Science and culture on Team Jurassic Utah’s last day

Santa Clara, Utah — We spent our last full day in this beautiful state enjoying nature, visiting local historical sites, and ending with a fantastic museum. This morning began with a short journey through Snow Canyon State Park, which is just up the road from Santa Clara. This is a miniature Zion with the same Navajo sandstone, mostly white at the top and red below. The morning light was perfect. Note Nick on the rocks above!

Image by Galen.

Here is an example of the lower red rocks. The foresets on these Jurassic dunes are easy to pick out.

After Snow Canyon we toured the Jacob Hamblin Home in Santa Clara. This house, built in 1862-3, is the oldest surviving structure in Santa Clara. Jacob Hamblin (1819-1886) was a Mormon pioneer with a complicated history but generally known as an honest broker of frontier disputes.

The second floor of the home is a surprisingly large space used as a bedroom for the 11 children and as a community gathering place.

Our final cultural visit was to the St. George Utah Temple of the Latter-day Saints (the Mormons). It is an exquisite structure amidst carefully groomed gardens. We went to the Visitor Center and received a very thorough account of its construction.

Our very last event was suitably paleontological and Jurassic: The Dinosaur Discovery Site at Johnson Farm. This building is constructed over an in situ set of dinosaur trackways in the Moenave Formation (Lower Jurassic).

The tracks are amazingly well preserved and numerous. Above is the dinosaur trace Eubrontes.

Our friend Andrew Milner, Site Paleontologist and Curator, gave us a guided tour, pointing out the extraordinary amount of biological information that can be deduced from trackways.

It is with this wonderful plunge into the world of Early Jurassic terrestrial fauna that our expedition ended. Tomorrow we fly from Las Vegas back to our homes, with Nick driving our precious samples to Wooster. We had a great time. Stay tuned for the laboratory analyses!

About Mark Wilson

Mark Wilson is a Professor of Geology at The College of Wooster. He specializes in invertebrate paleontology, carbonate sedimentology, and stratigraphy. He also is an expert on pseudoscience, especially creationism.
This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.