Sunday, July 27, 2008

Dinosaur National Monument: Day 2 and 3

We started out the day with a hike. We'd seen a few on our auto tour that we wanted to do, but had run out of time for hiking (well, that and the fact that while we were doing the tour it was mid-day and hotter than hades).
So, the first hike we did was to Swelter Shelter. It wasn't a very long hike (you could see the rock shelter from the road), but it was an interesting Fremont Rock Shelter with petroglyphs and pictographs in it. I can totally see why the archaeologists who excavated it named it Swelter Shelter. It was only 9am but the sun was already baking the shelter.
Also baking in the sun, all over the park, were lots and lots of lizards.
Here's Ms. Archaeologist with an archaeological site. I bored my children mightily throughout the trip with talks of petroglyphs, basketry, pottery, bifaces, and atlatls. Someday they might actually be interested.
James, however, was interested in this little cave near the site.

Next, we hiked a bit around the Bassett homestead. There were two trails. Both went to box canyons. The first one was rather sunny and hot and the boys got tired of it quickly, so we never got to the end. We stopped at a picnic table under some trees that Josie Bassett planted to have lunch, after which we did the other hike. It was much shorter and completely shady. Much more pleasant with three little boys.
Henry even fell asleep while we hiked.
We sat in the shade to eat the trail mix I'd made that the boys had been begging for and took some pictures. James took this one.

All the hiking made for tuckered out boys, all of whom slept on the drive back to the visitor's center.

When we got there, James and Thomas perked up and went to a Children's Ranger Talk so they could pass off that part of their Junior Ranger program. They finished their booklet, took the Junior Ranger pledge, and got their badges. They thought that was pretty fun.

The next evening, we drove out to Dinosaur National Monument for the last time. We waited until the sun was quite low in the sky to do the Fossil Discovery Trail. I was impressed with James and Thomas for hiking as far as they did. We hiked about a mile and a half. We got up pretty high, too.
You can't tell here, but, Thomas is standing on a little ledge carved into the side of the rock so he could get high enough to touch this dinosaur bone.
This one was closer to the trail. There were a lot of dinosaur bones in this wall of rock.

The big thing at this park is the fossil wall that the visitor's center is built around, but since it's condemned, we didn't get to see that wall. But, this one was still pretty cool. Here's the visitor's center as seen from our hiking trail:

Before we left the Monument for the last time, I took a picture of the boys in their dinosaur t-shirts that we bought them (at Target!) for the trip.

Goodbye Dinosaur National Monument!

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