Wednesday, July 30, 2014

July 30, 2014 - baskets & Yellowstone

Yellowstone report - the rain ended and the boys were able to have their campfire calzones after all last night. Today they saw the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone - truly spectacular. They also followed some sauntering bison on the road for about half an hour, making for a long drive.

More beautiful baskets in Cody, and confirmation of another Plains gambling tray (rare!). I worked in the Resource Center/Gallery while Ann Marie was busy, here's my selfie reflection in the southwestern basketry case. Apache tray above, Akimel O'odham olla below:

In the evening, we went to the Draper Museum of Natural History for a reception, lecture and book-signing by Michael Leach, grizzly expert and former NPS ranger at Yellowstone. A dynamic and influential speaker.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

7-29-14 baskets & geysers

Bryn had another fun day looking at baskets. We found the tiny Pomo baskets - one looks like a speck in my gloved hand.
Yellowstone report - today was Grand Geyser, Old Faithful, and sightings of deer and a marmot. Plus a big thunderstorm in the late afternoon. It might be Plan B - sandwiches for dinner - instead of Plan A - campfire feast.

Monday, July 28, 2014

7-28-14 Resident Fellowship starts and boys head to Yellowstone

Bryn got dropped off at the museum and spent the day identifying baskets in the Plains Indian Museum storage with Ann Marie and Juniper.

some basket details

The boys went to Yellowstone and had a nice drive around the park, including a picnic lunch stop at Old Faithful. They saw elk and a grizzly bear! They'll add to the blog and add some photos after we meet again on Friday night.

7-27-14 Sunday - Legend Rock and Cody

Legend Rock Petroglyph site is south of Meteetsee and is a wonderful stop. This is some of the oldest rock art around, dated at 11,000 ypb.

We had a picnic after visiting the site, and Bret had a nice time petting Coco, the site manager's cat. Then we drove to Cody. Reed & Bryn went to see the Colt Firearms Museum at the Buffalo Bill Center of the West, then Bret & Bryn went swimming, then to dinner (Randy & Bryn's 23rd anniversary), then we went to visit our friend Ann Marie.

Sunday, July 27, 2014


The technical reminder: text and photos copyright Bryn Potter, permission and proper credit needed for use ~ thanks! 

Saturday, July 26, 2014

7/26/14 Saturday - Wind River Reservation & Dinosaur Capital of the World

We headed north out of Lander to the Wind River Reservation, hoping to visit some of the spots we found last year. 3 strikes!! If you are in this area, we suggest you don't visit on a Saturday, and if you do, make sure you have appointments. We didn't know that, so all 3 of our sites were closed - we missed Greeves' studio, the Shoshone Cultural Center at Ethete, and the little museum & shop at St. Stephen's Mission.  But...we had a great lunch at the Shoshone Rose restaurant at the casino, and saw some scenic backroads on our way.  Yesterday we got a couple of windshield chips, Randy & Reed used a repair kit to get them under control. Here Reed is working in front of the Wind River Trading Co (while Bryn and Bret were in the post/museum looking around). Hopefully we won't get any big cracks before we can get home.
 Thermopolis, WY was our destination of the day, and we arrived in early afternoon.  Off to the Wyomng Dinosaur Center, one of the world's top dinosaur museums. Like last year, we spent a lot of time reading the excellent label text and noting the new displays. This museum has exceptional specimens and detailed information. Randy liked the really big crinoids.  Bret's favorites are the pterosaurs (flying dinos), and here he is pointing to a replica Tapajara, an Early Cretaceous flyer from South America.

Thermopolis is also famous for its Hot Springs State Park. There are mineral springs here, and several water parks. We went to the Star Plunge, which opened in 1900.  Today it has several hot pools plus some of the longest water slides in the country.  Bret enjoyed the high dive.

7/25/14 Friday - More Petroglyphs & the Field House Museum

Another great day filled with petroglyphs and dinosaurs.  We started with 3 Fremont rock art sites along Cub Creek in Dinosaur Natl Monument. Reed & Bret had a great time scrambling along the rocks, and Bryn was thankful she was still able to keep up, and has photos to prove it!

With the bright morning light and shifting clouds, it was difficult to see some of the petroglyphs. Randy has some new image-stabilizing binoculars, and later we were able to look through them from the valley floor and see some of the patterns that were hard to discern up close.  After Cub Creek, we stopped at Swelter Shelter along the road. This is also a Fremont site that has petroglyphs with painted red details, the paint having survived due to the arid landscape and protection afforded by the rockshelter. Here we are at Swelter Shelter, the petros are faint behind us in the morning sun:
We returned to Vernal for a visit to the Field House of Natural History - Utah State Park Museum. It has a stegosaurus excavated from Dino Natl Monument. The museum has good information and excellently designed exhibits.  Below you can see Bret's hand alongside a real fossil footprint of Eubrontes from the Late Jurassic. There were also some fragments of Fremont-period baskets and petroglyph replicas to make Bryn happy.

