Saturday, August 18, 2018

Maybell Colorado

Just a quick note to family...we are staying in Maybell, CO.  Electric, $20, but bad cell coverage so our phones are on airplane mode.  Hope tomorrow's location is better....

Thursday, August 16, 2018

Steinaker Lake State Park, Vernal Utah

At Steinaker Lake State Park near Vernal Utah

Steinaker Reservoir

Steinaker Reservoir has a capacity of over 38,000 acre-feet…it currently is around 3,800 acre-feet.  NOW THAT’S A DROUGHT!  (not really…will explain later)

Strawberry Reservoir

We left Lake Jordanelle around 10 am, after a stop at the station to dump our grey and black tanks.  We headed east, and then after a stop for gas in Heber City, we continued east along US-40, passing Strawberry Reservoir (above) after a 15 minute wait due to construction on the highway.

Dollar Ridge Fire along US-40

Soon after passing Strawberry, we saw some of the effects of the Dollar Ridge Fire (above) which started on July 1st, and passed along this small portion of US-40 on July 4th and 5th. 

Starvation  Reservoir   Starvation  Reservoir

A bit further we pass through Starvation Reservoir (above), which is on both sides of US-40…I got the picture on the left, Marcia the picture on the right (she also got the picture of Strawberry Reservoir and the burned trees)

View North of US-40 close to Vernal

As we get further east, closer to Vernal Utah, the trees disappear, and the Utah Desert takes hold.  Last year we stayed at Steinaker Lake State Park on our way to Flaming Gorge National Recreation Area.  It is 150 miles from Lake Jordanelle, and that is where I decided we would stay for two nights.

 Steinaker Lake State Park

When I checked out the state park website last night, I discovered that the lake was down…did not realize it was down to 10% capacity!

 Steinaker Lake State Park

Can’t you just see the look on its face…”I WANT MY WATER BACK!!!!"

Dam Repairs,  Steinaker Lake State Park

What it was looking at was the other side of the reservoir, over at the dam…

Dam Repairs,  Steinaker Lake State Park    Dam Repairs,  Steinaker Lake State Park

…where machinery was hard at work shoring up the structure of the dam.  Back in 2014 it was reported that the Steinaker Dam had a 400-foot-long area of slippage of the riprap on the reservoir face of the dam.  They had scheduled the repair for last year, but they did not have enough soil samples to determine the proper amount and type of material to use to shore up the dam.  So this year they let the water out…they still need to let out another 3,000 acre feet or more, and they expect that by the fall of 2019 they will be able to allow the reservoir to start to fill again.  Meanwhile, they are pulling huge fish out of the lake…some taken by fishermen, others taken by the state wildlife and transferred up to Red Fleet Reservoir about 8 miles away.  “They will probably be pulling out record bass at Red Fleet next year” said the ranger.

 Steinaker Lake State Park

The fish that don’t die from the extreme heat this summer and fall, will die from the frozen water this winter…so they are letting fish be caught, and trying to transfer as many as they can catch through electric shock.

 Steinaker Lake State Park      Steinaker Lake State Park

Here at the State Park you have three choices of campgrounds…full hookups for $28, Electric only (you can fill water tanks from various outlets throughout the park) for $23, or no hookups (can fill water tanks) for $15.  With either option, you can use the dump station…although with full hookups you don’t need to.  For us the decision was which site had the best Cell Signal, and site 7, a full hookup site, was the winner.  We had all but 5 sites to choose from, one has the camp hosts, the other four have reservations for tomorrow. 

 Steinaker Lake State Park     Steinaker Lake State Park

For tonight, we “could” be the only campers in the park…as for 5:00 pm it appears that we are…out side of the camp host, of course.

View to the North from Steinaker Lake State Park, near Vernal Utah
View to the North from Steinaker Lake State Park, near Vernal Utah

And the views from in and around the park entrance aren’t bad at all…just smoke from the vast numbers of fires in Oregon, California and Utah.