Dinosaur II -- Go Big or Go Home -- Return to Limestone Island
We arrive at Limestone Island, which was our primary work
site for the previous year. The island looks good, with only
a couple of exceptions. Last year we ran out of time and didn't
finish scouring the island completely. This plant was one where we
sawed the main branches down, and dug down to the crown,
but we didn't have time to completely remove it. We decided, as an
experiment, to "girdle" the tree by stripping eight inches
of bark off, all around the trunk, below the root crown. This
action will kill many types of plants, but we found that it
doesn't work for Tamarisk; this one seems to be quite healthy. Since
it's already mostly dug out, it's a fairly easy matter to dig the
rest of the way down and kill it completely.
We work for a few hours at Limestone Island, completing the task of
tamarisk removal there.
Here Bryan is checking the river map upstream of Steamboat Rock, the
rock in the background with the dramatically upturned sedimentary layers.
Roy is rowing, and Andrew is a passenger, but where's Ralph?
We arrive at our final beach, underneath Harper's Corner. Tony has
been spending much of his spare time doing woodcarving.
Somehow, Alison manages to continue looking like a cover girl
after three days with no plumbing.
When I ask Dave and Alison to scoot together and pose like they
like each other, this is what they do.
That evening, we celebrated our last night on the river.
All our tamarisk was pulled (though there was still plenty
left on the river). It was a late night for some. Judy
starts burying people in the sand. I stayed buried for quite
awhile; it was very comfortable. Jung had us play silly
Korean numbers games that kept us on our toes.
Here's Jaime, Judy, Dave, and Alison, doing the last morning's
Andrew reads a piece from the "Earth Speaks" book, and Maria
gives Jim a backrub. We were all set to hit the river, but
then as Tamara's boat was being pumped up, the valve pulled
out of the boat entirely, deflating a tube completely. We had
to wait about half an hour for the rubber cement to cure on the
boat patch before we could depart. This gave Judy an opportunity
to rest on the beach, displaying one out of the series of smiles
that were almost always gracing her face.
We had a long, long final day on the river. Fortunately, it
was rather uneventful. We took out about an hour late, mostly
due to the late start due to patching the boat. We said our
goodbyes to the great Dinosaur crew and went into Vernal for
dinner. We camped one more night at Split mountain; all of us
were VERY tired. The next morning we headed back off toward
home in California.
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©2000 Richard Cochran