Monday, May 12, 2014

Green River, Utah

We got back to Salt Lake City in time to celebrate Mother's Day with our daughter, SIL and two grandchildren.  But right before that we made a stop at Green River State Park in Green River, Utah, about 180 miles southeast of Salt Lake City and just 50 miles northwest of Moab. The town is named for the 730-mile-long Green River, which flows through the town and is the largest tributary of the Colorado River.

The town is small -- less than 1,000 people -- and looks a little sad.  But a lot of river runners put in nearby, so maybe it will be more happening of a place in a few weeks.  As for the park:  It’s lovely.  Big Cottonwood trees, large camping spaces, very well maintained and next to a golf course if you are into that.  We’re not, but it’s pretty. Green River State Park does not have hiking trails, exhibits or other places to explore.  It's more of a place for families to make s'mores with the kids, stop over on the way to somewhere else, or to leave a tent while rafting the Green. For us, it's a great spot for a night or two. 

The town, which started as a river crossing for the US mail, has a history of boom and bust.  It boomed in the 1880s when the railroad went through (Amtrak, which we took a trip on back in 2006, still stops here), saw an early 1900s oil boom, a later uranium boom, then a population spike when the military had a nearby missile launch site. Currently Green River is in non-boom mode.

We explored local country roads, visited the John Wesley Powell Rivers Museum, and ate at Ray’s Tavern (the highest "Trip Advisor" rated local restaurant). The museum was nicely done and had a great movie about Powell's 1869 trip down the Colorado and Green Rivers (they put in at Green River, Utah.)

Train trestle over the Green River, as seen from the campground's boat launch. Butch Cassidy hid out in canyons near the river after a Colorado bank robbery in 1889.

That's our rig to the left at Green River State Park.  The folks to the right were from North Carolina and heading back east after a six-week trip. The campground was pretty empty when we got here but fills up fast and completely on the weekends.
The Book Cliff Mountains near Green River.
Green River, Utah, is famous for the locally grown melons and celebrates "Melon Days" every September.  The white spots at the bottom of the photos are plant protectors for melon seedlings so they aren't damaged by spring frosts and wind.
Bev with what we are assuming is a "parade melon."
The only photo I took inside the John Wesley Powell River Museum. It's not Powell, but an animatronic-talking-Robin-Williams-look-alike early explorer.
A Tesla electric supercharger station (where people with Tesla-brand electric cars can plug in) is located in the John Wesley Powell Rivers Museum parking lot.  I read where Blanding, Moab and Richfield, Utah, also have charging stations. They will "fill up" car batteries in 30 to 60 minutes.
Bev and Jim at Green River's Ray's Tavern.  Good burgers and they have all the Uinta micro brews.

No comments:

Post a Comment