Off The Grid

      5 Comments on Off The Grid

I last left you while we were at Rick’s in Steamboat Springs. Steamboat embraces its western heritage, it reveres its ranching traditions and it boasts world class skiing. Throw in the hot springs, and you have the complete package. There were several hot springs to choose from, we opted for the mountain hot springs.

Two Thumbs Up for Strawberry Park Hot Springs

Just outside of downtown, the road thins to a single lane and then becomes gravel. We climbed 1300 feet in 2 miles. We had hoped to spend the night in one of the covered wagons, wagon at hot springs

but were “out of luck.” All three were booked through the weekend. Heck, we’ve got our own covered wagon, so we asked about camping options. They offered up the one & only parking pad to us. It felt like a score – one camp spot and it was ours. It had a view, river roaring below and a nice picnic table.van on camp padThe lodging accommodations may be considered primitive, but the facilities (shower, changing rooms, bathroom) were state of the art.

state of the art bathrooms

light-filled bathrooms

Strawberry Park was family friendly: there is no wifi, cell service or electricity. Yes, off the grid. If you didn’t bring your flashlight, there’d be no nighttime soaks for you. One misstep and you’d be whooshing down the rapid Yampa River.

We soaked for two full days, and boy does that make you sleep hard at night.



hot springs early am

two of the soaking tubs, Yampa river on left, early morning

Dinosaur National Monument

Weaving in & out of various levels of cell service, we worked our way to a new state, Utah. Thor has been running like a champ and inspired by Utah, got the new nickname: Thorosaurus. We camped a couple nights in Dinosaur Monument National Park, staying at the Green River campground. Such gorgeous, massive scenery to take in.

rocks of dinosaur monument

Landscaping, millions of years in the making….

horses drinking from river

view from our campsite: a ranch across the river

We can thank Earl Douglass (1862-1931, ) a dedicated paleontologist, for The Quarry Exhibit Hall. It was his idea to excavate this wall of dinosaur bones and display them exactly as they were found.There is something humbling about touching a 149 million year old dinosaur bone.149 million year old dinosaur bone

It’s disturbing to see the scale of deadness in this one location. Apparently it’s a dino-jam. Ancient rivers carried the bones or carcasses great distances, tripping, stumbling and ultimately getting stuck – forever – here.

dinosaur fossils

part of a dino-jam

The Sound of Silence

That was the name of my favorite trail so far. The Sound of Silence trail. I really don’t know the official story of its name, but I can assure you there were spillways, in deeply carved canyons where sound was absorbed by the dense clay. Not even the sound of a bird wrestling around. This hike had big boulders to climb over,

granite boulder hiker


massive granite washes to scale,

massive granite slide which is the hiking trail


stairs to climb, bridges to cross, rain to dodge and breath to be taken away.

profile of a dinosaur in the rock

Dinosaurs emerge from the mountain side

We saw just one other soul on the 3.5 mile, loop trail… ah yes, the sound of silence.

From one Hottie to Another

So I’m diggin’ on the hot springs. It has to do with my sore butt-cheeks after those boulder scrambles. Anyway, we have one more hot springs before we hit Boise: Lava Hot Springs.

vintage motel

“Color TV by RCA”

A tiny Idaho mountain town, tucked away along an old railway trading route. A place where centuries ago, the Ute Indian would come to absorb the healing waters and maybe give their horse a bath. Today these pools were more pool-lookin’ than spring-lookin’, but they did the trick!

Looking down on the town of Lava

Centennial Trail, looking down on the town of Lava

There’s nothing like a good hot soak after a hike. We’re hooked, we’ll be keeping our eyes out for other opportunities to soak in natural hot springs.

Next stop: Boise. THEN. . . eastern Oregon!

About Hali

Just a travel junkie trying to find my voice in the blogosphere. I enjoy sharing my photography and fast facts I learn in the places I travel through.

5 thoughts on “Off The Grid

  1. Robert Scott

    The town of Vernal, UT is a pretty little town. I visited Dino NM as well as the Flaming Gorge Nat. Rec. Area while I was there.

    1. Hali Post author

      We spent a night at the Flaming Gorge! I guess we were a week ahead of their opening season – there were only 3 campers and there wasn’t any water! We walked all over that park croaking out, “water….water…..water..”

      We lived.

    1. Hali Post author

      I should’ve gave this more thought – forgot I have a river expert! These springs would be above the Yampa River which runs in the valley of Steamboat.


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