Bikes & Dinosaurs? Really?
Well, only connected in a very distant way. The wife & I did a quick overnight over the Memorial Day weekend. Wanted something that would not be too crowded, was not TOO long of a drive, and "different". So we ended up heading to the "Largest Dinosaur Track-site in North America". Located in Colorado, just south of the scenic, thriving tourist trap of La junta.
La- What?? you say?? Seriously, there is SOMETHING to see on the South East plains of Colorado. Maybe not the end all attraction of the world, but something lurks out there in the grasslands.
Picketwire Canyon is a strange little canyon, dropped below the TABLETOP flatness that is eastern Colorado. Below the flat nothingness is a relative oasis of Pinyon trees in the canyon of the Purgatoire River. Deep history of Ancient "Picketwire People" along with very early Spanish influence, and it being a shortcut on the Santa Fe trail leaves a lot of weird history in the mix with the dino tracks.
The Canyon has limited motorized access, so hiking, horses and bikes are the only ways in. With no horses, and not wanting to hike an 11 mile round trip, we elected to use the bikes. A STEEP, loose drop down into the canyon, then a nice, smooth double track spin past some old cabins, pictographs and of course, like everywhere in Southern Colorado, the remains of an old spanish church.
The Dino tracks were pretty cool. Unlike most of the tracks I've seen (mostly in Utah.…). These were not isolated prints, but tracks extending for almost hundreds of feet, wandering about in singles & pairs. Big Brontosaurus tracks, too, not little things.
While this was really not the vacation of a lifetime, it turned into a cool little getaway. OK, it was not really THAT scenic, and driving out there is only interesting in that "good god, there is NOTHING out here" kind of way, but it was indeed "different". Just one more example of the MANY kinds of things we have here in Colorado to experience.
Get out there.