Day 6 – June 12 – Tumbler Ridge, BC

We woke up to sunshine again and decided to do the hike to the dinosaur tracks before visiting the Dinosaur Gallery in case it decided to rain. The hike was 1.5 km each way through pine and spruce forest. We kept up a steady conversation or John whistled as we walked to alert possible bears to our presence. The trail was pretty good and we went up a few banks before going steadily downward to latbed Creek.

The foot prints in the rocks at Cabin Basin belong to these three dinosaur species and we saw footprints of each of them.

Ankylosaur footprint. The toes are the easiest to make out, the deeper round part is the main foot.
Ornithopod footprint
The meat eating Theropod. The elongated thin cracks are the creature’s claws.

We saw two men digging dirt off the rock that contained many dinosaur footprints. They were clearing the bottom edge of the rock shelf of buit-up dirt to reveal more footprints. One of the men came over to us right away and pointed out several tracks for us.

We took the short trail to see where the two boys (age 8 and 11) discovered the first dinosaur tracks in 2000.

The boys filled the dinosaur tracks with baby powder to make them more visible.

We could not get to the original site as it was across the creek which was flowing full and fast with spring runoff.

Flatbed Creek

The large flat rock shelf on the opposite side of the river is where the boys spotted the tracks after one of them fell off their inner tube as they went over the rapids and clambered ashore. Floating down the creek is popular in summer. These kayakers were doing the more adventurous version today.

We went back to the Cabin Basin area and saw that the men had revealed quite a few new tracks.

The fellow told us that in this area the rule of thumb is that if you flood a space with water and it pools in places, those are dinosaur tracks. Since the boys first discovery thousands of tracks in several different locations have bee discovered, as well as bones.

Every depression in the rock, we were told is a dinosaur track.

We hiked back to the truck and drove to the Dinosaur Gallery which is located in a old school in a residential area of Tumbler Ridge only to find it closed due to a power outage.

We decided to go find the four geocaches that are hidden in the township, but could only find three of them because the fourth is hidden inside the library and it was closed because it is Sunday. It would have been closed anyway since there was no power anywhere in the town and everything that was supoosed to be open was locked up until it came on again.

One of the caches was a nano (which is about the size of my little finger nail) hidden in this huge mining bucket. It could hold 15 cubic yards of material in each shovelful.

We decided to go back to our hotel room and have some lunch and wait for the power to come on again. Apparently a transformer blew at 11 AM and the estimated time to have power on again was 7 PM. It did not get back until 9 so no Dinosaur Gallery today. We have a short drive to Dawson Creek tomorrow so we will go before we leave town.

Thankfully we were able to have dinner at the hotel restaurant, which was the only place in town that was open for food, and consequently was busy all day. They offered a limited menu of pizza or salads, sandwiches or things like burgers which can be cooked on the gas grill or chicken nuggets which go in the deep fryer. We had pizza and bought large enough ones to have leftovers for our lunch tomorrow.

So our day’s activities were a little shorter than planned, but John had a good nap and I did some research on things to see and do along our planned route across Canada. It was actually quite nice to have a lazy afternoon.

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