Kanaskat-Palmer State Park, day 3

Another quiet night and a morning filled with bird song and sunshine led me right into this day.  This camping stuff is really terrific!

I took a long hike in the morning on the trail along the river to the up-river kayak launch site and then found a trail through the woods back to my campsite.  In the afternoon, I decided to take a ride in the truck to try to find a place where I could see more of the great chasm areas of the Green River Gorge.  There’s history and info about the Green River Gorge area here.  One of the things I found on the drive today was this wonderful, historic, old Green River Resort.  The lodge was permanently closed but the sign said that the trail down to the river was still open.  I parked and went to the top of the trail only to find it was fairly steep and seemed a bit treacherous for my taste.  So it was back to the truck for me.  I continued up the remote back country road with hopes of finding other access.

What I found was a traffic light!  It was quite a surprise on this very quiet road until I realized it led onto a one-lane bridge that spanned the Green River.  Another surprise was that the bridge spanned a very deep part of the Gorge.  I snapped the photo below when I stopped the truck for just a moment on the bridge.  I thought about parking after I crossed the bridge and then walking back across the bridge for more photos but I am deathly afraid of heights so decided not to scare the beejeezus out of myself.  You can get an idea of how far the water was below the bridge .. and how far down (and back up) that trail by the old resort must have gone.  Feel free to go there and climb down and back up and take some photos and share them with me. 🙂

So then I gave up on trying to find “gorge” areas of the Gorge and followed signs to the Flaming Geyser State Park instead, of which I knew nothing, but which has now become one of my favorite places.  It too is bordered by and surrounded by the winding Green River but the river here meanders through this park at ground level and even floods parts of the park at certain times of the year.

It’s a large state park.  There’s no camping here, but there was lots of other stuff to enjoy.  Of great interest to me was an “airfield” for  the Flaming Geyser Flyers Club.  There were a couple of lean-to sheds, lots of seating, several stations where each exhibitor/pilot staged her/his remote-controlled plane, a runway used for take-off and landing, and a very large field over which the planes were flown.

Photo above was taken off of the club’s website, just to show you one of their planes.  The pilot stations where people stand to fly their planes is immediately behind this fellow.

Photos above and below are the seating/spectator area, some work tables for prepping the planes, and then just past the tables are the five “stations” where the “pilot” stands and from which planes are flown.  And, of course, the huge field for flying is between this staging area and the woods.

Here are a couple of snapshots of a portion of the large field over which the planes were flown.  I talked with a fellow for quite a while there, a fellow who had owned planes but was now a volunteer helping to run the club and maintain the buildings and flight area.  He told me that ordinarily this field would be just about bare and the grass (what little there was of it) would be brown and brittle and sere this time of the year.  In other words, it would be easy to see your plane if it went down and easy to walk out and retrieve it.

This year, however, the rains had been so heavy and so early that the grass was already green and healthy and several feet tall.  One of the jobs this fellow had was to mow the field.  He and everyone else used to laugh about that because the field never needed mowing.  Well, this year, it needed mowing and big time!  If you look very closely in the photos above and below, you will see this fellow on a mowing tractor waaaaaay off in the distance (just about in the middle of the photo above).  He estimated it would take him three full days to mow the entire field, just going around and around and around and around.

That was just one area of this very large park.  So off I went to explore more of it.

Hope they pay this “guard Robin” well.

A different field further up the road into the park, also lush with new green growth.

A large beaver pond was inside the park and off on a side shoot of the Green River.  It was a major attraction of the park and I could see why.  I didn’t see any beaver but was told there were several.

There were many other attractions in this park, but I decided to move on and explore more of the surrounding countryside and farm land.

Driving down one extraordinarily pleasant country road, I had the truck windows rolled down and was enjoying the fresh clean air, smelling freshly turned soil from many of the farms.  I was appreciating the fact that I was not smelling exhaust fumes from millions of cars and trucks.  I was just north of the farm in the photo above and realized there was a slight breeze coming from the north, not much, but it was blowing towards the south.  Well, as soon as I got south of the farm in the photo above (downwind, in other words), the contents of that sprayer in the photo above were obvious.  Whew, what a smell!  I know farm land needs fertilizing but oh my goodness!  Right next to this farm, to the south, was a farm full of dairy cows .. a perfect source of fertilizer!  I kept on driving!

Back at Kanaskat State Park, as I drove in the main gate, the beauty was almost overpowering.  It was so rich and green and lush.  Giant ancient Cedar trees are so amazing.  How can the world be so beautiful?  And how is it that I am so blessed to see so much of it?  I hope I am always appreciative and thankful.

And so it was such a surprise, again, to see no one else using this huge park.  Where is everyone?

I took one more walk on some trails in the woods in the late afternoon on my last day here and this time, instead of peace and quiet, I found critters and monsters!

A VERY noisy and angry squirrel raced around and around that tree and up and down the trunk hollering and scolding me to beat the band.  “Danger! Danger! Go away! Go away!”  (I should have heeded the warning.)

Around another bend in the trail I came upon this Green Leafy Gozzler (a type of large woodland duck) trying to hide behind a tree.  Although I could see only its head there to the left of the tree, it had to have been 12 feet tall and so it was the exceptionally rare Giant Green Leafy Gozzler for sure.  They are dangerous only if provoked .. I kept walking!

And then oh my gosh, this Hoary Heffalump reared its very dangerous head and snorted and gave me the evil eye.  I picked up my pace and got the heck away from him.

Oh no!!!  An extremely angry Great Chomping Chuffaloo came gallumphing out of the woods and charged right at me!  I ran!

Whew!  Finally a safe spot by a little tributary of the river where I could sit and calm my beating heart.

I carefully chose my path back through the forest.

And so, having kept the monsters at bay, I finally made it through the woods and safely back to my campsite and my trailer.  I had a very delicious dinner and yet another peaceful night’s sleep.  Tomorrow I needed to hitch up and head home.  I’m not sure I wanted to!

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