We had a crew of three 4-Hers and their chaperone join us last week, July 12th through the 16th at the Swarez Site near Green River. We met at the Museum of the San Rafael in Castle Dale. This is an undiscovered museum that more people should visit. This museum is a natural history museum and contains displays on dinosaurs and Indian artifacts. They have an excellent display of stuffed animals from the area and a small mineral exhibit; several murals are a great addition to the displays.
After our short tour of the museum, we headed south and took the Moore Cutoff Road where we visited the Rochester Panel.
Photos of this panel have appeared in many national and international publications. After which we saw the dinosaur tracks that were uncovered during the construction of that road. We connected up with I-70 and headed east to the next off ramp where we headed north into the San Rafael Swell. The geology of this area is known world-wide and the ages of the rocks cover the Permian to as young as the Cretaceous.
The San Rafael Swell is rich in artifacts left by ancient man as well as fossils and geologic splendor. We visited the Buckhorn Panel and saw Matt Warner’s signature (he was a member of Butch Cassidy’s Wild Bunch). We also visited the worst kept secret in Emery County, the Buckhorn Dinosaur Track.
This track is believed to be from a dilophosaurus. In the upper part of the canyon the cliffs are formed from weathered Navajo sandstone. The Navajo sandstone is sand dune deposits that have lithified into rock. The cross-bedding of the petrified sand dunes is beautiful and I never tire of studying them.
On our way to the Swarez Site, we visited the Crystal Geyser and later we were able to witness an eruption.
Tuesday, we began excavations at the site. The weather was very hot (100 + degrees F). The bones continue to be abundant and in good condition. We were able to uncover several more specimens of the therizinosaur and the nodosaur over the next two days. Keeping cool and hydrated was our top priority.
Thursday, we closed up the quarry and headed for Price where the participants enjoyed a cooling dip in the Desert Wave Pool and were able to sleep in air conditioned comfort that night.
Friday, was spent in the lab prepping out some of the bones that were excavated that week. Unfortunately the heat had taken its toll and two of our participants did not feel well.
The week was a success. We accomplished our goals, forged new friendships and for the most part had another great week.