Who knew dam coppers could be so nice?

Who knew Flaming Gorge dam coppers could be so friendly?

One of the things I love about traveling is the ability to simply pull off the road and explore something that seems interesting—that’s what happened when we came around a corner and saw Flaming Gorge dam.

Making sure no one was behind me, I hit the brakes and swerved onto a small shoulder, before the road got too narrow to stop without blocking traffic.

Kids at the Red Rock and flaming gorge

Kids hanging out in the red rocks of Flaming Gorge dam.

The kids climbed out and immediately started scampering up the red rocks, looking for different geological specimen to add to their collection. I crossed the highway to check out the view.

While I was shooting some photos, an officer came over and started chatting it up with me. He suggested we take the trailer down this narrow side road to get the best view of the dam. I was leery, as the road was barely wide enough for the truck and Airstream, but he assured me there was room to turn around after you wound around the corner.

We decided to trust him, and I’m glad we did. There was a small lookout that we could stand out on to get a spectacular view of the dam. We were the only people there, though the officer came down to check on us, so I snapped a picture of him with the kids.

Kids and the dam cop at Flaming Gorge dam

Kids and the dam cop at Flaming Gorge dam.

Eden kept calling him a “cop,” which I told her was less respectful than “officer” or “policeman.” He proceeded to tell the kids where the name “cop” originated. According to him, cop was an acronym for “constable on patrol,” from the police in London, who were designated to walk the streets and patrol for fires and crime. My own research indicated that most authorities agree that it is a shortening of the word “copper.” Cop was first used in 1859 but copper was used as early as 1846. Copper, as slang for policeman, derives from the verb “to cop,” which dates from 1704 and means “to catch.”

In any event, he was a delightful fellow, and we appreciate his taking time to show us this little nook from which we could better appreciate the dam.

Annie & Xena at Flaming Gorge

Annie & Xena at Flaming Gorge

The beautiful Flaming Gorge dam at sunset

The beautiful Flaming Gorge dam at sunset