2010 Five-Day Moab Expedition Notes

The 5-day expedition to Moab was a great success this year, with 12 participants traveling from Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Wisconsin, New Mexico, and California! Below is a short recap of our trip:


Day 1 (June 28, 2010): We met with participants at the hotel to have dinner and discuss the trip’s structure. We went over some of the local geology they would be seeing, fossils they might find and/or see on the trip, and the schedule for the week.

Dig participants learn the local geology

Dig participants learn the local geology

Day 2 (June 29, 2010): Our first day on the road we drove down from Grand Junction to Moab along Highway 128. We stopped to become better acquainted with the local geology of the area. We then headed south into the La Sal Mountains to visit a dinosaur track site in the Entrada Formation at Fisher Mesa. From there the group traveled to Dead Horse Point State Park for lunch before taking a nice afternoon drive through Arches National Park to wrap up the day.

Dinosaur track in the Entrada Sandstone

Dinosaur track in the Entrada Sandstone

Trip participants and Dr. John Foster observing tracks at Fisher Mesa

Trip participants and Dr. John Foster observing tracks at Fisher Mesa

Fisher Mesa dinosaur track

Fisher Mesa dinosaur track

Participants and Dr. John Foster at Fisher Mesa Dinosaur Track site

Participants and Dr. John Foster at Fisher Mesa dinosaur track site

Day 3 (June 30, 2010): Our second day was filled with prospecting in the Triassic Chinle Formation. Several of the group participants, including Sarah, Michelle, and Patrice found teeth belonging to phytosaurs and rauisuchians.

Introduction to prospecting in the Triassic Chinle Formation

Introduction to prospecting in the Triassic Chinle Formation

Prospecting in the Triassic Chinle Formation

Prospecting in the Triassic Chinle Formation

Phytosaur tooth from the Chinle Formation

Phytosaur tooth from the Chinle Formation

We also toured the Poison Spider dinosaur track site and had a chance to view the petroglyphs that have been left on the Navajo Sandstone at this site.

Visiting a track slab at Poison Spider

Visiting a track slab at Poison Spider

Dr. John Foster pointing out more tracks in the Navajo Sandstone

Dr. John Foster pointing out more tracks in the Navajo Sandstone

Dinosaur Track at Poison Spider

Dinosaur track at Poison Spider

Petroglyph's at Poison Spider

Petroglyphs at Poison Spider

Participants checking out the petroglyph's

Participants checking out the petroglyph

Afterwards we drove to the Mill Canyon area north of Moab to walk a trail that the BLM maintains where fossil bones and wood are preserved in the Jurassic Morrison Formation.

On the Mill Canyon Trail, observing sandstones

On the Mill Canyon Trail, observing sandstones

Day 4 (July 1, 2010): Today we drove to the Mygatt-Moore Dinosaur Quarry in western Colorado. We spent the day digging for the fossilized remains of Late Jurassic dinosaurs. We found a new limb bone in the quarry today along with several pieces of fragmentary dinosaur bone. Another interesting find was a small, well preserved twig found by Barbara and what appears to be a cycad stalk found by Tom. The cycad was safely wrapped in a protective jacket of plastered bandages for its trip back to the museum.

Working at Mygatt-Moore

Working at Mygatt-Moore

Exposing a new bone in the quarry

Exposing a new bone in the quarry

Preparing the cycad for its trip back to the museum

Preparing the cycad for its trip back to the museum

After we finished up at the quarry and headed back towards Moab, we made a stop at Sego Canyon near the town of Thompson Springs to see the petroglyphs and pictographs that can be seen in the Book Cliffs.

Sego Canyon rock art

Sego Canyon rock art

Jay contemplating the rock art

Jay contemplating the rock art

Day 5 (July 2, 2010): On our last day together we woke up early for a morning float on the Colorado River through the Professor Valley. It was a beautiful morning and the weather was perfect for enjoying the river and even a splash or two. Afterwards we returned to Moab for lunch before heading back to the Dinosaur Journey Museum in Fruita for our tour of the lab and collections room, as well as a chance to see the entire museum. We finished off the evening dining together at a local Mexican restaurant, where we reminisced on the week’s events and how quickly it passed.

It was a really great week with everyone and we hope that everyone had as much fun as we did!


3 Responses to “2010 Five-Day Moab Expedition Notes”

  1. Don Says:

    Fantastic trip! Informative and fun, thanks to John and Rebecca for answering all of our questions. Congratulations to Tom on finding the tibia! Don, Hester and Gareth

  2. John Foster Says:

    Hi Don, Hester and Gareth,

    Glad you all had a good time. We really enjoyed having you along and getting a chance to know you. Have a wonderful summer and keep checking back for the tibia updates! Tom is nearly finished with it already!!

    Cheers,
    ReBecca

  3. Jean Betkowski Says:

    Just found the site and brought back a lot of good memories looking at the pictures and reading the blog. It was a great trip! Tom’s tibia looks impressive – great to see it all cleaned up. Congratulations on the grant as well as the new dinosaur tracks found and the good summer at the quarry. Jay has a vocabulary parade at his school at the end of the month and his word is “paleontologist”. He has to put it in a sentence and we came up with one about the tracks and the Morrison Formation so the legand will be passed on. Seems like there should be a new addition to your family around now – congratulations on that as well. Hope all is well.

    Jean, Tom and Jay

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