After departing Sand Island, we drove north to Monticello, Utah. Cold weather was arriving and electricity is available at the RV Park, in town and we again had cell service. The picture is looking west from Monticello, Utah at part of Bears Ears National Monument at a mountain cluster, at the Manti Sal National Forest which surrounds the Dark Canyon Wilderness Area and has been a wilderness area since mid-1964.
The difference between a Wilderness Area and a National Forest is that a National Forest can support commercial logging operations, but a wilderness area is supposed to be completely without occupation or mechanism and left to the same conditions — as it was during the pioneer times. Of course one of the things the pioneers had was the wheel, which is not allowed in a wilderness area. Thus all transportation is by foot or stock animal – no wheelbarrows allowed, let alone bicycles.
Bureau of Land Management
Bureau of Land Management (BLM) land is another designation, found mostly in the west. Wheels and even motors are allowed in Forests and BLM, not in wilderness areas. It is all Federal Land, meaning it is owned by the taxpayers as opposed to being owned as private property. Thus when Bears Ears National Monument was created, the biggest difference was the name change. Wilderness Areas can be within National Monuments or National Forests, or BLM (BLM?), or may stand on their own. National Monuments are just a higher degree of control by the Federal Government and with exception of Wilderness Areas, the government can sell, lease, allow access to or deny access to and allow removal of resources as it deems appropriate.
Losing elevation to get warmer
We continue north and drop back down from our current 7000 feet altitude tomorrow. We expect to lose the cell service in trade for warmer weather. Our destination will be the edge of Canyonlands National Park, it may be or may not be inside the Bears Ears National Monument, depending on which map you look at and will most probably be at the end of or near the end of a road. I have a couple of destinations picked out and a backup plan, just in case the primary objective doesn’t work out.
It might snow today with high winds. Freeze predictions for tonight. After that, we are back to the boonies.
Here is a link to the google map for the area.
Link to our route New Mexico to Salt Lake City
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