Road Trip – Green River, UT to Grand Junction, CO. 4/20/21

We decide that due to the lack of restaurants and grocery stores we are going to depart Green River today instead of tomorrow. We know there will be more amenities in Grand Junction so we will stay there an extra night. On the way to Grand Junction we will take a hike and spend part of the afternoon taking care of laundry.

Our hike overlooks the Rabbit Valley with the LaSal Mountains in the background out towards Moab.  The hike is called Trail Through Time. It has explanatory placards which we really like.  The hike is a loop and is about 1.5 miles long. We know it will probably take us two hours what with reading all the placards.

A view across the Rabbit Valley towards the LaSal Mountains.

An active dinosaur dig is going on here during the summer months. There are some dinosaur fossils still in situ with explanations about what they were and when they  traversed the earth.

We start by an area of paleo soils. The soils here were laid down during the Jurassic Period when this area was near sea level with rivers running through it.  The occasional overflow of these rivers laid down layers of mud. The faster drying mud is now reddish stone and the slower drying mud is the gray-green.

Red and gray-green paleo soils
Mary in front of the paleo soils perusing the hike

Many of the fossilized dinosaur parts are hard to see and harder to photograph but I do take a reasonable picture of the vertebrae of a juvenile diplodocus.

The dark formations in the circled area are the juvenile diplodocus’s vertebrae

The hillside is all rubble from erosion which helped to expose the dinosaur fossils. We see more dinosaur vertebrae and a hip joint. The really good parts like skulls have been dug out and are in a Colorado museum.

John taking a break near the top of the hill

After our hike we still have about an hour to Grand Junction. We are hoping for pho for lunch but are not sure of what is open for in-person dining. Eating a bowl of soup in the car is not appealing.

Even though the internet says that Pho 88 is only open for take-out and delivery, we figure with the changing restrictions now that people have started getting vaccinated that maybe the restaurant will be open. Yay! It’s open and we see people inside. We both order a bowl of pho and commence slurping.

Beef pho with accompaniments

We get to our hotel around 3 PM and take care of our laundry before leaving for dinner at a place we think we have eaten at before now called Le Rouge.

As it turns out, this is the same restaurant we dined in back in 2009. It used to be called Moulin Rouge but ran into trademark problems with the real Moulin Rouge in France. So now it is just Le Rouge and the menu is similar to what we ate before.

We both have the foil gras as a starter. It is strangely unseasoned and needs quite a bit of salt. It is served with toast, thyme, and a sweet, fruit sauce.

Foie gras with toasts, thyme, and jam sauce

For our main courses John has coquilles Saint Jacques. It is kind of a minimalist approach and I might have ordered for myself if I had known it was not going to be in a heavy cream sauce.

John’s modern Coquilles Saint Jacques

I decide to have an appetizer and a salad to split with John. The salad is interesting. It is endive, salad greens, and apples topped with a pistachio/beet dressing. The appetizer is crab cakes with corn and a spicy remoulade sauce.

We also have a bottle of Chateau de Coing 2011 Muscadet.

This is the nicest dinner we have had so far on the trip. It was not perfect but it was so nice to have a pleasant fancy meal.

 

 

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