exploring the Harpers Corner Scenic Drive. Beginning at the Canyon Visitor Center in Dinosaur, Colorado, we'll drive the paved 31-mile (50 km) road to the end. From there, we'll decide whether to take the 2-mile round trip hike on Harpers Corner Trail. We have a full day of activities planned for the day. We're happy for the good weather.

Just now, it's time for our Sunday morning pancakes. It's going to be a good day. Tomorrow we'll continue on our journey home, spending one more night in Utah before crossing the state line into Idaho the next day. In addition to today's activities, we have just one more sight-seeing stop at Idaho's Shoshone Falls before reaching the end of the line at the Three Cats Ranch.


Barbara said...

I don't know about one moment that has pivoted my career. I do know that one thing that hit me and made me take a few steps back was a year at Steamboat. ~ Cody Johnson

dgs said...

What a beautiful drive, once again. That old home with the mailbox is a bit bizarre. Good photo catch! Have you been to Horseshoe Bend National Park? You are quite close. We've been very close, but have never had time. Still on our bucket list. Sounds like you are quite close to home. May the rest of your adventure be filled with good weather, beautiful scenery and safe travels. Great trips are always best remembered, once back home!

Karrin Hurd said...

Great scenery. I love the old barns!

karen said...

mailbox... fire hydrant. Looks like were in prime urban area.

piecefulwendy said...

In all the times we've been to Colorado, we haven't been to Steamboat, so it's fun to see your take on it. You had some pretty views along the way!

Magpie's Mumblings said...

Wonderful barns! And I too had a giggle over the modern mailbox.