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Discoveries of a lost world bring dinosaur enthusiasts from miles around to visit area



By Sun Advocate

Ron Diesel Knudson, publisher of RV Life, a northwest publication that has recently expanded to Utah is pictured visiting with John Bird, CEU bone lab supervisor at the Prehistoric Museum in Price during a recent fam tour of the dinosaur diamond.

The dinosaur diamond is one of the many tourism attractions that has a huge effect on our tourism market, according to Kathy Smith, director of Castle Country Travel Region.
Tourism regions along the byway hosted a writers fam (familiarization) tour of the newly designated national scenic byway.
The name dinosaur diamond came from the rough diamond shape of this remarkable area, which stretches from eastern Utah into western Colorado. Scenic vistas abound in the dinosaur diamond.
“Some of the most pristine and awesome natural landscapes will take your breath away and bring into existence memories that will last a lifetime,” says Smith.
The fam tour participants learned that the byway offers a matchless opportunity for the public to visit fossil and archeological sites while enjoying the history of discovery and learning more through museums. The diamond covers more than 650 miles of highway and side trips. The fam tour began on Monday, Oct. 21 in Grand Junction, Colo. and made its way through the Dinosaur Journey Museum, Dinosaur Hill and Sego Canyon in Fruita, Colo. The group was then off to Moab to visit Copper Ridge Trackway.
The next stop was the John Wesley Powell Museum in Green River and then back on the road again headed to Price and the world class College of Eastern Utah’s Prehistoric Museum.
Castle Country Travel Region hosted this leg of the diamond with a grand tour by Don Burge, director of the college museum, along with John Bird, CEU bone lab supervisor.
Writers were off to the Cleveland Lloyd Dinosaur Quarry, which is a national natural landmark. Mike Leschin, Bureau of Land Management quarry director, explained to the writers that the quarry has the densest concentration of jurassic dinosaur bones ever found, with at least 44 allosaurs coming from this quarry.
Leschin went on to explain that this world famous quarry has produced more dinosaur mounts for display in museums than any other in the whole world.
The third day of the fam tour started with a tour of the Nine Mile Canyon led by Layne Miller. The group then connected at Myton at the end of the Nine Mile Tour and was placed in the tourism hands of the Dinosaurland Travel Region out of Vernal.
They visited the Utah Field House of Natural History Museum and Dinosaur Gardens tours.
The final leg was to visit the Dinosaur National Monument Quarry and then the Harper Corner and Canyon Pintado making a round trip back into Grand Junction.
According to Smith, “this was a good experience for local tourism advocates and from this we have created a data base that will serve us well when conducting another fam tour. We will be doing another fam tour of other attractions, guaranteed, and will most likely repeat the dinosaur diamond once again.”
Two writers from RV Life said the tour will be featured in their January and February magazines. They have a big following in Oregon and Washington and the article will attract readers to the dinosaur diamond attractions.
For more information about this trip, stop by the Castle Country Regional Information Center which is located inside the Prehistoric Museum in Price.

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