Tuesday, May 7, 2019

May 7 – To Dinosaur National Monument

After 5 rather long, for us, driving days we have arrived at our first destination of Dinosaur National Monument in northeastern Utah.

The drive was mostly uneventful with only a few exceptions.

We crossed the border at Sarnia and we picked the worst line to get in. There are only two lines that allow RVs. The one I picked at 3 vehicles ahead of us. I think the border officer spent at least 10 minutes with each vehicle. All the other lines were just speeding through. I wished I could have switched but since we can’t backup that was not possible.

When we finally got to the booth, it was obvious that he was new. There was another officer sitting behind him watching everything that he did. He also asked the strangest questions.

After we handed him our Canadian passports he asked if we were Canadian citizens. He then asked if we were bringing anything back into the USA as though we were returning US citizens. I didn't quite know how to answer that one and just said that the RV was full of our own stuff. Next he asked where we were going and when I replied Idaho he asked why we were going there (us sitting in a large RV). When we said just general exploring and hiking, he asked why, in a tone that made it sound like there could no good reason to go there. After we had told him that we wanted to be in the US for 3 months he asked what jobs we had.  When we said retired (obviously) he still wanted to know what are previous jobs were. After he asked what food we had, he had to call someone to check if it was OK to let us go. But after the longest grilling we have had yet he let us through with out a search of the RV.

The other events were weather related. Friday was a bit gloomy but Saturday was a bright sunny day. It was also sunny on Sunday but as we were driving across Nebraska we noticed some very dark and nasty looking storm clouds north of us. Once we got settled into our Walmart for the night we heard that the stretch of Interstate 80 that we had been on not more than few hours ago was now under a sever thunderstorm and tornado watch. They were recommending that people stay off the highway due to the high winds.

Monday as well was a beautiful sunny day. I didn't see any storm clouds but once again after we settled in our weather radio went off. The alert started as a severe thunderstorm watch with quarter sized hail. Then the alert was upgraded to a tornado watch as a funnel cloud had been spotted. They were telling everyone one in the path to get to a storm shelter. The storm again crossed a section of I-80 that we had driven on less than an hour beforehand. Meanwhile we were sitting in the sun at the Walmart although it was so windy it had me worried about the RV blowing over.

This morning we saw this interesting phenomenon where it is raining but the rain doesn’t make it to the ground before evaporating. I think it is called virga.


We had the best scenery so far once we got off the interstate for the 3 hour drive on smaller, very empty, highways to the monument. Lots of far off views with eroded cliffs.



These secondary road were not in the best shape and it was very windy so it was a rough ride but we finally made it.


We are staying in a no hookup campground in the monument. I took a picture of the campground from a viewpoint above it. The RV is in the red circle.


The first photosphere of the summer.

This may have not been the best idea. The weather for the next few days looks cold and gloomy, with the possibility of snow on Thursday. We will probably move to a campground with hookups to more easily keep warm.

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