It appears that you are currently using Ad Blocking software. What are the consequences? Click here to learn more.
Fitness and Photography for Fun - A blog on staying fit by hiking and doing photography by David Mendosa

Echo Park

May 7th, 2011 · No Comments

Print This Post Print This Post

Rampant rumors to the contrary, I have not forsaken landscape, wildlife, and flower photographer in favor of birds. What I photograph depends on where I am and what is beautiful there.

Yesterday and today I was in Echo Park in Dinosaur National Monument, which straddles the Colorado-Utah border. This awe-inspiring land is one of my favorite places on earth.

Two years ago I visited it for the first time and became one of the few people lucky enough to reach this isolated treasure. Not only is Dinosaur National Monument far from anywhere, but even when you get there, to reach Echo Park you have to drive 12 miles down a steep, rutted dirt road that the Park Service rightly says is not suitable for passenger vehicles.

Fortunately, I have a Toyota Highlander SUV, which even though it is eight years old with more than 140,000 miles on its odometer, is in tip-top condition. My Highlander, Suzie by name, navigated perfectly. And both times when I reached Echo Park I camped right next to her in exactly the same campsite, number 9. I am consistent when I find something I like.

Echo Park hasn’t changed either. Both times the same afternoon wind gusted up when I was pitching my tent — the same tent. And both times the wind blew my tent into my arms and would have blown it into the Green River, if I wasn’t right there to catch it. Fortunately, at dusk the wind stopped, and today was calm.

The campground is just a few feet from the mighty Green River and Steamboat Rock. John Wesley Powell named Echo Park and Steamboat Rock during his 1869 “Powell Geographic Expedition,” a three-month river trip down the Green and Colorado rivers that included the first known passage through the Grand Canyon. Echos bounced off the giant rock, he said.

Powell, the one-armed veteran of the Civil War, was also a geologist and the director of major scientific and cultural institutions. But in my mind he will always be associated with Echo Park along with David Brower, the man who saved it in the 1950s, when he was the executive director of the Sierra Club. That was a milestone in the history of the conservation movement.

Echo Park, Including Two Small Sections of the Green River, from the Rim

Echo Park, Including Two Small Sections of the Green River, from the Rim

Click on the picture above to enlarge

The campground is directly in front of the biggest, tallest rock on the Green.

Steamboat Rock on the Great Green River

Steamboat Rock on the Great Green River

Click on the picture above to enlarge

Here is the confluence of the Green and Yampa Rivers, a half-mile upstream by way of an animal track or social trail from the campsite. The narrow mouth of the Green, on the left, is along that row of trees, but it comes down through the valley in the center of the photo.

Where the Green and Yampa Rivers Meet

Where the Green and Yampa Rivers Meet

Click on the picture above to enlarge

As I arrived at Echo Park yesterday I encountered these three pronghorn. I feel a great affinity to these beautiful creatures because of something that neither they nor I can do. Like the 1992 movie, “White Men Can’t Jump,” neither can pronghorns, creatures of the open plain who historically never had to learn to jump.

The Pronghorn on the Right is the One with the Pronghorns

The Pronghorn on the Right is the One with the Pronghorns

Click on the picture above to enlarge

As I left Echo Park today these flowers alongside the road were the other bookend to my journey back to nature there.

Paintbrush in Echo Park

Paintbrush in Echo Park

Click on the picture above to enlarge

I haven’t forsaken birds either. I will see and photograph many more as I continue to explore this beautiful world.

Share

Posted in: Photography

0 responses so far ↓

  • There are no comments yet...Kick things off by filling out the form below.

Leave a Comment