Final Images From The “Rim” – Flaming Gorge, UT
I spent my last evening at Flaming Gorge watching a kaleidoscope of color move across the canyon for sunset. It was just me, pooch and the vast, beautiful emptiness of space. As the earth stretched to the horizon and the shadows followed it I got that wonderful feeling of being at one with the world. These are the kind of moments I live for.
But we’ve had more than one good sunset here on the “rim”. It’s been a wonderful week of play, hike and view. The weather has been perfectly cool, the afternoons wild and stormy, and the evenings smooth and peaceful ends to the day. And to put the icing on the cake I fulfilled one of my life-long dreams. I finally got to see the Ovis canadensis!
Seeing these wonderful animals has been something that’s been on my “bucket list” for…well…forever. We’ve tried (and missed) multiple times, but knew we’d get another chance here in Flaming Gorge. Bighorn Sheep, or rather (specifically to this area) the Rocky Mountain Bighorn, were practically hunted to extermination in the 1900’s. Thanks to dedicated conservation efforts they were reintroduced to Flaming Gorge 1983 and have flourished since. There are several large herds in the area and because they’re so laid-back here (seemingly uncaring of both cars and people), it’s one of the easiest places in the country to see them.
We took our chances at Sheep Creek which is a well-known sighting spot. It’s a fascinating geological area where the Continental Plates have pushed rocks into towering layers, giving the impression of a driving through a massive red rock puff pastry. The large, craggy terrain is perfect for Bighorn and we scored the highlight of our trip with a herd hanging out on the rocks ~100 feet up from the road. We didn’t get to see the big beautiful males (the rams live separate most of the year), and the gals were only just peeking over the edge, but it was a sighting nonetheless and I was truly awed!
So with that image in mind I leave you with a parting sunset and a cozy fire to end the day. This was our last “long” stop before we hit the coast for our RV date in Oregon, so it’s alas somewhat sad to say goodbye. The next weeks we’ll be doing longer drives and shorter stops, but hopefully we’ll still hit some sweet beauty.
Adieu beautiful Flaming Gorge and hello to our rush West.