Flaming Gorge Nat Rec Area and Dinosaur Nat Mon

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The Green River and dam for Flaming Gorge reservoir.

We spent a week at Lucerne campground in the high desert of Flaming Gorge Nat Rec Area on the border of southern Wyoming and northern Utah.    The campground was nearly deserted during the week , we shared it only with the numerous pronghorn antelope and the ubiquitous prairie dog which seem to be everywhere we go.

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The other side of the dam with excellent boating and fishing.

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Stunning rock formations on the Sheep Creek Geological Loop.

One day we made a day trip south through Vernal, Utah one of the prettiest little towns we’ve seen, with hundreds of hanging flower pots and large planters full of colorful flowers throughout the town.  We were headed to Dinosaur Nat Monument, having been told that it was worth visiting.

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A tram takes you from the Visitor Center to the Quarry Exhibit Hall which features a wall of in situ dinosaur bones.

The Quarry Exhibit Hall was amazing due to the enormous quantity of dinosaur bones that have been partially excavated but left in place in what was once a river bed and is now tilted at about a 90 degree angle.   It is theorized that the dinosaurs in the area died during a drought and then their carcasses caught swept up during a flash flood and swept downstream.  Only large bones remain, all the smaller bones have been swept away.    The site was discovered in 1909 and the remarkable decision was made to leave the bones in situ for educational purposes.

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Although difficult to discern in this photo, this is a wall of dinosaur bones.

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The only skeleton with the head still attached, a Camarasaurus.

Also located in the cliffs of Dinosaur NM are numerous 1000 year old petroglyphs from the Fremont people.  We’ve searched for petroglyphs like this before and it’s always fun and quite a challenge,  they’re elusive, usually quite high up on the cliffs and only on a particular type of rock.    We didn’t time it right this time though, it was literally 100 F outside and we were scrambling up the hills to try to get close to them (but it’s a dry heat) LOL.   Here’s a few photos of the many we saw.

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They appear to be a male, female and child.

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This was really cool looking and approx. 5 ft tall.

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The bottom lizard was 6 ft long.

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That’s our truck down there.

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Probably the best petroglyph in the park

At the end of the road was the old homestead and cabin of Josie Morris, who built the cabin herself, had livestock and was completely self-sufficient, living alone here for 50 years.

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Josie Morris cabin

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Interior of the cabin with dirt floors.

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Our view from Antelope campground overlooking the reservoir.

 

13 responses to “Flaming Gorge Nat Rec Area and Dinosaur Nat Mon

  1. Lorraine Vatcher

    Nice to see you on the road again! We think of you two often. Hope we can get together sometime soon.

    • sunandsandtravelers

      Thanks Lorraine, we think of you often as well and especially our fabulous summer up there. Still waiting for you to cruise into our port or for us to take another cruise together.

  2. Love the pictures. Thanks for sharing and looking forward to seeing you in a few days.

  3. Climbing slopes in scorching heat to look at graffiti… you really are crazy.
    Sheep Creek looks wonderful! Despite the lack of trees, Lucerne looks like a nicely appointed spot. Did you get a chance to use the fire-pit?

    • sunandsandtravelers

      It didn’t get really hot until about the fifth or sixth climb! And no unfortunately we didn’t use the fire pit, but they were gorgeous.

  4. Thank you for sharing all your wonderful research. I always learn so much from your travels. Keep posting and drive safe.

    • sunandsandtravelers

      Thanks Julie, so good to hear from you. How are you and Gary doing, still going up to Door County in the summer?

  5. Michael Chernoby

    The visitor center looks a lot different than when I saw it in ’65 with my parents. You peaked my curiosity and I had to look up Josie. Cool back story on her. Different and tougher breed of people back then. Kind of like today’s immigrants. Hope you continue to enjoy your travels as much as I enjoy reading about them.

    • sunandsandtravelers

      Hi Mike, it’s sooo good to hear from you. You are often in my thoughts and I hope things are going well. Glad you enjoy the posts, I always wonder if anybody else is interested in the same things we are.

  6. Suellen Conant

    Looks amazing! And hot! But it is a dry heat! Passing through Utah now, nearly to Salt Lake City. Copper and Lilo say hi to leia.

    • sunandsandtravelers

      LOL, a dry heat can get you only so far and then you have to admit defeat, it just takes a lot longer to get there. You must be encountering that now. Hope all is well. Laia says Hi back. See you in the fall.

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