Thursday, July 11, 2013

7/10/13 Wed - fossils and dancers

In the morning we went west out of Kemmerer towards Fossil Butte National Monument. But before we could go learn about and see fossils, we had an appointment with Charlie Nunn at the Blue Moon Quarry. Charlie gave us tools and a quick lesson, then let us work his quarry for 2 hours.  Fish fossils are abundant and we were able to keep what we found, but if we happened to discover something amazing (like a turtle or mammal), we would have had to give it up.  As it was, we all found fish, and Bryn found a leaf.  It was sunny on the hillside, but there was an incredible view of the valley with surrounding buttes containing the fossil-rich Green River Formation.

We had a quick picnic then visited Fossil Butte. The boys had picked up Junior Ranger booklets the night before. To complete the booklet, they had to fill in facts from the unique timeline at the visitor center. The hexagonal building had a deck surrounding it, and the railing was marked with the geologic time scale (we're leaning on it in this photo).  Inside, we watched an interesting video, saw the very impressive fossils, and the boys were awarded their badges. Bret's favorite was the 13' crocodilian.
We drove a few hours northwest to Lander and had a short tour through town before checking into the hotel.  After dinner at the Oxbow Restaurant, we went to the Museum of the American West. The Shoshone Rose Casino on the Wind River Reservation sponsored the evening of dances by the Eagle Spirit Dancers. What a wonderful way to spend a summer evening.
Afterwards, we threw a couple of loads of laundry in and went swimming while they washed. It was late to bed for all of us.

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