June 14, 2006 - Kemmerer, WY Fossil Butte

I landed at Kemmerer around 12 noon and was done flying for a day.  Driving the courtesy car into town, I noticed a sign for Fossil Butte National Monument only 12 miles away.  So, after checking into a motel, I hopped in the car and headed to Fossil Butte.  Other than the strong wind, it was really a nice day. 
It was very scenic out here in the high desert and colorful buttes.
There was a small, but interesting museum that explained why this area was so rich in fossils.  Apparently this area was a lake a long time ago, but after the dinosaur era.  Fish and animals died and were buried in the mud at the bottom of the lake, where they became fossilized over time.  The lake dried up and was filled in.  Today, the fossils are accessible because the earth around the buttes has eroded away.
There was a 1.5 mile nature trial near one of the buttes so I went on that.  It was a nice walk; I was glad I did it.  As I went higher, I got away from the sagebrush desert and went into a grove of poplar trees. 
The view down into the valley was spectacular. 
I'll let the photo speak for itself. 
I saw three Badgers down on the shale rock but could only find two in the picture. 
The top side of the butte is where they find the fossils. 
Looking down at the little parking lot where the courtesy car is parked.  I was the only one out hiking today.
A piece of shale rock.  No fossils on this one though.  (That's just a dead bug)
The ubiquitous sagebrush.  I ended up seeing a lot of sagebrush on this trip!