s/y Nine of Cups
Dinosaur National Monument, Utah & Colorado
May 2012
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What do you call a dinosaur with an extensive vocabulary?
A thesaurus.
More National Parks and Monuments?

American Odyssey - Part I?
(Las Vegas to Denver)

American Odyssey Part II?
(Denver to Boston)

American Odyssey...Part III?
(Boston to Vegas)

Roadside Americana?

Birds of North America?

Wildflowers of North America?
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Dinosaur National Monument is located on the
southeast flank of the Uinta Mountains on the
border between Colorado and Utah at the
confluence of the Green and Yampa Rivers.
Although most of the monument area is in
Colorado, the Dinosaur Quarry lies near Jensen,
Utah. The Utah portion of the park has fossils of
dinosaurs including Allosaurus, Abydosaurus and
various long-neck, long-tail sauropods. It was
declared a National Monument by President
Woodrow Wilson in  1915 and encompasses
210,000 acres.

We visited both parts of the park and enjoyed
each for its particular offering.
There was no question we were in Dinosaurland. The town of Vernal is dedicated to dinosaurs as is everything on the Utah side of the park...with good reason.
The dinosaur fossil beds (bone beds) were discovered in 1909 by Earl Douglass, a
paleontologist working and collecting for the Carnegie Museum of Natural History. He and his
crews excavated thousands of fossils and shipped them back to the museum in Pittsburgh,
Pennsylvania for study and display.
A 24-mile self-guided auto tour took us beyond the quarry bed and the Wall of Bones into the river canyons and high country.
Thousand-year-old Native American petroglyphs were abundant in the sandstone cliffs. Rock formations were impressive. Josie Bassett
(1875-1964), a local legend and alleged friend of Butch Cassidy, lived in this canyon and her log cabin remains as an historic landmark. A
western blue flag blooms in Josie's meadow.
If the Utah side of the monument was dinosaurs and fossils, the Colorado side was canyons, spectacular views and wildflowers. We
took the 31-mile Harper's Corner Scenic Drive along the Green and Yampa Rivers. Illustrated signs and a 50¢ printed guide provided
insight and information along the way. The center photos were taken from Island Park Overlook.
Some trivia...
The Uinta Mountains in this area are the
only mountain range in the contiguous
USA that stretch east to west.
Wildflowers were plentiful and varied.  Bright yellow arrow-leaf balsamroot and vibrant
western blue flax were my personal favorites.
Finally, we head to Denver with a stop in Craig, Colorado to visit with David's
sister. Arrival in
Denver will complete Part I of our American Odyssey, but
there's lots more to see and do. We plan to visit friends and relatives, get caught up
on our writing and the website and then head out on
Phase II ... Denver to
Boston. Come with us...the pace will be slow and the scenery varied.
Next up for national parks...Rocky
Mountain National Park in Colorado.
Are you coming?