Saturday, July 26, 2014

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.

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