Made the Grade

It was an uneventful weekend–so much so that I don’t even recall what I did–but I took yesterday (Monday) off work and did some hiking with Dave. Dave and I had never met before, but we became acquainted through Flickr, and he just happened to be vacationing in Utah and asked me if I wanted to check out the old abandoned railroad grade near Green River. I had already been out in that area before, but I never got far from the interstate. It’s pretty desolate country, but with some interesting things that you just can’t see when you’re cruising at 75 miles per hour. We ate a quick breakfast at the West Winds truck stop in Green River, then headed east toward the Floy exit. We spent a few hours checking out points along the railroad grade, and also observed some oddities that were visible in Google Earth but not readily explainable. It turns out that those oddities still defy explanation when you’re looking at them in person, but they were probably excavations left by mineral or oil exploration. Some of them look like craters from the air, but from the ground they look like depressions in the surface, some elongated with mounds of dirt on either end, and others round with the dirt spread out all around the hole.
After parting company with Dave, I drove home and found several geocaches along the way. I got soaked from the rain while finding a couple of caches off of I-70, but as I drove north on US-6, it cleared up and eventually became sunny. I particularly enjoyed the cache at the Woodside cemetery. I’m still uneasy whenever I’m stopped anywhere near Woodside, but I didn’t have to leave sight of the car in order to find the cache. The cemetery is out of sight and hearing distance from the highway, and I spent a few minutes walking around and enjoying the scenery. It’s probably the best cache I’ve found all year, though I haven’t found many this year. Yet.

5 thoughts on “Made the Grade

  1. Why the uneasiness around Woodside? It seems like a harmless area. Is there something I should know?

  2. I had a bad experience near Woodside a couple of years ago. I was with my two sons hiking up the Book Cliffs when some guy tried breaking into my truck. I tried warning him off by firing a shot from my handgun, which seemed to scare him off, but not before he slashed both of my rear tires. The sheriff’s deputies and highway patrol looked for the guy but never found him. I learned afterwards that it was probably one of the recluses that lives at Woodside.

  3. Well… That puts a whole new paintjob on things. Kinda has the makings of “The Hills Have Eyes”. I’ll think twice before pursuing any activities in the area. In fact, I plan on finding AP’s Mt Elliott cache in the fall. I guess I better park strategically to avoid any incidents.

  4. Speaking of AP, he told me that a friend of his left a Jeep parked unattended near Woodside shortly after my incident and had something (a camera, I think) stolen out of it. If I remember correctly, it was on the dirt road going east from the highway along the Price River. Whoever stole it was on foot, and the footprints led into the thick brush along the river.
    I plan on finding that cache on Mt. Elliott sometime this year too and I’m really wary about parking my truck along that road, especially because if it was the guy living at Woodside who slashed my tires, he’s sure to recognize the truck again.
    By the way, according to the USGS water flow data for the past several years, the month of July has some of the lowest flows along the Price River, and that’s when I’m thinking of going (though I’m still not sure how wise it is going in the dead of summer). If you wanted to plan on going at the same time, that’d be cool (you know, safety in numbers). 🙂 I’ve got at least a couple of friends who were wanting to go as well.

  5. We did some pretty extensive hiking around Blanding last July. The temps were in the upper 90s and we seemed to do ok as long as we took along plenty of water. I was thinking September to after the cache, but if you’re going in July, I’d certainly tag along.
    Kinda funny… Last year in Blanding we had a couple of near encounters with some large cats. We didn’t actually see them, but on 2 occasions we found fresh tracks in the wet sand. The worst part is, we saw LARGE cat tracks on top of our foot prints we left only an hour earlier. Because of this, I have been determined to buy a handgun to carry while hiking. Reading your Woodside story just enforces the need for one.

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