Far more snow than expected kept me from all but a few of the boulder fields. I was able to drive within a mile or less of a few to know enough that I need to return as soon as the melt happens. Really good looking boulder fields came and went down the snowy roads, but all were at the end of overly drifted two tracks. Being alone a hundred miles into the depths of Wyoming, with a winter storm moving in the same evening and clearly visible on the sky line, kept me from "punching through" the drifts or walking too far from the vehicle. I can say that I'm really impressed with the amount of rock I drove past. Hopefully it's as good at is it is suggested to be from the geological maps and satellite images.
Toward the end of my long drive, sometime in the early afternoon, I finally drove out of the snowy mountains and into the basin. My goal was a large area of boulders I had identified as a similar sandstone to the Dakota. In Wyoming it's known as the Cloverly, is as well put together as the Dakota, but is a little different in appearance. It's fine grain and loaded with pebbles (think Castlewood Canyon, but more pebbles), but can have a saving grace of compact sections that yield great boulders. Obviously my hope was a section of the compact stuff. Miles of boulders cover the hillsides and as it turns out the vast majority is of the pebbled rock. I stopped at the end of several two tracks, each one a valley of rock, and always returning to the jeep ready to move on. Finally I drove further to the final stop of the day. A place where the hill side of boulders had fallen into a disaster of stone and earth.
The place was named Revolcadero del Diablo by some hunters who had posted pictures on the web. In their pictures some of the boulders looked like the good stuff, and the place looked like a jumble. As it turned out the boulders are massive. Most being way too large to boulder and are made of the pebbled sandstone. It is really solid stone, but maybe too bizarre to climb. Of all places I've explored in Wyoming and neighboring places this is the strangest and most bizarre by far. The overcast day with random rain and snow maybe helped the mood of the strange labyrinth, but did not help my mood. I continually looked over my shoulder as I wandered the random hills and corridors, always feeling as if I were an unwanted visitor in a giant's land. It looked and felt like monsters had hurried to cover themselves with the stones as I approached. Holes were in random places under my feet. For hundreds of feet the earth was solid and normal and without warning I would suddenly be stepping around gaps, then jumping 40 foot pits. To complete the bizarre arrangement, the majority of boulders are far more pebbly than any I've seen. The pebbles are like marbles. Like billions of marbles in a completely solid cement.
|40 foot boulders of glued marbles|
|Somehow a tree grows on the overhanging tip of a 40 foot tower|
|The Marbled Rock|
|A great crescent feature.|
|A good roof on good stone|
|The good sandstone with marbled stuff to start on|