Sunday, May 5, 2013

Day 8 of 8: The last day - already?!!?

It was hard to believe, at this point, that this trip was nearly over.  And while most of the time we had been looking for small marine invertebrates, we still noticed this large ... vertebrate?

The route we took passed through New Mexico's north eastern corner.  On that route were two more points of interest. 
Shelter is across the lake, to the right of center

The first was Clayton Lake State Park Dinosaur Tracks.  The park is a few miles north of Highway 87, then there's a nice stretch-your-legs walk to the site along a path and across the dam. 

In picture to the right, you can see the site's shelter across the lake.  To the left of the shelter is the exposed track site.

The interpretive signs were well-composed and helped to find some interesting ttacks, yielding interesting scenarios, such as a dinosaur's hesitation and a rippled, mud-cracked trackway.

It would be best to visit this site when the sun's angle casts more shadows, earlier or later in the day so the tracks are more visible.  At the time of our visit the sun was too high and bright.  Yet, since a boardwalk allowed you to see tracks from all sides, there was plenty to see.

 The second stop in New Mexico was Capulin Volcano National Monument.  I learned about cinder cone volcanos, and this was a perfect example of it.  There is a road that spirals around the cone to the top.  At the top, you have wonderfully panoramic views of the Raton-Clayton volcanic field, Sangre de Cristo mountains in the distance, and portions of four states (New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas and Colorado).

Capulin Volcano

View from the top of Capulin Volcano

Thus ends the 2013 WIPS Texas trip.  I'm hoping to collect photos from participants of the fossils they found.  If I can, and they've been identified, I'll try to get them posted here.  If not, well, look for the next trip story!

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