I covered the ground from Vernal Utah to Maybell Colorado in five days. There were some big days in here I did a 23 mile day and a 25.9 mile day. The reason why I was able to do these large mile days was due to the fact I was walking a lot of gravel roads.
This section also had some portions of cross country travel which went pretty well because I found some pretty well-established old trail, elk & cow paths, and chuck wagon roads. Some of the cross country involved walking on hard rock. There was one really sketchy section, getting out of Yampa river back up to the road. I will not tell people to go this way, because it is dangerous. What I did was kind of dumb because climbing up sandstone cliffs when you’re by yourself it’s just not a good idea. Lesson learned no more dumb sketchy sandstone climbing for me, especially when you have a pack laden with 9 L of water. Getting down to the Yampa River was a total bushwhack but it was necessary to get water.
The park noticed I was promoting this trail as something other should do, and they really requested that I strictly caution people that walking through the park is not a good idea. I felt like they were very reluctant to give me a permit. I was even pulled me over with flashing lights on the side of the road by the park police to do preventative SAR measures with me. The permit they gave me was through 18 July to transverse the park. I told them it would take me four nights five days to get through the park, turns out it took me three nights four days to get through the park. Three days shorter than the permit the allowed for. This is another classic sign why my trail name fits me so well “The Animal.” I did all this in very high heat, generally I took a siesta during the mid day. I was really impressed with the day I took a four hour break in the middle and still manage to walk 25.9 miles. In this section I was able to get about 30 miles of walking for the amount of water I was caring.
I’m going to up the water carrying capacity for the next section, instead of caring 9 L going to carry 11 L. I think the water availability in the next section is going to be extremely limited. This should allow me to walk about 45 to 50 miles before I need to fill up again. If I see anybody driving along the road and they offer me water or I need water, I will not feel shy about asking them.
I felt like I had Dinosaur National Monument to myself, nobody was there. I walked the entire Yampa road and only three cars came past. This is a very in frequently visited national monument. So if you want to go somewhere where you have the place yourself consider going to a Dinosaur National Monument. You’re visiting this monument because of the sandstone canyons and the dinosaur bones. I saw both, enjoyed some beautiful sunsets, and became very acquainted with a very long lonely dirt road