America by Air: A Bleeding River Among the Dinosaurs

Editor’s Note: This article previously appeared in a different format as part of The Atlantic’s Notes section, retired in 2021.

Jimmy Rollison, the reader who sent the incredible shot over Monument Valley, doubles down with another set of beauties, this time from Dinosaur National Monument. First a bit of background:

Lizard petroglyphs at D.N.M. (Wikipedia)

This park contains over 800 paleontological sites and has fossils of dinosaurs including Allosaurus, Deinonychus, Abydosaurus ... and various long-neck, long-tail sauropods. It was declared a National Monument on October 4, 1915. … Though lesser-known than the fossil beds, the petroglyphs in Dinosaur National Monument are another treasure the monument holds. Due to problems with vandals, many of the sites are not listed on area maps.

Here’s Jimmy:

An enrollee from California to Denver one should NEVER pass the opportunity to fly over Dinosaur National Monument [located on the border between Colorado and Utah] and especially Jenny Lind Rock [on-the-ground photos here].

Jimmy Rollison

This is where the Green River meets the Yampa River to flow west. After a late winter rain, the Green River appears to be bleeding, and this view is only available to those who fly.

To those who say, “If God had intended man to fly, he would have given him wings,” I say no; if he didn’t want me to fly, he’d have given me roots.

Jimmy Rollison

This one is just east of Vernal, Utah, where the Green River exits the Canyon, after a heavy rain. The colors are vividly alive with minerals, displayed only for those looking down. Go Fly!