Old Bones and Crowded Overlooks

Today’s adventure started with a trip to the Cleveland-Lloyd Dinosaur Quarry in the Jurrasic National Monument. The quarry is the site of the densest collection of Jurrasic dinosaur bones ever found. Fossils and replicas are on display in the visitors center and the dig site.

Cleveland-Lloyd Dinosaur Quarry

There were only a handful of visitors when we were there (Saturday noon) so it was peaceful and quiet. We took advantage of the cool weather and hiked one of the marked trails. A tiny three-inch tall desert flower amongst the drab dirt and rocks was a sweet find.

A very small desert flower near the quarry

One of our destinations was The Wedge Overlook, a viewpoint on the rim of the ‘Little Grand Canyon’ of the San Rafael river. It’s not the Big Grand Canyon of course, but impressive anyway. My guess is that the canyon is more than a thousand feet deep. But I’m not much better than random when it comes to estimating canyon depths. That a relatively small river can carve a deep canyon is impresssive.

Because of the remoteness of the site, we expected there to be few visitors. Turns out that we timed our visit with the arrival of some sort of organized caravan of dozens of cars. A standing-room only zoo. We’ve been staying away from places like Zion and the Grand Canyon, partially because of the crowds. We didn’t expect crowds here. At least it wasn’t like the pre-pandemic Grand Canyon and Bryce – bus loads of tourists offloading, snapping photos and piling back on.

Crowd at The Wedge Overlook

The view – once the crowd dissapated – was spectacular. Like the Grand Canyon though, it’s hard to capture the scene in a photograph.

The Wedge Overlook

It’s possible to dry camp at and near the overlook. We considered that possibility, but the designated camping areas were crowded and noisy with weekend campers. Not quiet this weekend. Perhaps during the week?

Accessing the quarry and the overlook is via graded gravel roads of varying levels of maintanence. The most direct roads to the Wedge were well maintained. We aired down the tires to help on the washboard sections.

FWIW – I have no idea how far I can air down without damaging the tires or loosing a bead. Ford recommends 57psi on the read duals and 67psi on the fronts, I normally run 5psi less than that. Dropping to 45psi rear and 50psi front made a difference. I suspect I can drop quite a bit more.

1 Comment

  1. Bigfoot says:

    Add air bags to your leaf supension, for smoother ride!

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