I was bummin’ around yesterday like I often do–you know, hubs locked in, transfer case in 4-low–and I saw some pretty interesting stuff. I had driven down this dirt road that I’d been hesitant to do for quite some time because it looked like private property. You turn off of US-6 just the other side of Wellington, cross a cattle guard, and drive toward a house that has a lot of junked cars in the yard. After passing a few of the junked cars, the road forks. The right fork goes directly to the front of the house, and the left fork takes you up onto a plateau that is surrounded by cliffs, all except on this one side where the road goes up. Shortly after taking the left fork, I lost sight of the house as the road started winding and climbing up the plateau. Along the way, I saw a lot of rocks with fossils in them right along the side of the road. I even got out of my truck at one point to look at some of the rocks (and to load some into my truck bed) and I spooked a rabbit out from under some of them. I think it scared me as much as I scared it, ’cause my heart didn’t stop beating fast for a couple of minutes.
I followed the road past a couple more forks, and eventually ended up at a dead-end overlooking US-6 and Cat Canyon. I ended up placing a geocache nearby, then decided to drive around a little more and do some exploring. I saw a single pronghorn antelope, and I tried stopping the truck and stalking him on foot to get a good close-up picture, but he was too wily for that. I had stopped the truck behind a rise, but when I topped the rise on foot he was already long gone.
After returning to the truck and pressing further on down the road, I came to an overlook on the east side of the plateau. I parked and got out to take some pictures, and I saw a baby snake on the ground. It was stretched out and unmoving, and it was only about 10 or 11 inches long. I touched its tail to see if it would move, but it didn’t budge. Then I grabbed its tail and pulled it backwards, at which point it coiled up and tried striking at me while it shook its tail. I’m not sure, but I think it was probably a baby rattlesnake. I took a few pictures and some video, then left it alone.
On my way back toward civilization, I saw a lone doe deer fairly close to the house and the alfalfa fields on the outskirts of Wellington. After leaving, I decided that this place was pretty damn awesome. I don’t think there’s much traffic out that way, since the road coming in appears to be private, though according to Carbon County GIS it’s a public road. There is no other vehicular access that I’ve been able to find, but there’s a lot of land and wildlife that appears to be relatively undisturbed. I have definite plans to go back and spend the better part of a day exploring it, but I’ll have to remember to wear high-top boots and long pants.
I uploaded some pictures–if you’ve actually read this entry this far, you deserve to see them.

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