Evanston, WY to Boulder, CO (Sept. 2, 2015)

This travelogue report covers my journey on Wednesday, September 2nd, from Evanston, Wyoming to Boulder, Colorado. The following map shows my route for this day’s 9½-hour journey of 488 miles, once again under a beautiful sunny sky for much of the way.

My route from Evanston, WY to Boulder, CO

My route from Evanston, WY to Boulder, CO

After departing at 8:20 AM MDT from the Quality Inn motel in Evanston, I headed eastward along I-80. Once again there are no alternate routes towards my first goal on this day’s ride, to visit the Flaming Gorge Reservoir in northeastern Utah and southwestern Wyoming once again. On June 28, 2012, I rode through the area, but the thick haze from forest fires detracted from the view.

As I was riding along I-80, I took several photos to capture the scenery, even though they were mostly against the morning Sun. This first photo was taken about 10 minutes from Evanston.


This next photo, taken nearly 10 minutes later just east of the US-189 junction, shows the view across a large valley with numerous wind turbines on the far side.


At exit 34 near Fort Bridger, I turned off onto I-80BL and then south on WY-414. Twenty miles farther along, the scenery became more interesting and I took this next photo of the unusual geologic formations ahead.


Just one mile farther, I came upon an oil pumping station and took this photo of it as I passed by. There are many of these facilities around this part of the US.


This next photo shows a closer view of the geologic formation along this highway.


A few minutes later at 9:31 AM MDT, I crossed the WY-UT state line and WY-414 became UT-43. At the town of Manila, UT, I turned south on UT-44 towards the Flaming Gorge National Recreation Area. These next two photo show the view southward from Manila.

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The scenery as I entered the recreation area.


This next photo shows the view of a camping area between the road and the adjacent cliffs.


This next photo shows the view ahead and the ribbon of highway snaking up the slopes of the hills.


This next photo shows my first clear view of the western end of the reservoir towards the northeast. It’s truly a beautifully scenic area.


A short distance farther, I turned off the road into a parking area and walked up to an elevated vantage point, called the Sheep Creek Overlook. Since I was the only visitor at that time, this photo towards the parking area shows my lone motorcycle.


From that overlook, I took several photos to create this next panoramic view of the reservoir.


Also around the overlook are these three information panels about the geologic history of the gorge. Unfortunately the photo of the first one did not turn out as clearly as I expected.

IMG_5027s IMG_5028s IMG_5029sAfter spending a couple minutes admiring the view and reading those panels, I continued onward. Nearly 17 miles farther, UT-44 merged with US-191, which I followed to Vernal, Utah, along some nice curvy roads past phosphate mines. This next photo shows a view along US-191 just north of Vernal.


On my previous trip through this area in June, 2012, I took many more photos that can be viewed on this web page, including information panels about the phosphate mining.

In Vernal, US-191 and US-40 meet. At that junction I turned east towards Colorado. Just east of Vernal, I took this photo towards the north as I crossed over the Green River.


Just after crossing the UT-CO border, I passed through the community of Dinosaur, located very near the Dinosaur National Monument. Since I had previously visited it on June 28, 2012, I just continued eastward along US-40. A short distance from Dinosaur, I took this next photo of the terrain I was passing through.


Over the next three hours, I continued along this highway, passing through Craig, where I stopped for lunch and to refuel, Steamboat Springs, over Rabbit Ears Pass, and towards Kremmling.

Just north of Kremmling, I took this next photo showing the scenery around the Wolford Mountain Reservoir.


Closer to Kremmling, I took this next photo of the mesa on east side of the highway.


As I rode through Kremmling, I took this photo of the Eastin Hotel due to its pink color. While researching this hotel, I learned that it was originally built in 1906.


From Kremmling, I continued along US-40 through Hot Sulphur Springs to Granby, where US-40 meets US-34, the highway through the Rocky Mountain National Park over the Continental Divide.

Just before reaching Hot Sulphur Springs, the road and the Union Pacific rail line entered a narrow gorge on either side of the Colorado River. These next two photos show the view as I come around a curve to enter the gorge and then midway through it.

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Upon reaching Granby, I turned north on US-34. When I came to Lake Granby, I took this next photo of the scenic view.


Just north of Lake Granby are Shaddow Mountain Lake and Grand Lake, and the town of Grand Lake. As I continued north, I took this next photo of the sign for the Rocky Mountain National Park.


Continuing north alongside the Colorado River, this next photo shows the mountainous scenery towards the northwest. The two peaks are part of Mount Nimbus (El: 12,706 feet / 3,873 m) in the Never Summer Mountains.


Through the Rocky Mountain National Park, US-34 is commonly referred to as Trail Ridge Road. This next photo shows a view towards the southwest and the road behind me.


At a point approximately halfway across the park, I took this next photo showing the view towards the north. The peak at the left is Fairchild Mountain (El: 13,508 ft / 4,117 m) and in the center is Mummy Mountain (El: 13,430 ft / 4,093 m).


Since I have ridden across Trail Ridge Road numerous times over the past few years and taken many photos, I did not feel motivated to take any more than these few. Anyone interested in seeing many more can look through my collections from previous tours, specifically July 25, 2011 and Sept. 3, 2013.

At nearly 5 PM MDT, I arrived at my friend KC’s home in Boulder for my third visit during this summer’s tour. It was almost like arriving back home.

That concludes this travelogue report for September 2nd. After resting up for a few days, on Saturday, the 5th, I resumed my journey across the country towards Florida. More about that day’s trip in my next report.


About Don

I'm a retired computer programmer who enjoys touring the country by motorcycle.
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