Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Hang on to your Butts

Free food, free concerts, and free national park days are some of my favorite things to happen. So when national parks were free a few weekends ago, we had to take advantage and check out Dinosaur National Monument. 

Just a few hours' drive to the East of Provo lies this under-appreciated park. It is the Jurassic Park of our generation, since our generation probably won't see live dinosaurs, so this is as close as you're gonna get. 

It was here that paleontologists discovered a huge jackpot of thousands of dinosaur bones, all in one spot. There used to be a river, and sometimes it would flood, and dinosaurs would drown in it. Other dinosaurs, that had already died, would get their bones picked up and washed down river, and then they all piled up in this sandbar kinda place. 

When it was first discovered, paleontologists excavated a lot of it. Then, they left a lot in place and built a building all around it! And now, regular Joes like you and I and my brother Joseph whose mission blog I NEVER update so please don't read it, can go and see this excavation site, all preserved. You take a shuttle to get to the building, and the shuttle drives up to a gate that slides open all electronically (BECAUSE YOU'RE IN JURASSIC PARK), and then the shuttle drives through, and takes you up the hill to the visitor enter. Many of the biggest and most complete dinosaur skeletons they discovered got sent to other museums, but it is still so cool.

I got home first on Friday, so I started gathering up the camping stuff, and even packed clothes for Stephen. By the time he got home I was ready to be gone, like, an hour ago. 

Me: Come on, let's get in the car!
Him: Hold on, I have to pack my clothes.
Me: I already got you clothes. Let's go.
Him: Oh you did? Did you pack my short-sleeved denim shirt? The one with the collar?
Me: Huh? No, we're going to be hiking and stuff. 
Him: I know, but I need that shirt. I need to look like a paleontologist. 

I broke into a huge smile and got super excited - because I had packed clothes for myself that looked like paleontologist clothes! So we're clearly meant to be together. 

Stephen is generally happy to pose ridiculously for pictures, but sometimes he gets embarrassed about it. Like when he's all intrigued and asking the ranger intelligent questions, and then I go off and want to pose like this in plain sight.

The Jurassic Park fence!!!

We went with Margot and Gonzalo and had the best time. And we even found a trail called Stump Trail, so we were excited to have another teacher on our team join us!

Mostly, Dinosaur is deserty and the landscapes aren't as cool as the bones. But there were some pretty pink rocks.
Also, some petroglyphs. 

And a dirt road that Cassidy Jane and La Grosse Berta got stuck on.  
And a sign that all the cars pass, so again I'm the only poser. 

Everyone should go, if you haven't already been! And take all your 7-year-olds. They'll love it just as much as you do. 

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