We drove north along the Flaming Gorge National Recreation Area and crossed into Wyoming. This is a scenic trail peppered with informative signs identifying the varied geologic features. We wish we had time to stop and poke around for squid-like creatures, fossilized early mammals and shark teeth - of course, only in designated collecting areas and never in NPS sites!  Also we didn't have time to hike a few miles to see dino footprints in situ, and more petroglyphs in the Rock Springs, WY area.  We'll save those for the next trip!
Destination - Lander, WY. We saw a lot of cattle and lots of signs promoting Wyoming beef. We had dinner at the Oxbow Family Restaurant and Randy said it was the best prime rib he ever had, and yes he's been to Lawry's, so he's a fan of WY beef.

7/24/14 Thursday - Green River rafting + petroglyphs in Dino NM

Early up and out as we had a raft to catch. We went on the Green River - Split Mountain rafting expedition with Adrift Adventures.  We drove to the northwest corner of Dino National Monument and put in at Rainbow Park.  But before that, we had a wonderful treat - classic Fremont Indian petroglyphs at the McKee Springs site (800 - 1200 ybp). It was a bit difficult climbing up the rocky trail in our swim shoes, but it was totally worth the effort.

Our guide's name was Sean, we had class 2 & 3 rapids, and a lunch stop featuring their famous Split Mountain taco salad.  This whole area is a geologic treasure chest, and to see Split Mountain, you have to be in a raft, and again, it is totally worth it. So if you ever get to Dino Natl Monument, be sure to reserve a spot on a rafting trip. They are tightly controlled by NPS regulations, and they do fill up.  In the afternoon, the take out was at Split Rock Campground. While Randy and Reed helped load the rafts on the trailer, Bret posed for a photo. Those are bighorn sheep ewes and lambs on the river shore behind him.

After changing, we headed to the Dino Visitor Center and rode the tram up to the Quarry. The building encloses a Jurassic Period rock face with partially excavated bones in situ, really well done. In the photo below, volunteers are recording some of the bones, which helps give an impression of the immensity of the site. Bret is touching the femur of a Camarasaurus - there are a couple of exposed bones that visitors are welcome to touch. It is a very impressive fossil wall! In 1909 excavation of the area began; today what remains is just a fraction of the excavated portion, with many of the specimens removed living in museums throughout the eastern U.S.

Because it was too hot the night before, and one night without sleep was enough, we wimped out and stayed in town. We had a huge treat - July 24th is a holiday in Utah - Pioneer Day - and we had a huge fireworks show.  We could see fireworks from at least 12 different launch sites, and the show went on for over an hour and a half! 

7/23/14 Provo UT and Dinosaur National Monument

We saw gorgeous Utah scenery today - red rocks, blue sky, fluffy white clouds for the patriotic color palette.  Provo, UT was the first stop, at the Pioneer Bookstore. It was lovely, in the old downtown area, and we each left with some nice finds.  The bookseller recommended a few restaurants, and we went with his favorite, La Dolce Vita, for fantastic Italian food that fortified us as we drove over the Wasatch Mountains eastward toward Vernal.
We arrived at our campsite in Dinosaur National Monument's Green River Campground at about 7 p.m. We set up camp and had dinner. The boys roughed it in the tent while Bryn & Randy took the van. All of us had a miserable and contrary night - although there were a couple of thunderstorms, it was super dry, and really hot. The way to get through it was to keep pouring water from our bottles on ourselves all night long!  But the scenery was lovely and the cottonwoods plentiful.

July 22, 2014 - Tuesday - home to Cedar City

It was a fairly straightforward day - the van was packed up and we left at 8 a.m. First real stop was the Pinball Hall of Fame in Las Vegas to spend some of the quarters hoarded for this very reason.  Then on to the Moapa Paiute Travel Plaza, to look at some of Everett's baskets in the art section and a yummy lunch including Randy's favorite handmade potato chips. We rolled into Cedar City in the evening and had a great Italian dinner at Bruno's, which shares space with a gas station. Good food and an unusual ambiance!

2014 Fellowship Road Trip

One year later - we're on the road again, heading back to the Buffalo Bill Center of the West in Cody, WY, as Bryn as received a second Resident Fellowship.  We'll try to get our first couple of days posted later tonight.

End of the 2013 Fellowship Trip

7/23/13 End of the 2013 Fellowship Road Trip - Cedar Breaks to home,

I started the 2014 blog today and realized I didn't finish last year's trip!

7/23/13 - we headed south to Cedar Breaks National Monument, which is uphill from Brian Head ski resort in southwestern Utah. What a heavenly spot, traveling up a very steep road from the desert floor to the cool and beautiful alpine wonderland of little wildflowers, pines, and gorgeous views. What is the Cedar Breaks National Monument?  Think of a red-walled Grand Canyon-ish spectacular rock formation high in the mountains. Amazing, take the time to see it if you're ever going through the area.   And it is another opportunity to earn a Junior Ranger badge!
Then west to Las Vegas and one of the best things there (besides the Pinball Hall of Fame and the National Atomic Testing Museum) - Circus Circus! The boys had fun on their last night out.
7/24/13 - We drove home. Passed Mormon Rocks near Hwy 138 & I-15, some of southern California's impressive geologic features.   And after we got home, we were back to regular life, which is why this blog was set aside for a whole year!!