Sometime during my education at Carpenter School back in the 60’s I got it in my mind I wanted to see Dinosaur National Monument, and by jiminy cricket I finally made it!
But before we enter dinosaur land we took a day to explore the McConkie Ranch Petroglyphs. The rock art here is world renowned. The petroglyphs and a few pictographs are all along a 200 foot sandstone cliff that runs about 3/4 of a mile. They are in what is called the Classic Vernal Style. It has been suggested that the people who left these graphics were head hunters because of the severed heads depicted. The trail is on private property. A donation of $5 per family is requested. Cheap money for what you get.
Here is a slide show of what we found at McConkie.
Beside the main trail head is the Jean McConkie McKensie house. No one was there the day we showed up but I’ve been told it’s worth a visit. It’s filled with Native American artifacts, antiques, and a general store.
Before you leave, look for the Kings Trail. We almost missed it and that would have been unfortunate as we found some spectacular rock art on this trail.
I reinjured my ankle here. It has been tormenting me for a year and a half. I guess it’s time for me to come out of the closet. On my birthday back in 2019 we were camping with friends at Snyder Hill BLM just outside of Tucson. That day we climbed Snyder Hill which was nothing to brag about. I was fine when we got back. I got up in the middle of the night to use the bathroom and I could not put any weight on my right foot. Time for ice packs and rest.
It got better but it has never completely healed. I reinjured it in Alpine coming down the side of a very steep hill. Ice packs and rest.
Susan advised me to go to a podiatrist while we were in Aiken, SC last winter. Ok, it was more than a suggestion. She insisted. 🙄 Dr. Adrian diagnosed my problem as plantar fasciitis. I’d heard of this ailment but quite frankly never knew how painful it could be. Ankle braces help, shoe inserts help, ice helps, but nothing got rid of it completely.
So here at McConkie I was climbing a steep part of the trail. I pushed off with my right foot and WHAM!!! I reinjured the damn thing again. Ice packs and rest.
What do I have to do to be rid of this painful scourge!
Something else stands out in my mind about McKonkie Ranch. It rained! We hadn’t experienced rain in months. Susan was prepared for rain. I was not. I went through all the extra dry clothes I had brought with me. I ended up driving home with the Green Man wrapped around me.
Huh, have we ever introduced the Green Man? I think not.
Sue bought the Green Man on one of our excursions into Floyd, Virginia. According to a google search the Green Man is believed to symbolize the cycle of life, death and re-birth. In any case Susan liked the imagery and bought it. I was neutral about it then but sure love it now! Mostly we use it to create shade. But it works good for warmth too.
Now where were we? Oh ya, Dinosaurs.
Dinosaur National Monument, like most other national parks was crowded, but not as bad as The Arches National Park. While waiting for the bus to take us up to the Fossil Bone Quarry Susan bought a new face mask. Very becoming don’t you think?
Lets move right on to the Wall of Bones, It’s mighty impressive.
The bus drops you off at the Quarry Exhibition Hall which was built over the Carnegie Quarry AKA the Wall of Bones. The upper section provides an overview of the bones and on the lower section you can actually touch some of the bones.
Some of the dinosaurs exhibited here include Allosaurus, Apatosaurus, Camarasaurus, Diplodocus, and Stegosaurus. There is also an 80 foot long mural that depicts the story of these creatures. Rangers were in abundance to answer any questions. Pretty darn cool!
Instead of taking the bus, we walked back to the Visitors Center, banged up ankle and all. Here are some pictures from the walk back.
Did you know there are two entrances to Dinosaur National Monument? One is in Utah and leads to the Visitors Center and the Wall of Bones. There are quite a few Petroglyphs in the Utah section. More on those in a bit.
So the East entrance to Dinosaur National Monument is in a little town just over the border in Colorado called, wait for it now ……………… Dinosaur!! Don’t you just love it?
You drive into Colorado, and take a left onto Harpers Corner Road, drive past the Canyon Visitor Center and 31 miles later you will reach the end. In between the Visitor Center and the end you will have seen some absolutely spectacular scenery. I mean stunning views!
We wanted to drive down the Echo Park Road to get to a rock art panel but it rained and the road was impassible. You can see it in the first picture above.
There are petroglyths on the Utah side of Dinosaur National Monument called the Cub Creek Petroglyphs. Most of them were easily accessible along the Tour Of The Tilted Rocks. You can pick up a map of this scenic drive at the Visitors Center.
Some of the petroglyths here in Dinosaur are aligned so that the sun reaches them most directly at solstice or equinox. Now how do you suppose they did that!
This is the last of our Petroglying for a while. We’ve got other exploits planned. Namely, visiting friends Donn Fowler & Judy Kerry in Steamboat Springs, CO, a Bluegrass Festival/Airstream Rally in Westcliff, CO, a wedding in Sargents, CO, and a trip back to NH for Sue’s dad’s memorial.
I’ve fulfilled a life long dream, now it’s your turn to fulfill one of yours!