We woke up to clouds and threatening rain, so we packed up quickly and put on our rain gear in advance. Climbing up the soon to be muddy hillside, we felt the first drops of rain. But we made it into town to get a refill on food before the monsoon picked up. We even made it to McDonald’s (they all have free WiFi now!) before the really bad rain hit. So we used the rain as an excuse to hide out and update ourselves on all of the news in the world. Vernal, apparently, is the dinosaur capital of Utah.
At every turn there were dinosaur statues and dinosaur facts. There’s even a dinosaur museum, which we stopped in for post cards, but not for anything else.
Since it was Sunday, everything was closed except the dinosaur museum, so we didn’t get to go to the war memorial museum even though the next day was Memorial Day. They did have some really impressive statutes out front though.
Once we made it to Naples, the next town that shares an immediate border with Vernal, the rain had stopped so we took a quick lunch break. It was getting late and we knew we had another 18 miles to go at least, so we took off quickly as the rain started. And the rain didn’t let up for hours. About an hour out of Naples a woman pulled over to offer us a ride, but rain is part of the trip! And we were planning to stealth that day so we turned her down. She quickly said that if we wanted to stop at her rafting company right in Jensen to dry off we were more than welcome to.
We realized we didn’t get her name or the name of her rafting company, so we hoped it was a small enough town we’d recognize it. When we got into town (after frantically searching for a bathroom and finding one at the park unlocked) we realized we never had to worry. There were only a few buildings in town, the rafting boathouse, a post office, a gas station, and a visitor’s center. It did still smell like fried food as we got into town, but the gas station had a cafe so….
We spent the evening drying out our stuff and chatting with the rafting guides. It was so nice to hang out with people close to our age, make a penny stove, play basketball, and grill some burgers. It almost felt like a day off. And their mats were super comfortable as we slept on the floor near the rafts and out of the rain. Thanks everyone at Adrift Adventures for saving us from a very soggy night!
Today we walked through:
Rebecca: 47,140 steps
Tim: 44,361 steps
995 miles finished