Making new friends!
Majority of our trip has been charted by finding green spots on a map. Although there were some notorious National Parks on our “must visit” list, many of the National Forests we found were literally from hopping from green spot to green spot in Apple Maps.
This is what lead us to Dinosaur National Monument. This park spans across the northern border of Utah and Colorado. A perfect place to explore on your way to Arches National Park in southeastern Utah.
Finding shade and writing by the Green River!
Dinosaur National Monument tells a different historic tale than the other parks we have visited. “During a drought, many dinosaurs died near a river’s edge. When rains returned, floodwaters carried the jumbled bones of over 500 dinosaurs, representing ten species, here. Ancient river sediments, now called Morrison sandstone, entombed the dinosaur bones. Minerals then filled the bones (though some organic material survived) and cast them into stone. Erosion eventually exposed the fossils” (@dinosaurnps). Allosaurus, Apatosaurus, Camarasaurus, Diplodocus, and Stegosaurus are just a few of the species found within the boundaries of Dinosaur National Monument, making it one of the richest fossil localities in the world. Also found here are pre-historic rock carvings known as petroglyphs. These expose the tales of ancient cultures.
The Quarry Exhibit Hall allows visitors to view a wall of approximately 1,500 dinosaur bones. There are even several places where you can touch real 149-million-year-old dinosaur fossils!
We realized while camping here that the best way to experience this park is by raft. The Green and Yampa Rivers cut through the multiple canyons within this preserve. As an incredibly knowledgeable employee at the Dinosaur, Colorado Welcome Center put it, “The best way to view a canyon is from the bottom, traveling three miles per hour, looking up at it.” Add this onto my bucket list too!
Green River. Rainbow Park, UT
It is during this point of our trip, right around day 54, that I started to notice my precious Turtle Fur trucker hats could use a little cleaning. The cat would walk on them if we left them in his backseat palace in the car. Dusty cat tracks, although as cute as an envelope sealed with a kiss, is not the look I am trying to go for! Fortunately, we had a creek running through the back of our campground. I was so impressed with how well these hats were cleaned. The dirt rinsed off easily, they dried quickly, and most importantly all without jeopardizing the shape of the hat.
If there is one thing we have enjoyed most about this journey it is the unexpected places we have discovered along the way. As best put by J.R.R. Tolkien, “Not all those who wander are lost.”
Photo credit: Jason Gerhart @fresh_world_press