Thursday, May 16, 2019

May 16 – Flaming Gorge Dam and Little Hole Trail

We first had a minor crisis to avert this morning.

Jennie and I both had PVRs attached to the Shaw satellite dish. Mine was working before we left and I don’t tend to use it much when we run on batteries. Last week I tried and I just couldn’t get it to recognise that it had a good satellite signal even though Jennie’s (on the same dish) was fine. I thought “Oh well. I don’t watch a lot of TV so I’ll be fine”. Last night Jennie’s decided to bite the dust. I would take forever to boot up and once it did and started to display the TV shows, in about 30 seconds it would freeze. Then a few minutes later it would reset itself. Rinse and repeat.

Now Jennie really likes her shows so looking forward to a summer with no TV was not a pleasant thought for her (or me). Being on the move also made it difficult to even try and get replacements.

I tried a few things but nothing helped. This morning I called Shaw and the very nice and patient guy from Montreal waved some magic commands and got mine working but even after doing a factory reset on Jennie’s we decided that it was truly dead. So what was once mine is now hers.

Today’s original agenda was to go down and check out the Flaming Gorge Dam visitor’s center and then do a portion of the Little Hole Trail that leaves from near there.

Once we got there, we saw that had a free tour of the dam so why not.


There really wasn’t much to the tour. You walk past the giant crane they use to lift the penstock doors up for servicing.


Then out to the middle of the dam to take the elevator down to the bottom.


Walk passed the three giant generators.


Then out along the bottom.


The photosphere.

You can see some food dispensers in the photo above. There is a marmot (I think) that knows about the tours and comes along for a feed.


There is also a school of large fish just below the walkway that have also come to expect a feed every 15 minutes and are a permanent fixture.



Then we just retraced our steps to the visitor’s center.


We drove across the dam to a viewpoint that gave a face on view.


Just down from the viewpoint was the start of the Little Hole Trail. It runs for 7 miles along side the river to a spot called Little Hole. Since fishing if very popular here I assume it is a fishing hole.

The parking is not down at the river. You first have to descend several hundred feet. First we decided to have lunch.



Down some zigzags.



Then a long sloping walk beneath a tall rock wall.


A photosphere.


After our late start and keeping in mind that we would have to climb back up we knew we would not do much of the trail.

Once you get down, the trail is mostly flat along the river’s edge. We probably only walked 1/2 mile downstream.


We turned around and walked passed our climb down trail, continuing upstream towards the dam.

The edge got too narrow in spots so they had to build an artificial path.


Lots of large birds taking advantage of the wind funneling down the canyon.


We passed by this contraption that they use to get to the far side to check on some instruments.



The trail (going this way) ends at a boat ramp.


We watched a bunch of fishermen head off in these pontoons seats.


Beer first, then fishing.


This one had a GoPro on a mast to record the proceedings.


We also watched the soon to be rapid runners heading off.



From here you could either walk up the road or take the more direct route up another path. First there were 100 steps.


Then a steep rocky path through this passage.


And a short traverse before the final climb to a parking lot for the walk back along the road to the car.


And then home.

The tour guide said that they light up the dam at night so we came back to the viewpoint to check it out.



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