Where are we now?

Where are we now?
Where are we now? Tahmoor, NSW. Updated 7th December 2011

Friday, September 23, 2011

Day 229. Winton

Thank god for the air-conditioning!

Everyone was up early today with the heat last night making for a restless sleep. We were trying to escape the cold from down south, and escape the cold we most certainly have. Scarlett and Shane were both keen for pancakes, while I myself am starting to get a little over them. So after I made them both breakfast, we all jumped in the car and headed out of town to see the whole reason why we came to Winton.

Lark Quarry

About 110km’s out of town is the location of Winton’s famous dinosaur stampede - "Lark Quarry". Lark Quarry is the only recorded dinosaur stampede on earth. The story goes; 95 million years ago Lark Quarry was part of a great river plain, with sandy channels, swamps and lakes brimming with freshwater mussels, lungfish and crocodiles. Rainfall was over a metre per year, so the surrounding lowland forest was lush and green.

Inside the protective structure
On the day our drama unfolds, herds of small two-legged dinosaurs came to drink at the lake. There were at least 150 dinosaurs of two different kinds - carnivorous coelurosaurs about the size of chickens, and slightly larger plant-eating ornithopods, some of them as large as emus.

A huge meat-eating theropod, (a little smaller than a Tyrannosaurus), approached the lake. It slowed, saw the other dinosaurs gathered at the water’s edge and began to stalk, then turned and charged. The stampeding herd of smaller dinosaurs left a chaotic mass of footprints in the mud as they ran to escape. A record of those few terrifying minutes is cast in more than 3300 fossilised footprints, and it's amazing.

A view from the boardwalk
We stayed for a tour and had the story told and the footprints pointed out to us, not that they weren’t hard to see. Apparently the footprints extend a further 150mtrs each way out from the building, but scientologists are only uncovering this small section at this stage so as to ensure the preservation of the rest for years to come.

We then took a small 700mtr walk up behind the building to take in the view, while trying to imagine dinosaurs roaming around this area.

It's also a fact that this stampede was studied by the creators of the movie ‘Jurasic Park’, and the manner in which the animals ran as seen in their tracks here, was the basis of how the dinosaurs then were made to move in the actual movie.
Look out! A Meat-a-saurus!

Dinosaur Stampede!

It was a long drive out and back to the van, and the heat of the day was starting to already get to us. When we got back we dived into the van, hit the air con, and settled in for lunch. After that, no one was keen to leave and go out into the heat again.

We did manage to get out for half an hour when Scarlett wanted to show us the baby cows being held here in the yards at the showground. They are really good looking cows, and we think they must be for tomorrow’s grand parade.

Down at the Showground cattle yards

Yesterday there was a road train here with a heap for horses on board. They had stopped and placed them into the yards for an overnight spell, under the careful watch of their aboriginal stockman. I couldn’t tell if they were brumbies just caught, or maybe they had just been out on a muster. Unfortunately they had left early this morning, so I didn’t get a chance to ask.

The rest of the day was spent pretty much like yesterday; we watched movies in the van in the comfort of the air conditioner. With a light dinner, and early night planned, ready for a bigger day hopefully tomorrow. Being our last day here in Winton, we are going to try and make the most of it.

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