Wednesday, August 25, 2010


Barger Gulch is located in Middle Park, 12 miles from the dusty, sleepy town of Kremmling, Colorado. The town is at the confluence of three rivers, one being the Colorado so fishing and mosquitoes are big time there. Kremmling city fathers made a bad mistake years ago selling the town’s water rights to Denver so the town was always in a water-tight situation. But I digress.

The dig site is a Folsom (10,500-10,000 BC) research project for the University of Wyoming. Todd S. and Nicole W., the principal investigators, are Ph.D candidates I had been working with at the University of Arizona and they graciously invited me to join them for the three month excavation.

The site was located on BLM property. The BLM agents were fantastic supporters of the dig in so many ways but the one I enjoyed more than – say a shower at their facility – was a day-off rafting the Colorado!

Lazy rafting, as it turned out, as the river was very low and slow. There was talk of portage for the rafts.

We had been floating along when the BLM guide said, “Say-would you guys like to see dinosaur tracks?”

“Sure!” was the immediate and excited response from everyone.

Further down stream we pulled the rafts to shore next to a little sign saying: DINOSAUR TRACKS

We followed a little trail into the brush. Having done archaeology survey work for years I was intent at looking at the ground for ‘evidence.’

We walked and looked and saw nothing.

As we neared a cliff face I said, “I am not seeing anything.”

The guide said, “Look up.”

The cliff face was covered with tracks huge tracks!

Geological uplift of the surface bed over a million plus years ago made the tracks appear to be walking up into the sky instead of ‘on the ground.’ We followed the base of the cliff for about 50 yards and it was solid with dinosaur tracks.

Hmmm-“Look up” is not something archaeologists do. I wonder how much we miss?

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