Monday, July 26, 2010

On the road: Dinosaur country - Vernal, UT

During the last stretch of our 3.5-week road trip, we spent two days in Vernal, Utah. First we dropped by the impressive new location of the Utah Field House of Natural History State Park Museum to visit Allosaurus and friends.


Then we headed a few miles out of town to Dinosaur National Monument to see some sauropod (longneck) fossils still in their original rocky locations.

The white arrow is pointing to the end of a femur bone. We could also see parts of the spinal column and foot bones. It was pretty exciting!

Littlest was hoping to see some real, live dinosaurs, but alas, we had to be satisfied with a little live lizard.

It was such a beautiful setting. And under 100 degrees, so we were grateful. It can get much hotter.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

A sneak peek...

At what's been keeping us busy this week!

It'll probably be another week before it's all done, and I can't wait to show you!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

On the road: The Mammoth Site

Well, friends, we've been back home for over a week, and I'm still not sure I'm adjusted to real life yet! So, while I putter about avoiding laundry and working on summer projects, how about the rest of those road trip pics?

Just 20 miles from my mother-in-law's house is The Mammoth Site museum in Hot Springs, SD.  The museum itself covers an actual excavation and research site. Buried in the hill are dozens of mammoths and other animals which came to a steep-sided, spring-fed sinkhole for a drink or a bath -- and found they could not get out.

"Since 1974, 58 Columbian mammoths and three woolly mammoths have been unearthed, making this the first site both species have been found together. Eighty-two species of ice-age animals have been discovered, including camel, llama, giant shortfaced bear, wolf, coyote, and prairie dog."


But the best thing about The Mammoth Site is that kids get to participate! 


Monday, July 12, 2010

On the road: Reptile Gardens in SD

Between Mt. Rushmore and Rapid City, SD, tourists and locals can find all sorts of things to do and see, including the awesome Reptile Gardens.

We weren't sure what to expect from the "Crocodilian Wrestling Show," but this docent was so informative and entertaining, even the crocs and 'gators seemed to like him...


The gardens were home to exotic birds and some of the most venomous and rarest reptiles in the world. Scott was impressed to see they had the highly venomous black mamba and boomslang snakes, and even more impressed that they had snakes he'd never heard of before!


Sunday, July 11, 2010

On the road: South Dakota

After three days of traveling from the San Juans across three states and through Yellowstone National Park, we thought we'd take a couple days in Cody, Wyoming to sleep, swim, do laundry, and catch up on blogging. But that didn't quite work out.

Instead, after a full day of driving and hiking through Yellowstone, Scott pulled an all-nighter, driving across Wyoming to South Dakota while the kids slept in the backseat, and I tried not to sleep in the front.

That's how powerful the idea of "home" is.

We were two days early, but we knew his mom would make us a big breakfast, and we could shower, and nap all day if we wanted. He woke up her up just after sunrise to tell her we were in South Dakota, and how do we get there, anyway, since it's not on the map?


Finally at Mema's house! Which happens to be a perfect place for flying kites...

It's also a perfect place to go fishing...


Or, if it's a rainy 4th of July, to play Mexican Train dominoes...

My mother-in-law's house is also near Custer, South Dakota, which is minutes away from Mount Rushmore National Monument, and an excellent place to learn a little history...

And to celebrate our country's Independence Day with tourists from all over and new Custer friends...

I hope you were able to celebrate the 4th with family, friends and freedom!

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