On Saturday, Traci and I went looking for several benchmarks in and around Price Canyon. There were six of them that I planned on looking for, but we only had time to find three. The first one took us nearly two hours, even though it was within about 200 yards of where we parked the car. We had to climb down an embankment to the Price River, then we ended up hiking about 1/2 mile upstream until we found a place to cross. After we hiked back downstream on the other side and took some pictures of the benchmark, we decided to hike downstream this time, hoping to find a closer place to cross the river. Well, we had no such luck, and after going another 1/2 mile or so, we just decided to get a little wet rather than trying to find a place where we could walk on rocks to cross the river. What’s stupid about the whole thing is that there was a bridge over the river about a mile down from the benchmark, and we simply could have walked along the railroad tracks for that mile to the benchmark, then back along the tracks to the car, and it would have saved us about an hour. That would have given us time to at least drive up to Ford Ridge and find the two benchmarks up there, which were easily reachable by car.
Yesterday, I just got really bored and decided to try to find another benchmark that is literally in the middle of nowhere. There’s a dirt road that I believe leads there from Kenilworth, but the road is in such bad condition that you need a really big 4X4 to make it very far. Even if my truck had a front driveshaft, I don’t know whether or not it would be able to go up that road. There’s another road that may lead there from Indian Canyon, but it’s gated off, and there’s a maze of roads between there and the benchmark, so I’m not sure I could find my way without getting lost. The gate was unlocked last time I checked several months ago, but I haven’t been up there since. I have a feeling that road is in as bad of shape as the road leading up from the south, but I won’t know until I try. Anyway, I was looking around on TerraServer yesterday trying to find a different route, one that seems easier, and I actually found one (or so I thought). There’s a road that goes east from US-191 near the junction with Emma Park Road, and according to both the topo map and the satellite photo, there should be a road that turns south off that road and leads directly to the ridge on which the benchmark is placed. I found the exact spot where the road was supposed to branch off to the south, but I couldn’t actually see a road. Not only that, but there was a fence and a creek that I couldn’t see any way around either. I didn’t bring any printed maps with me, so I wasn’t sure at the time that I was at the correct spot, so we continued east on the primary dirt road, looking for the correct place to turn south. We never did find that road, though after returning home and looking at the maps again, I’m certain I was at the right spot the first time. We eventually went very far to the east, and sunset was approaching quickly, so we decided to head back towards the west and US-191. I was pissed off that we had gone so far, on such a shitty and washed-out road, and didn’t accomplish anything.
After we got home, I went back to looking at some topo maps to figure out just where the hell I had gone in comparison to where I had planned on going. I assumed that maybe I’d taken the wrong road east, and that’s why I never found the road that turned south, but that wasn’t the case–I just couldn’t find the correct road. Here’s the stupid part (there always seems to be a stupid part)–if we’d continued driving east along the road, rather than turning around and going back to US-191, we would have reached Nine Mile Canyon after about a mile! That means I could have been on a paved road within 10 minutes, instead of taking 45 minutes going the opposite direction. Then it would have simply been a 20 minute drive back to Wellington, then another 10 or so back to Price. That would have made the entire trip worth it–taking a dirt road basically between Helper and Wellington–but instead, I’m feeling pissed off for wasting an entire evening doing nothing.

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