While working the Cody Show we received an extremely disturbing call. Our friend Val told us that her husband George had passed unexpected. He did not die from covid, but instead from a common disease. When we returned, we learned the sad details.
We met George and Val in Texas and later traveled to their ranch in Colorado. They were the best fly fisherpersons we have ever watched, and they taught us so much about fly fishing for trout that the information dramatically improved our catch, (We release all of the native fish).
Val sold her place here in Star Valley and as she and her daughter in law moved her rv back to the ranch we followed them to help with any unforeseen problems, (everything went well). The route took us past Fossil Butte National Monument, and we decided that when we returned to Star Valley we would stop and see if there were any new exhibits.
On arriving at the monument at first things looked the same, but a new outside exhibit showed how fossil collectors removed slabs containing fish fossils before preparing them in the lab, (if you look closely, you can see the backbones that tell of a fish covered in sediment).
Entering the museum, it was obvious that there had been lots of changes, (besides having to wear masks). The first thing we noticed was a new hologram display that showed how the different fish swam.
By pushing a button of a fish fossil, the fish would appear as a hologram and another display would tell of the number of each of that species type found each year.
Where before a large display had contained huge fossils of fossil palms, it had been expanded and contained many of the other plant fossils found in the lake and along the shoreline.
Fifty-two million years ago, the climate had been warmer, similar to the climate along today’s Gulf Coast, (don’t forget that our continent drifts each year).
Turtles were common along with caimans and some of the turtle fossils showed holes where the reptiles had tried to eat them, (look carefully at the picture, and you can see the puncture holes).
Fossil mammals were also displayed along with fossil bats and birds that were similar to what we see today.
As with all the museums we visit we made a donation, and also bought tee shirts.
It had been a nice diversion on the way home and apropos to our friend’s memory. Arriving home, we have since been hit with several days of heavy and much needed rain.
We do hope to take a trip involving camping, fossil collecting, and fly fishing. We had hoped to make this trip with our friends, but they will be in our minds and hearts. Clear skies