July 25, 2012 – Dinosaur National Monument, Utah/Colorado
Our refrigerator is empty and the cupboards are getting bare so we headed to Vernal, UT on Wednesday morning to go grocery shopping. Before we went shopping we drove to Dinosaur National Monument which is along the Colorado/Utah border East of Vernal. Our first stop was at the Quarry Visitor Center where we boarded a shuttle that took us to the Quarry Exhibit Hall. Paleontologist Earl Douglass discovered and began excavating fossils at the quarry for the Carnegie Museum in 1909. Dinosaur National Monument was established in 1915 to preserve the quarry. The Quarry Exhibit Hall is built around the quarry which displays many of the fossils found here (some still remain where they were found).
The display of fossils found in the quarry was very impressive.
After taking the shuttle back to the Quarry Visitor Center we drove on the Cub Creek Road and followed the Tour of the Tilted Rocks. The Green River cuts through Split Mountain here instead of going around it.
After driving through more scenic areas, Cub Creek Road ends at the homestead of Josephine Bassett Morris. Nearing the age of 40, divorced and with her children grown Josie wanted a home of her own and settled in this remote area in 1914. She grew fruits and vegetables and raised cattle, pigs, chickens and geese. Josie built several cabins on her homestead, the last being constructed in 1935. Although she was married five times, she lived here alone most of the time, providing for herself without electricity or indoor plumbing until she died at age 90 in 1964. Josie was accused (though not convicted) of rustling cattle twice and was an alleged associate of the outlaw Butch Cassidy. She was quite a character!
After this pleasant drive we headed back to Vernal to do our grocery shopping.