1905 Eocene of Wyoming
The expedition to the Bridger and Wind River Basin.
The party consisted of Walter Granger, in charge, Dr. William J. Sinclair of Princeton University, Mr. P. C. Miller of the museum's staff, Mr. D. D. Streeter, Jr., a volunteer and Mr. George Olsen of Laramie, cook and teamster.
On the 6th of June the first camp was made at Mountain View. The next day a working camp was established at Smith's Fork near the stage road ford about 5 miles below Mountain View, and from which a rich pocket of Grizzly Buttes could be reached. Due to lack of snow during the winter, water was scarce and camp sites used in previous seasons, lacked water this year. Areas that had been collected in previous years were still barren, not enough erosion had occurred to make it worth trying to collect in those regions. About 50 specimens were obtained from a low, flat-topped butte lying between the Grizzly Butte bluff and Smith's Fork, called locality "Poverty Flat". One important specimen was skull, jaws and possible skeleton of Uintacyon. The outfit moved to Sage Creek Spring on the Henry's Fork road, and a few week was spent searching the exposures of C and D along the North and West slopes of Sage Creek Mountain. Very little was found here.
The next move was to Henry's Fork Hill and Sage Creek in the vicinity of the stage road. To the north of the divide and on both sides of the stage road is an enormous pocket of badlands in horizon C and D. 30 specimens came from this region, including a beautiful skull of Manteoceras. Near Bullock's ranch, the next camp, 3 days were spent in going over old ground and a skull of Hemiacodon was found. The party next moved to the mouth of Burnt Fork where Hyopsodus(large), Hyrachyus, Notharctus and a carnivore were collected. Upon leaving Burnt Fork the party returned to Summer's ranch. They then proceeded to the old camping place on Smith's Fork, east of Lyman, from which part of Grizzly Butte East are accessible and also portion of the Cottonwood Creek bench. The Middle Cottonwood Creek section, comprising a stretch of about 2 miles of the bluff, was examined and yielded 2 good skeletons, Hyrachyus and Sinopa. The party moved to Millersville, where 2 days were spent, then down to Black Fork and Church Butte. At Black Fork they examined the exposures at Schmidt's ranch and 2 days collecting was done along the bluff which extends along the South side of Black's Fork below Fort Bridger. After packing the material already collected, the party moved to Opal. At Opal 2 days were spent in the Horizon A level. Fragmentary remains were all that were found. Passing a few miles South of Granger station is an eastward extension of the middle Church Buttes bench. Some of the pockets in this bluff were nearly as rich in small mammals as any locality in the Bridger. A week was spent collecting here. On Aug. 23rd the trip to the Wind River was begun. The mouth of Big Sandy was made the 1st day, and the following 2 days were spent searching the exposures. From Big Sandy the route followed was along the old Oregon Trail to Pacific Springs and South Pass, and thence to Atlantic and Lander. They reached Lander on Aug. 31st and made the acquaintance was made of Mr. N. H, Brown, the town postmaster, who first discovered the reptile remains in the beds near Lander. From Lander the outfit proceeded to the Wind River exposures lying eastward, stopping over 1 day on Little Creek to visit Dr. Williston's camp. The first camp was established at Muskrat. No mammals were found here and the party moved to Kauson's ranch on Poison Creek, about 10 miles S. of Lost Cabin. With a few exceptions the Wind River is pretty barren formation and everywhere the fossils are very fragmentary. After a few days of fairly successful work the camp was established near Lost Cabin. A week's work on Alkali Creek and along Bad Water immediately below Lost Cabin was fairly successful. About 5 miles North West of Lost Cabin a pocket was finally discovered in what is known as Cottonwood Draw, a tributary of Bridger Creek. The camp was moved to Wolf's Ranch 4 miles above Lost Cabin on Bad Water Creek and within a mile of the fossil bed. About 100 specimens were collected in this locality. Efforts to find another pocket in that area was not successful. From Lost Cabin the party moved down Bad Water Creek to Wind River examining exposures on both sides of the Creek but finding them barren. At Wind River a camp was made just above the canyon and the badlands on the east side of the river were explored with little results. The river was not fordable so the exposures on the west side on the Indian Reservation were not accessible, besides the party also got caught in a snow storm. They returned to Lander. They reached Granger on Oct. 11th. The 150 specimens collected in the Wind River were carried back with the outfit. At Granger 2 days were spent looking at the beds and on the 2nd day a skull, jaws and partial skeleton of Orohippus was found. The skeleton was collected in a snow storm. Oct. 15th the party was disbanded.