The Bear’s Ears: Utah

The Bear’s Ears dry west slope in 2009

Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke visited the Bear’s Ears in Utah this week as part of a review of National Monuments.

President Obama declared the area a National Monument despite the opposition of the Utah Congressional delegation and many local people.

I haven’t researched it and take no position.  But the Bear’s Ears are a milkshake memory for Alie and I.

2005 looking back through juniper scrub

This blog’s long-time readers may recall my in-laws had a milkshake in 1947 that got richer, thicker and more delicious every year that passed.  No milkshake, including that 1947 one, will ever equal the memory.  We recognize that fallibility in ourselves and know some wonderful memories are probably “milkshakes.”

In mid-May 2005, we left our 5th wheel trailer in Blanding, Utah and took the truck west on state roads 95 and 275 to Natural Bridges National Monument.

This 2005 photo doesn’t do the deep greens of the distant meadows justice.

We didn’t have a GPS, and our map showed a dirt road, Elk Ridge Road, going north from 95 back to Blanding, so we took it.

The winding road twisted and climbed its way up the side of the ridge through desert plants, then scrub juniper forest and across a short mesa.

2005 looking north and east after passing through the Ears

Then we went through the pass between the Ears [9058 and 8929 feet high].  We were astounded.  We were in an almost alpine meadow.

There were green meadows with snow-melt ponds surrounded by tall pines.  We then descended into an aspen forest.

Alie asked “where’s Bambi?”  She was rewarded by the immediate presence of a deer in front of us and two more by the side of the road.

Subsequently we were glad to have a big 4-wheel drive truck when parts of the road turned into muddy quagmire and we had to ford the north fork of the San Juan River.  We continued the last few miles to Blanding once again in a more desert environment.

Driving the approximately 42 miles was a bit of an adventure.  But it was the surprizing beauty hid behind the Ears that will forever remain in our memories.

Click on photos to enlarge.

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About ralietravels

Ray and Alie (Ralie) are a retired couple who love to travel. Even during our working years, we squeezed a trip in whenever we could, often when we had to stretch the budget to do so. We have been fortunate to vacation in all 50 states, all the provinces of Canada and one territory and a little more than 50 countries. We like to drive, but we particularly love to travel back roads to find unusual sights, people, and experiences.
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5 Responses to The Bear’s Ears: Utah

  1. This looks so lovely.

    As a complete stranger, I wonder what is the downside of your locality being designated a national monument? I imagine one of the advantages would be more business from tourists.

    Like

  2. Keith & Loraine Beckman says:

    Loved the history once again. Understood about trucks and 4-wheel drive. We have it on our truck and it has been quite useful. Beautiful scenery too. Thanks . Love Loraine

    Liked by 1 person

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