I had been wanting to go to the Gravelly Range for a few years. I was in the area last year but skipped it due to wild fires on the north end. This trip I would make it; however, not as planned. And the wildflowers… would my gamble on the dates picked to see the wildflowers pay off? I drove up the Warm Springs Road.
Last fall when I stopped into the Wise River Ranger Station to ask about road conditions, the ranger started the answer to my question by indicating it was too bad that I wasn’t there earlier to see the wildflowers at Vipond Park. Her statement perked my interested, making me want to come back. This is the trip going back to see the wildflowers at Vipond Park and adding the Gravelly Range to the trip. The plans were hatched in fall. It would be a quick trip; renting forest service cabins seemed to fit the plan for a quick get away instead of taking my trailer. But I needed to rent the cabins when they came available – six months before the arrival date. In December I gambled when I picked the rental days, hoping the days would match the wildflower bloom.
Last week the weather forecast included a day with 3-5 inches of snow on the Gravelly Range. Hum. I am off – wildflowers or not.
I came to the City of Rocks and Castle Rocks for the month of May to volunteer with little understanding about what I would do except give tours of some sort. I had driven through the area about ten years ago and liked it. After a quick phone call and a check of my references, I was hired for the volunteer gig. I was sure all would turn out and it would be a happy month. How could it not be happy? I was going to where rocks are 2.5 billion years old.
Cold, rainy, and snowy; that was yesterday morning. At the top of the City (Emery Pass) I heard there was 4 inches of new snow in the morning. In the afternoon, the dogs and I got itchy feet and headed up into the City. Up I drove and found it snowing. I had a hat and my hood on my head trying to keep out the bitter cold wind. And then… I was rewarded for my effort to see the City; the sun started shining, the air was clear, the wind died, and few people were in the City. I felt like I had the entire City to myself; to slowly explore the nooks and crannies. It was special. Here are some photos from yesterday.
Airway arrows are an obscure part of American aviation history. When I found that I would be joining the team at the City of Rocks I started looking around for interesting things to do in the area. I found that the Strevell Airway Arrow was nearby. For an explanation of airway arrows this web site has a pretty good description.
This arrow is located about 300 feet east of the intersection of old Highway 81 and the Strevell Road.