Dinosaur residents create audio tour for Harpers Road in Moffat County
March 29, 2011
The Harpers Corner Road Guide will be available at the Bedrock Depot, 214 Brontosaurus Blvd., in Dinosaur for $15.95. The CDs can also be bought from Leona Hemmerich when she is in Craig. She can be reached at (970) 374-2336.
The Bedrock Depot is also hosting a contest on its website for a free copy. Visit http://www.bedrockdepot.com and go to the blog page for details.
Dinosaur resident Leona Hemmerich said fewer visitors come to the Moffat County side of Dinosaur National Monument than the Utah side.
Part of the problem, she said, is there isn't anyone to give viewers guidance on where to go or what to see on the Moffat County side.
Hemmerich and her business partner, Bill Mitchem, are trying to change that.
This year, travelers can have Hemmerich and Mitchem join them for the drive up Harpers Corner Road, without the car getting cramped.
Over the last year, the two have put together the Harpers Corner Road Guide, a CD that will be available once the road opens next month.
"People have been frustrated the park hasn't done this kind of thing and I know the park doesn't have the money," said Hemmerich, who is also a board member for the Moffat County Tourism Association. "We just decided we were going to do it."
The CD, which is roughly 80 minutes long, will be available at the Bedrock Depot in Dinosaur, a store owned by the Hemmerich and Mitchem families, once it opens for the season.
Hemmerich is hoping to make the CD available at other locations including the Craig Chamber of Commerce.
The disc is filled with information on landmarks and geology in the area, along with numerous anecdotes. The information was compiled from personal experiences as well as interviews with Dinosaur residents.
"We tried our very best to give you both sides of any story, especially in the realm of Dinosaur National Monument, the beauty of it, why it's there, and the rancher's side of why they don't want to be (part of) a park," Hemmerich said. "We're trying to educate them, but also try to make things open ended enough to understand for themselves what's really there."
Drivers are encouraged to go the speed limit so the audio coincides with the landscape. If drivers speed, the CD will lag behind.
Similar to how a music CD has breaks between songs to allow the listener to stop the CD between tracks, so too does the guide, which encourages listeners to stop at landmarks, including the park headquarters, Plug Hat Butte, and Iron Springs bench overlook. Some landmarks, including Escalante Overlook, don't get the same level of attention.
"We tell you about Escalante Overlook, but we do not say pull in here," she said. "At Plug Hat, we say, 'Pull in here and if you're not going to pull in here, skip to track number whatever.'"
Along with the CD, the inner cover has a list of the chapters.
"We try to make it real easy for people to follow it without necessarily doing all of it," she said. "If you went straight out to Harpers Corner without doing any of the pull-offs, you could easily look as you drove back. … You could easily pull in and do those stops because you can see which chapter it was."
Production on the CD started last summer.
Mitchem and Hemmerich drove the route multiple times and recorded themselves to help work out timing issues. From there, they created and refined a script and eventually recorded the CD at a professional studio in Grand Junction.
Hemmerich said she made mistakes at times telling her stories and Mitchem would correct her. In the interest of entertainment, she left those conversations in the final product.
"It's not just me doing a monologue or my business partner doing a monologue," she said. "It's conversational between us. Everybody who's heard it so far has really enjoyed it because we made it interesting."