Sunday, January 6, 2013

Dinosaur Tracks at Clayton Lake

I was headed to Clayton Lake anyway, but when I learned it had dinosaur tracks,  I became more interested. Dinosaur tracks are not high on my list of priorities to see, but since they are there, why not? I enjoy seeing or doing new things..well not skydiving, bungee jumping, or working in a lab with mice.

Let me say, I must have temporarily lost my last marble that day. Not because I shouldn't go see dinosaur tracks, but because I shouldn't have ventured out on such a nasty day.

It was Oct. 27th and the first "cold spell" of my trip had hit. Of course this was Northern, New Mexico, so I should have expected that it could happen. The cold would not have been so bad, if the wind would have behaved, but it didn't.

I dug out my ski coat, boggin, dug out gloves, but do they make gloves for photographers,  I mean "point and shoot picture takers". I had to walk across a tall, narrow earthen dam to get to the tracks, and thought the wind was going to blow me off that narrow rim.

I did not tary any longer than necessary to see with my own eyes these tracks and get some pictures, then back to the van and the heater.

I googled and found the following tidbits:

In the extreme northeastern corner of New Mexico, near the Santa Fe Trail, an earthen dam was constructed in the 1950s across Seneca Creek that resulted in the formation of Clayton Lake. The excavation of the spillway, and a flood in 1982 that swept away a layer of silt from the spillway, uncovered the dinosaur tracks. The tracks are suppose to be 100 million years old. The tracksite, with over five hundred dinosaur footprints, is one of the best-preserved and most extensive dinosaur tracksites in the United States. Overall, at least eight different kinds of dinosaurs left their marks on this ancient mudflat. 

I will take the scientist word for it, as for me, I can't say what I saw was dinosaur tracks.

It's about a half mile walk from here

This boardwalk goes around the dinosaur tracks

This front portion is where the tracks are located

I wouldn't know this belonged to a dinosaur if I hadn't been told

This is ancient mudcracks, see sign below

The tracks are more visible when filled with rainwater, no rainwater that day

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