and headed down the road to Fossil Butte National Monument, near Kemmerer, WY. What an amazing place. 53 million years ago, Fossil Butte
was at the bottom of a large lake. There is an 18-inch layer of sedimentary rock about halfway up this butte which contains billions of fossils. They were first noticed in the mid-19th century. Since then they have supplied paleontologists with an incredible amount of information about what is called the Green River Formation. Many are of ancient fish. I liked this one of a 53-million year old damselfly:
The Visitor's Center had an interesting and educational exhibit in which as you drove along you traveled the time from the big bang to the present - c. 13 billion years, with each major development marked by signs. As I recall, each inch = 9 million years.
After a picnic we took a Scenic Drive with spectacular views
and then took a 1.5 mile hike on the Chicken Creek trail, which went up close to the Butte.
|Looking down from the Butte to the parking area where we left the car.|
We drove down an 8% grade to Vernal, UT, and then over to Craig, CO, which is where we are now, at the Elk Run Inn.