On this page we focus on dinosaur country in eastern Utah.


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This originally was PJ: VOLUME XXI – Issue 7: Sunday, August 28, 2022 (252nd Issue)


Janice on the road to Vernal, UT.

...Opening Comments from Bob

This Issue: Jan and I recently visited eastern Utah, once home to millions of years of dinosaurs, the original Jurassic Park. I conducted a Tai Chi workshop in Roosevelt, Utah, and the next day we toured the resort center on dinosaur history, located in the Vernal, Utah area. Nearby is the National Dinosaur Monument which attracts thousands of tourists a year. For those interested, the vignette below provides more information regarding this area. The two poems are It Begins and Personal Rain Dance. The Bonus Poem speaks to a personal journey.

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A full-size replica of the wholly mammoth. Note Jan to the right for perspective.

One of the displays in the kid friendly museum, Utah Fieldhouse of Natural History State Park in Vernal.


Two Poems + Bonus


Comments: No great thoughts! We are still aware of our dependence on the whims of nature. As you undoubtedly know, much of the West is in drought. While the rain dance described in the poem was imaginary, it is very real to the Native Americans of the region.

The rain dance usually takes place in the driest month of the year, so usually this ritual is performed in mid to late August ever year. The Native American rain dance is performed by both the men and women of the tribe, unlike other tribal rituals where only men are allowed.


Bonus Poem: On Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram I have been running a daily series of my poems accompanied with an appropriate picture. I will show a favorite in this section each month. This poem first appeared in VOLUME III ISSUE 6 - Sunday, July 25, 2004 (35th Issue).


One of the displays in the Quarry Exhibit Hall.

Archaeologists cleared the rock away from one of the skeletons in the Quarry Exhibit Hall. Sections are
still encased in the rock.

Vignette this Month: Dinosaur Land in Eastern Utah

Since moving to Utah I was aware of the this fascinating historical area but had never visited it. A Tai Chi workshop I taught in nearby Roosevelt provided the opportunity to spend time learning about the land and its heritage. If you decide to visit, I suggest you use Vernal as your base and be sure to visit first the fantastic museum, Utah Fieldhouse of Natural History State Park, then head out to the Quarry Exhibit Hall and the National Dinosaur Monument. Provided you have allocated enough time, drive some of the roads within the park. You do not need to take the long route into Colorado in order to gain a true flavor of this land.

In 1906, paleontologist Earl Douglass discovered this incredible find of dinosaur remains encased within the rock quarry. Until the state and federal governments created protections, many of the bones were excavated and now appear in museums and in private collections throughout the world. It is believed that this huge cache of bones occurred when the rivers dried up and many dinosaurs died in the once-plus river basins. Later, the waters returned flooding and encasing and preserving the bones in cement-like sediment. At the time of discovery by Douglass, this was the largest find of dinosaur bones in the world. It is estimated that the original event occurred approximately 149 million years ago.

To provide a bit of perspective, paleontologists argue that dinosaurs ruled the land for approximately 165 million years (This estimate varies among scientists.) while humans (homo sapiens) have existed a mere 300,000 years.


A partial view of wall within the Quarry Exhibit Hall . You are viewing the remains of original dinosaur bodies.

Wall of flowers surrounding the larger Utah Fieldhouse of Natural History State Park in Vernal. The park is
actually a very well-done museum.

We visited this small, free museum in Vernal by accident. Besides being free, it was worth the short visit.


Few outside of Utah realize that dinosaurs ruled this land for over 100 million years. Most visitors think only of our famous national parks. However, if you have any interest in these ancient residences and the geographic history, I encourage you to visit Vernal and the National Dinosaur Monument and the Utah Fieldhouse of Natural History State Park. While the Monument extends into Colorado, if your time is short, a must visit is the Quarry Exhibit Hall (part of the Monument) a dozen miles outside of Vernal.

Hundreds of floral baskets in downtown Vernal

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Vernal is about 136 miles from my home. However, the terrain becomes more arid and
the mountains take on different shapes.

Despite the climate change there are still fertile areas assisted by irrigation and the Green River that is
a jewel to farmers and orchards,


The Green River is the main water source. This picture was taken within the National Dinosaur Monument grounds.

Turtle Rock also within the Monument grounds.

Some of the rock formations within the National Dinosaur Monument are over a billion years old, the oldest known on earth.

Tai Chi Corner

An instructor workshop I attended via ZOOM. Contact Bob for a name of an instructor near you.

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Bob Casey
Poetical Journeys
P.O. Box 319
Midway, UT 84049


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