The day is glorious, filled with shiny pennies of delightful discoveries. After a hearty ‘second breakfast’ at Denny’s (filled Olive’s tank — why not fill mine?), I headed north to another known dinosaur trackway. I stop at a historical marker identifying an oddly barren area as a CCC camp in the 30s, and a Japanese relocation “camp” in the 40s. I pause to reflect on those hard times.
Passing the Moab airport, I smile at the faded sign that says SKYDIVE, wondering whether or not to consider that more deeply at this time. At mile marker 148 I spot the microwave tower that indicates I will soon turn east. Nothing is labeled out here, but one soon learns the feel of a place and I recognized the cattle guard and spotted the dirt road and headed in. Olive is not exactly a high-clearance vehicle, but she navigates the bumpy and rocky dirt road for two miles, and we arrive at Copper Ridge Trackway.
Ascending the gravel path, I realize that I need more cardio exercise. I’m breathing hard by the time I almost fall into a huge round footprint about two feet across. The previous visitors had watered all the footprints, making them easier to see. Here a huge herbivorous dino (wrongly called Brontosaurus, but that gives you the longneck image) stepped along an old sandbar and took an abrupt right turn. Very few trackways show turning footprints, so this was special. I tried to imagine if the smaller carnivorous guys (whose footprints were nearby) were ganging up on him, and he was trying to get away, or defend himself, or what? I put my sandal next to his footprint and marvel. [Second photo.] It is no wonder that small children become fascinated with these creatures and memorize their names, sizes, food web and next of kin.
Just as I am examining the last of the second dino’s tracks, sprinkling a few tablespoons of my precious drinking water on them for photographic purposes, a mom/dad/kid come by. The boy, aged five at the most, is patiently explaining to his parents the dino details they needed to know; he has everything correct. Long live dino-mania!