National Geographic : 1958 May
Prehistoric Indians decorated these canyon walls National Monument on the Colorado-Utah border, site o richest deposit of dinosaur fossils. Mr. Wirth inspects th and 100 million visits a year. Truly the parks are being loved to death. The President and Congress accepted Mis sion 66 enthusiastically. In operation al most two years, it will end in 1966, the service's 50th anniversary year. That's why we call it Mission 66. Already we have com pleted Stevens Canyon Road in Mount Rainier National Park, a job begun in 1931. Yellowstone has its brand-new Canyon Vil lage (page 616). Grand Teton has a new campground with ingenious parking places for trailers at Colter Bay. Yorktown and James town in Colonial National Historical Park, Virginia, have modern visitor centers. But Mission 66 is much more than the physical improvements program it appears at first glance to be. The building is just a means to an end. Mission 66 includes ade quate park staffs, better use of the system for the benefit of more visitors, better interpre tation, and, above all, thorough safeguarding of park wilderness, most prized element of even the most heavily used park. While the work is going on, you'll have to 620 put up with a few inconven iences. But when all is com pleted, you will find the parks better than ever. Our goal is a National Park System worthy of the Nation for many years to come. A fine new Mission 66 build ing is in Dinosaur National Monument, which sprawls across the Utah-Colorado line along the Green and Yampa Rivers. We had it include a part of the "quarries" of dino saur bones that form the main feature of this area; visitors walk through it and see the bones still in the rocks where the big reptiles were found. Dinosaur represents still an other rung in the ladder of time that begins in the depths of the Grand Canyon. No human ever saw the owners of the bones in their living state, for these dino saurs died before men lived. In addition to the bone quar ries, the monument pays divi dends in the form of magnificent Jack Bree canyon scenery and thrilling in Dinosaur rides down the swift Yampa f the Nation's e pictographs. River in small boats.* The first time I made the run the current was swift, the spray flew, and I thought I was doing something mighty dan gerous. My companions, experienced river men, just laughed. "Shucks," they said, pointing to the rapids beside which we had pitched our camp, "even a silly goose can shoot this stretch." Sure enough, a flock of Canada geese was coming down the white water, bobbing like tumbleweed. When they reached a still pool, they took wing and went honking back up river. Later I looked out over the water and there they were, happily shooting the rapids again. Next morning, when we went on our way, I thought the river ran less fast. 24-Year Drought Routed Pueblo Indians From Dinosaur to Mesa Verde National Park in the southwestern corner of Colorado is a few hundred miles in distance but millions of years in time-from the age of reptiles to the age of man. Archeologists tell us Mesa * See "Shooting Rapids in Dinosaur Country," by Jack Breed, NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC MAGAZINE, March, 1954.