Yesterday we Knocked ourselves out trying again to find places we saw indicated on Vernal Utah’s Dinosaurland Brochure. We are actually kind of hanging out around here to enjoy a fairly pleasant climate before we head to Yellowstone May 28 to use our RV Park reservations and have a look around at the “geezers” as an Englishman pronounced it yesterday. (Geysers!) When we were stationed at the Days Inn we spent several hours at the Utah Field House of Natural History and my childhood love of dinasaurs ( I loved triceratops best, remember?) was easily rekindled. Rocks too, oh all of the mysterious rocks and Dinosaur significant formations around here! As you drive by the sage green, grey poupon yellow and terra cotta up swellings the signs are posted: Here, Raptors, here, Allosaurous, Here, strange little squid, etc. It took all of two days before I was unable to resist the urge to start filling my pockets with rocks. Where am I going to put them? Want a rock for Christmas? Fantasy Canyon was well worth the long washboard drive through somewhat flatulent oil fields. Visually, It reminded me of diving through gravity defying coral formations. I never expected to be treading upon a petrified Forest of beautiful rose translucent shards. Some were the size of a deck of cards and some were the size of a square wooden scrabble letter. We were even allowed to take some samples. We had been to the Dinosaur National Monument with its fantastic Quarry Wall on a motorcycle trip previously, but we had not taken in the split Mountain area that plunges into the green river. No dogs allowed on my intended trail, but we got an eyeful of the Mountain there. Then we had to decide if we had the energy for one more drive and hike after a quick trip for groceries. of COURSE we do! It is Petroglyphs and Pictographs on McConkies old ranch and under an hour away! Yet another thing I never expected to have free access to with only a request for donations (which we did!) I just think how cool for young families to be able to see these things without the financial barriers placed on many important scientific and cultural objects. You certainly could not get a wheelchair into these places, and I imagine graffiti and litter and destruction are a constant concern, but all of the areas we saw seemed to be treated with respect. My favorite Fremont petroglyphs was the head hunters. R’s was the Three Kings, which was very elaborate petroglyph, very high up and required some pasture walking to get to. While craning our necks to find them, as they were indicated by a posting, we spotted a bird on a nest. We weren’t quite sure what they were till just now when R could adjust the lighting on the photo on his computer. Four owls! I must give mention to the trail we visited on one of our first outings here. A few miles carefully following posts and an occasional painted black dinosaur track through sand, sandstone and low brush and there they were! Actual Raptor footprints.
A very special area because there were several trails of tracks going off in different directions, which was a rare find. I just couldn’t believe they would actually let folks walk about among them….. For free! Guess it’s true, the best things in life….ARE!