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MONDAY - Today's route was only 66-miles long, but we managed to squeeze a little drama out of it anyway.

After a failed short detour to mail out a package today (the Post Office was closed for the Juneteenth Federal Holiday) we got back on track and started heading north.

After leaving Jensen, UT (where Dinosaur National Monument is) the first town we traveled through was Vernal, UT just 13.5 miles west on US-40.

They sure do like their dinosaurs here in Northestern Utah.

It was in Vernal where we turned right and headed due north on US-191. This road will take us right to the entrance of Cedar Springs Campground just 39.5-miles from here.

It was about 20-miles up this stretch of road where we met with the "perfect storm" of road conditions that had us pulling off the road to give ROVER a rest.

When I say "perfect storm" I mean first the air temps today are in the upper 80°Fs. When you factor in a 5.5-mile stretch of road that is "continuously" gaining nearly 1700' in elevation with 6-8% road grades it's not a good situation.

It's nothing that ROVER hasn't handled before, but the clincher is we were trapped behind an 18-wheeler that was struggling to maintain a 20MPH speed going through all the switchbacks. Each time there was a passing lane all the single cars and trucks were quick to pass us by. Once they had cleared the passing opportunity was over.

I was diligently monitoring the transmission temperature as I always do during a long climb, but neglected to watch the engine temperature. ROVER has a built-in safety feature that when the engine gets too hot it puts the truck in "limp mode" and won't allow it to go any faster that 25MPH.

Luckily we were only .5-mile from the summit when this occured and we "limped" into the Scenic Overlook pullout. Thirty minutes later ROVER was feeling better and we proceeded "down" the road to our destination.

A rare section of downhill roadway on today's drive.

Waiting at the Overlook for ROVER to "cool off".

After the summit it was all downhill to the campground.

Our campsite is somewhere down by that bridge.

Immediately after disconnecting and getting setup in our campsite, I drove into the small town of Dutch John, UT in search of a gallon of Radiator Coolant. I found out up here they call it Antifreeze, that's what I get for growing up in Florida.

Tricia stayed behind and finished setting up the interior of THE POD for our brief 2-night visit here. We'll go check out the nearby Flaming Gorge Dam tomorrow.

Our pullthrough site made quick work of disconnecting and we found it to be perfectly level.

All we had to do was raise up the front a little and we were all done.

We have a slightly obstructed view of the Flaming Gorge Reservoir from our picnic table.

TUESDAY - We waited around THE POD until late morning today before heading out to explore the Flaming Gorge Dam's Visitor Center.

Before reaching the dam we had to cross over Cart Creek Bridge. This bridge was completed in 1962, a full two years before the dam was completed. So for those two years (1962-63) this massive bridge crossed high above a tiny little creek. Today however, after the completion of the dam and the creation of the Flaming Gorge Reservoir, it now allows passage over a wide and deep river.

After crossing over Cart Creek Bridge, or maybe a more appropriate name today would be the Cart Creek Bay Bridge, we were only ¾-mile from the Flaming Gorge Visitor Center.

Inside of the Visitor Center I got my Passport Book stamped before we watched a documentary film filled with original footage of the dam being constructed. There was even a segment featuring President John F Kennedy ceremoniously "hitting the button" to start the massive generator that would create the hydro-electricity here for the first time.

That ceremony took place on September 27, 1963. Who knew that less than two months later on November 22, 1963 President Kennedy would be assassinated. First Lady, Claudia “Lady Bird” Johnson, would later offically dedicate the Flaming Gorge Dam on August 17, 1964.



A view of the backside of the dam from the Visitor Center parking lot.

One of the huge "lift towers" used in the construction of the dam.

This dam you're actually allowed to drive over. Here we are about halfway.

Pass the edge of the dam there was still a lot of road to be constructed.

Here you can see the 455 foot difference between water levels on opposite sides of the dam.

Well, now you can see the bottom.

There is a boat launch at the bottom of a long steep road.

That's the round diversion tunnel they used while constructing the dam.

Just around the corner from these little rapids make for some good fishing,
judging by the number of poles in the water. Also some good river rafting too.

After checking out the dam we continued driving north for 3-miles to the small town of Dutch John, UT and found the Post Office where we finally mailed out our package.

Upon returning to camp we found another amazing overlook and stopped to take a few more photos of the Flaming Gorge Recreation Area.

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