Monday, June 11, 2012

Dinosaurs and Petroglyphs - a mini vacation

The Adventures have begun again.  I decided late last week based on a suggestion from a co-worker to head down to Price, Utah.  The main reason was to go to the Prehistoric Museum in Price and then visit the Cleveland-Lloyd Dinosaur Quarry.  As you all know, the rugrat LOVES dinosaurs, and wants to be a Paleontologist when she grows up.  I try to get her as much exposure as possible because she loves it so much.  This is going to be a really long post and the pictures are all in Google albums so this is going to look like a big old wall of text. 

So, a couple days before we were leaving, I told her we were going to Price, but not exactly what we were doing.  She didn't know until we started seeing signs for the Prehistoric Museum as we got into Price.  She was even more excited when she found out we were going to the C-L Quarry.  There is a huge exhibit at NHMU about the quarry and the mystery of how all the bones got there.  She is fascinated by it and they discussed it quite a bit during her Spring Break Camp back in March.

The Prehistoric Museum isn't huge so it only took about an hour to wander through, but we learned about Nine Mile Canyon.  I had no idea it was by Price, nor did I know exactly what was there.  Well, after we were done at the Museum and we'd gotten checked into the hotel and had lunch, we headed to Nine Mile Canyon.  It is here that I must declare that the BLM and I have far differing views on what constitutes a paved road.  Remnants of blacktop that are decades old does not count as paved in my book.  The packed dirt road portions were SO nice to drive on.  It got so I dreaded the "paved" parts.

The first part of NMC was the Daddy Canyon Complex.  This featured quite a few different petroglyphs and a short hiking trip back up into the canyon a bit.  We only hiked up about a half mile because the wind was whistling through the canyon so hard I had to hold on to Malia because it was tipping her over.  It was really pretty and there may or may not be a picture of a lizard.  Daddy Canyon Complex Petroglyphs

The end of the canyon where it changes from "paved" to "no longer maintained" was The Great Hunt Panel.  It's one really huge petroglyph and there were some other smaller ones nearby.  This one had a really short hike but I really liked that the wind wasn't blowing so hard through here.  Great Hunt Panel - Petroglyphs

By the time we got back to Price, even though it was only around 6:30, we were done.  We had some dinner and just crashed/hung out in the hotel room.  We got up bright and early the next morning and had a lovely continental breakfast.  We were up, fed, packed, and checked out by 8:30.  Knowing that we had time to kill because the quarry isn't open until noon on Sunday, we took at look at the maps we'd picked up at the museum.  I'd heard of the San Rafael Swell, but I'd never been and I really wasn't sure what it was. We noticed that there were more pictographs and an overlook so we figured we'd check it out.

First we drove down to "The Wedge" overlook.  I don't think I expected that kind of vista.  I mean it was just fantastic.  Malia told me it was so awesome that it took her breath away.  I'll let these pictures speak for themselves.  San Rafael Swell - "The Wedge"

Next we drove down Buckhorn Draw to the Buckhorn Wash Pictographs.  We learned, by reading all the signs, that they are slowly fading because of wind, rain and sun.  I'm glad we were able to see them while you can still actually see the figures.   There were some petroglyphs as well.  San Rafael Swell - Buckhorn Wash Pictographs

Finally, after hunting down some lunch at Maverick, we headed out to the quarry.  You read that correctly, we had to lunch at Maverick.  There wasn't anything within 15 miles that was open other than gas stations.  By this point in time, Malia was tired, but she was getting so stinking excited.  We got there and she impressed the girl working with her knowledge of the quarry and the mystery.  It wasn't until this point in time that it really clicked in my head that this was the quarry talked about at the Natural History Museum.  Malia would have been happy to chat for hours about it, but I wanted to see the other stuff so we wandered around and checked out all the fossils and such.  There are several different trails around so you can see some of the views around the place.  Cleveland-Lloyd Dinosaur Quarry

Once we were done at the quarry we headed for home.  Malia enjoyed it so much we are looking at doing another trip later this summer only we will go a little further south and hit up Arches and Goblin Valley.  Maybe we'll even get to Castle Rock and Dead Horse Point.  I will have to bake in a recovery day though because all I've wanted to do today was go back to bed. =)

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