Monday, May 6, 2013

Vernal Utah / Post Race Activities

After running the Dino Half Marathon I decided to take a tour of the Vernal area.  Vernal, to me, appears to be sort of a tourist trap designed to celebrate its history associated with Dinosaurs.  There is a lot of ancient history here.  Over a hundred million years ago, the area was much like Florida: covered in lakes, rivers and swamp lands.  It was home to many dinosaurs.

While today it is a haven for fossils and there is no end of celebration in Vernal over this fact.  Just about everything in the town has some dino like attribute to it.  It reminded me a lot of like a desert Wisconsin Dells but without the swimming pools.

After the race and cleaning up / eating, I headed out to Steinaker State Park just a hop, skip and a jump outside of town.  This is a beautiful area with a massive reservoir used by boaters and fishers and those just looking for a scenic place to hang out.  I have attached the pictures below:

After spending a few minutes there we headed over to Red Fleet State Park.  I had read that you can see actual dinosaur tracks in the rock out there.  It was amazing at how fast the scenery changed as we drove there -- sprawling canyons and panoramic vistas.  Almost like something out of a postcard.  It reminded me a little bit of how Arizona must look like and it was like giong to a different planet or traveling back in time. 

They said the hike to the tracks was challenging and it was mid day, I had a half marathon in me and I was the only one willing to do the 1.5 mile hike.  I walked about .5 mile of the way and the trail certainly got hazy and rough so I headed back.  I was disappointed but I didn't want to get lost and I only had so much water with me.  I think I have had someone else (two heads are better than one) I would've made the venture. 

However, I did get a ton of photos of the area:

After exploring the canyon, I headed back to Steinaker and was going to walk on the trail, but it was closed for repairs.  I still wanted to do something before making the trip back to Salt Lake City, so I had a coupon for the Utah Field House of Natural History State Park Museum and decided to give it a go.  For $5, it was worth the tour.  They have a ton of exhibits and an interesting movie to start things off which shows where and why archaeologists are looking for fossils in the area (from the looks of it, it doesn't seem that hard to find them).  It took a little over an hour to go through the museum, but worth the price of admission.  There were a ton of other runners there taking advantage of their coupons as well.  It seems like everyone in town was wearing the green shirts given at the run.

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