12-Jun-2012 -- This is the third of eight planned confluences on our expedition along 38 and 39 north continuing from 38N 108W.
We turned west off US-191 north of Monticello onto Scenic UT-211 and then onto Beef Basin Road. We would follow this scenic road almost all the way to the confluence.
This area was very remote, we only saw one person on a horse and a single truck for the almost 24 hours we were off the paved road. Of course, that was the entire appeal of visiting this confluence: tremendous scenery in the middle of nowhere! Additionally, our visit would be only the second recorded successful visit since Dustin’s eleven years before us.
What incredibly beautiful landscapes! Beef Basin Road is fairly well maintained but gradually deteriorates. We made it to within a few miles before we were stopped by sunset. We realized that we had missed our planned left turn and would need to back-track in the morning.
Under Spartan conditions, we camped in the back of our Tahoe. A couple of satellite phone calls to check on our daughters and then it was time to enjoy the stars and get some sleep before our hike in the morning.
In the morning, we drove south and then continued west on our planned route. This road became more challenging and then we determined it to be unsuitable here after a couple of large rock obstacles that were part of the road. Further travel would require a vehicle with a shorter wheelbase and much higher clearance than our Tahoe. An ATV or motorcycle would be able to make it. We would have to hike the remaining 2.5 miles.
We continued along the “road” and if it were not for a couple obstacles, we would have been able to continue driving until our planned stopping point where we then followed a faint double track towards the confluence.
The terrain was relatively flat and sloped gently towards the southwest. At the confluence, we found a small cairn next to a blue circle painted on a rock. This is where I would log GPS positions with my Trimble. We were swarmed by hundreds of gnats that would not leave us alone, this required us to stay moving at the confluence while we logged positions and motivated us to start back to our vehicle as soon as our pictures were complete.
Picture #6 shows a TerraSync screen shot on the left captured at the confluence and the resulting Pathfinder Office post processed GPS data on the right.
Picture #8 is a typical example of the road and scenery enroute. Picture #10 is a cylindrical panoramic QuickTime Virtual Reality movie taken at the confluence. You can interactively zoom in and out throughout the image when displayed.
We made it back to the Tahoe just about 3 hours after starting on this 5 mile round trip hike. On the way out we passed some cliff dwellings and caves. This is very remote and scenic country and a worthy confluence!
You can experience the drive to where we parked with a time lapse movie created from our our GoPro camera that was taking pictures of our entire trip every 10 seconds. Follow along on a YouTube video here. It’s HD so you should be able to select full screen. Don’t forget the volume! Here’s a Google Earth Movie created from our GPS trail from where we parked to the confluence.
It took us 3:15 from where we were parked to drive the 42.1 miles back to the pavement on UT-211.
Our next objective on this adventure would be 38N 111W.