2014 Roadtrip: Vernal, UT to Roosevelt, UT

We left Vernal for Roosevelt at 10:40 a.m. It took 40 minutes to drive the 28 miles miles there. We stopped by Winterton Suites, 1024 West Highway 40, Roosevelt, UT 84066, tel. (435)725-1990, http://www.wintertonsuites.com to see what it looked like. It was basically a one story motel-looking building next to Hwy 40 on a construction site where building is going on to create Winterton townhouses and amenities. The TripAdvisor reviews were glowing so we telephoned to make a reservation (there is no onsite office) and get the code for the room. We asked to see a room before we gave our credit card information and were told that all rooms were currently occupied. We paid for one night. They said the room would be ready in the afternoon so we planned to come back after lunch.

We were staying in Roosevelt because of Nine Mile Canyon is nearby--the world's longest outdoor art gallery of petroglyphs. Most of the rock art was created by the Fremont Indians who occupied the Uintah Basin some 1000 years ago. Our friends, the Dansons, told us about it and we wanted to see it (Dimitri calls it prehistoric graffiti). 

We went to the Duchesne County Chamber of Commerce to get information on Nine Mile Canyon and were delighted with what we found. The Chamber of Commerce is in the same building as Roosevelt Crossroads Senior Center (50 E. 200 South). A man there told us how to get to Nine Mile Canyon and suggested we buy the senior lunch for $3 each and take it to the Daddy Trail picnic area in the Canyon for lunch. The lunch was great: pork roast in gravy, baked potato and sour cream, bread, mixed vegetables, pea salad, canned pears and chocolate cake. The Senior Center lunch counter had "meals on wheels" boxes and expertly packed our lunch. Off we went. 

It wasn't easy to follow the instructions to get to Nine Mile Canyon (we missed a turn) but later righted ourselves and off we went. (again) The newly paved road is dotted with oil wells. Roosevelt is "energy central" and has lots of oil and gas (and oil and gas workers). We weren't sure we were on the right road because it was so industrial and the petroglyphs were supposed to be in a remote area. It turned out that we were. We had maps and brochures that the Chamber of Commerce gave us and they contained lots of explanation of the historical spots we were passing. We saw none of the road marks until we got to the first intersection and turned left (still on a paved road). We went to the picnic area that was recommended and started on the first Daddy Canyon Trail to see petroglyphs. We saw some but not the ones photographed in one of our brochures.
The petroglyphs at Daddy Canyon
The Daddy Canyon Trail seemed to end abruptly at a big rock so we turned back. We had our Roosevelt Crossroads Senior Center lunch in our car because it was so windy. Across from the Daddy Canyon day use campground is a Bill Barnett plant with huge modern equipment. Quite a juxtaposition with the 1000 year old art across the street.

We went on to see the other petroglyphs along the road. We saw the most famous one "The Great Hunt" at mile 45.9 and were impressed with the quality and also how easy it was to access it.
Dimitri phototraphing the Great Hunt petroglyph
We felt we missed a lot by not hiring a guide to come with us to see the petroglyphs. Our round trip mileage was 116 miles and we got as far as milepost 45.9 on the Nine Mile Canyon Road. 

At about 4:30 p.m. we were back at the Winterton Suites in Roosevelt and saw our room (106) for the first time. It was one large room with a kitchen area in the back. There was one window. Without the door open and the Venetian blinds pulled up, the room was quite dark because the lighting in the room was poor and dim. With the door open we heard all of the construction noise from across the way. There was a leather sofa under the window which we moved in order to watch the TV while sitting on the sofa. We thought that would be comfortable, but to watch the TV we had to look up to where the TV was mounted on the wall. That hurt our necks. We also moved the small bar stools to use them as "coffee tables" in front of the sofa.

There was a desk and wi-fi that actually worked. The kitchen area had a sink, full sized refrigerator and a microwave (no stove top). But there were no table and chairs in the room to eat at (the bar and bar stools not being comfortable for us). The bathroom had good lighting and was large enough. The toilet seat was awful. First your butt stuck to the plastic and secondly, the shape of it cut into your butt. The heating/air conditioning worked and didn't blow onto the bed like many do. At $109 per night the room was okay but certainly not a good value (especially when compared to the Towne Place Suites in Vernal, 28 miles away (which was $88 for seniors)).

For dinner that night we went to Win On Chinese Buffet, 27 West Hwy 40, Roosevelt, UT 84066, tel. (435) 722-8988. We had two buffets and one tea for $25. The food was 99% awful. The only good things were the green beans, the boiled shrimp, the salad and the fresh melon. It is such a shame that some people will think that this food is actually representative of Chinese food. The staff was nice enough.

Our Winterton Suites room was quiet and the next morning for breakfast we went across the street (more or less) to the Pelican Café for breakfast (1305 West Highway 40, Roosevelt, UT 84066, 435) 725-2233)It was supposed to be the best breakfast place in town. We had tried to find the Lamplighter Pelican Café in Vernal but never did. So we had high expectations. They were not met. Audre ordered one soft boiled egg (specified for 4 minutes) and got 2 eggs that, when they arrived, were hard boiled. The scone Audre ordered was a large flat donut which bore no resemblance to a scone. Dimitri had 2 eggs over easy with hash browns and toast. Neither of us were happy. We spent $20.

So we packed up and left Roosevelt. We were planning on going to a resort called Zermatt Resort in Midway, UT.

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