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Trip Report Petroglyph, Pictographs, Geologic Wonders, in Utah and Colorado

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The original plan was to visit Dinosaur National Monument and see the fossils and also the petroglyphs that are there, then re-visit Nine Mile Canyon for more petroglyphs before joining friends in Green River, UT for a few days. Then down to Mexican Hat via 24 to 95, to 261/Moki Dugway for Valley of the Gods and Goosenecks SP, and finally, a wander back to Denver for the flight home. Weather was wierd, as it has been alll winter, so we adapted the trip as needed. I’ve started to post pictures at www.flickr.com/photos/emalloy2009/sets in the Utah and Colorado 2010 set if you would like a look. I’ll be adding to the set as time goes on and the rest of the photos get processed.

April 27: Up at 4:15 to catch a 7 o’clock flight to Denver. Arrived after noon, picked up a Jeep Cherokee and hit the road. Stopped at Rifle for the night at a completely forgettable, but clean, motel close to the interstate. We took I 70 in spite of the recent road work due to the landslide. There was a section with one lane, but traffic was light so it didn’t slow things much and we didn’t have any icy/snowy conditions on the roadway to deal with.

April 28: Rose bright and early for the trip up to Dinosaur. We took rt. 13 to 64 to 40 and made a side trip a few miles down 139 to see the petroglyphs and pictographs in Canyon Pintado. The nicest here was a sun calendar that was painted on a rock wall, we weren”t there at the proper time to get bisection, but you could get the idea. Because of impending snow we decided to head for the Jensen, UT entrance of Dinosaur and see what we could in the day before the storm.

We headed up to the McKee spring area for the great concentration of petroglyphs. This involved a few miles of gravel road and a bit of a hike up a hill, but the petroglyphs were very nice. We then went back to the temporary VC and down the main road for more petroglyphs. Who knew that on Wednesdays the rangers don’t do the tour into the dinosaur bones and tracks, and the area is closed due to construction of the new VC (the old one was condemmed because it was unstable) so no dinosaurs for us. Impending snow made it wise to head south, so we took 40/191 to 191 to Price for the night. Stayed in another forgettable, but clean, motel.

April 29: Our plan was to spend the day in Nine Mile Canyon. We started out and took the road from Wellington into Nine Mile Canyon, as the road got to gravel, the snow started in ernest, when we were 5 or 7 miles in the road surface was covered with snow and it started getting greasy, so sadly we truned around and headed back to pavement. We hit some sporatic snow on the way, but as we went south it was not sticking to the road.

We were meeting friends who were driving from California in Green River, UT, so we headed down 191 and had time to go to Moab for a bit before night. We visited some dinosaur tracks just north of Moab and then went to the Potash Road and Kane Creek petroglyph sites. There was a very interesting “ladder” made with logs wedged into a crevice in the rock near the Kane Creek site. Headed to the River Terrace Inn in Green River. The inn was very nice, right on the river, nice size room, very nice breakfast included (they cook your eggs, pancakes, french toast, etc. to order). We chose this location because it would be convenient for the folks from CA and for us. We stayed here 3 nights and used it as a base for activities in Moab and then down to Mexican Hat. It was a little over $100/ night and much nicer than most of the motels in the area. Friends had just arrived at the lodging when we got there, so we chatted for a while and then went to Ray’s for supper. Not fine dining, but fun and everyone had a good meal before heading back for early to bed.

To be continued

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