2017 Sept 7 – Grand Junction, CO to Craig, CO

There were no stops-of-interest on our journey today.  Well, that is what we thought.  It turned out that we drove down a corridor called Pintado Canyon which has many ancient Native Amerian pictograph and pectograph sites.  One never knows what will be around the next bend on a road trip.

We woke up to more smoke and it hung around all day.  We are heading northward toward Canada, in a zigzag course through the sort-of center of Wyoming. The Rabbitbrush is blooming all over the place.  Reminded me of the sunflowers that brightened our days in Arkansas and Louisiana.I don’t know whether this stuff is a white lichen or alkali leaching from the rocks.We drove through Douglas Pass and did a huge curve at the end with a significant grade to climb. The back curve of the pass was cut out of the mountain face and exposed all this white rock. We stopped at a picnic area in Rangely to have lunch and, lo and behold, the car we parked beside belonged to a couple from Victoria.  They were on their way to Santa Fe and said the smoke was so bad in SW Wyoming they couldn’t even see the Tetons and they only had one good day in Yellowstone.  This does not bode well for the rest of our trip.The first rock art site was called Waving Hands.  Unfortunately, as is always the way, idiots could not resist defacing the ancient art. The birds like the overhanging ledges for their nests. After we left Waving Hands I spotted another sign that said White Birds, but John hadn’t seen it so he drove by.  We turned off onto a gravel road for a couple of miles to go see the rock art at Cow Canyon (I don’t know why it was named that but there were plenty of dry cow patties around). There was also a geocache in this huge rock pile at Cow Canyon. I decided I would like to see the White Birds site as well so we made a short backtrack.  The viewing platform at the rock art was up at the end of a steep pathway. We eventually arrived at Highway 80 at a little town called Dinosaur.  I was not surprised to learn there were fossils in this area.  It looks very much like the landscape around Drumheller, Alberta which has a huge dinosaur museum and preservation site.

Just down the road is one of the entrance points to Dinosaur National Park.  We could see on the map that much of the park was some distance from the highway so decided to go in and ask how many miles it was before deciding whether or not to venture further.  The main, easily accessible area was the Quarr,y which was 25 miles in the opposite direction.  We made a mental note to stop on another trip someday and carried on to Craig for the night.

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