Monday, 25 July 2016
Up early, and ready to go. One good thing about this outdoors-oriented town is that the breakfast restaurants open at 6. We were on the road at 7. We had thought to go to Grand Junction today, but decided instead to stay on US 40 and go to Salt Lake City. Good choice: pretty grassland and forest scenery along the Yampa valley to start with, then getting into open plains, then into the eroded land near the Flaming Gorge, the Green, Yampa and Colorado rivers.
Our early adventure was successfully braking for a deer in the road, which was busy demonstrating why deer are poor life insurance risks.
We stopped to enjoy blueberries and apples at a rest stop, quite different scenery to the west and to the east.
A phallic close-up of the rock to the east.
And the Jacky borrowed my camera and wasted a shot.
A couple of little birds across the way, pecking for something yummy. No idea what they are.
Next stop was the Dinosaur National Monument gift shop, where we learned that the fossil exhibit was seven miles north of Jensen. Well, why not! (Why not could be that the entrance fee is $20 per car; but we have a parks pass, so that wasn’t a problem.)
There is a large building over the site of many of the fossil excavations. In the beginning, they removed them and shipped them off to various universities and museums, but close to a hundred years ago, they decided it was best to leave the fossils in situ. And so they are.
Two grad students were climbing around on the quarry, taking notes. The ranger said they were working on a Master’s project.
Some of the fossils have been cast in plaster and are more easily seen.
And models have been constructed for a few of them, too. The allosaurus is of course the favourite, as the biggest carnivore in the local menagerie.
Very hot day, so we didn’t go hiking, although there were plenty of trails. Drove on, enjoying a brief thunderstorm, until we reached I-80 east of Salt Lake. Slow (slow!) trucks making their way up the Wasatch grade on the east side, but on the west side, all of us, including the 18-wheelers, took it out of gear and let it roll. Speed limit 65, actuals up to about 80, except of course for the curves.
A little tricky finding our B&B, getting in, getting ensconced, but we did. Out for a beer and a meal, to Bayou, a nearby cajun restaurant. Pretty good, and only about three blocks. The heat was so uncomfortable that we didn’t go wandering, just headed back to the B&B to mellow out.