Back to Fossil Butte National Monument
Trip Start Mar 02, 2011
192Trip End Oct 14, 2011
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I wandered over to a rock shop next to my hotel. The owner got a call informing him that his new glasses had arrived. He then asked me to leave, closed the shop and went to pick them up. I drove to what's called The Triangle, a triangular park in the middle of town. The locals joke that Kemmerer is too small to have a town square and has a triangle instead.
I wandered into the J.C. Penney Mother Store. J.C. Penney opened his first store in Kemmerer in 1902 although at the time it was a branch of The Golden Rule Store and didn't take on the J.C. Penney Company name until 1913. The original store in Kemmerer burned down so what you see now isn't actually the original store. I thought it might be a museum but it's just a very small department store. J.C. Penney's house is nearby and has been turned into a museum.
I wandered into another rock store on The Triangle. They take people to their quarry so the ycan dig themselves but they do it by appointment and they'll only do it with a minimum of four people. I wandered into another rock store and they told me about a company that will take people without an appointment, which sounds like it's likely to work better for me since I'm traveling alone. I'll try to go when I come back this way in September.
I headed toward the Fossil Butte National Monument but made another stop at another rock shop on the way there. They also take people to their quarry. I then continued on to the park and went to the trailhead for the Chicken Creek Nature Trail, a 1 1/2 mile trail that winds through the sagebrush and some aspen groves to a point below the only spot within the monument where digging is allowed. The dig is being conducted by a team of scientists and is being done much more methodically than the digging done at the commercial quarries.
I then went to the Historic Quarry Trail trailhead. I was ready to hike the 2 1/2 mile trail but the weather looked questionable. Just after I decided to skip the hike the lightning started.