Saturday, July 20, 2013

Great American Road Trip - Dinosaurs and Wyoming!!

Lazzy's fits at Moab had us at our next destination a few hours ahead of schedule. Dinosaur National Monument is halfway between Moab and Lander, Wy. I had never heard of the place before, but it was the perfect spot to stop and camp. I am so glad we did!!

It was a hot afternoon, so we decided to see the fossil quarry first just to stay out of the heat. It was a much more pleasant afternoon than morning. The boys (and the adults!) had a fun time exploring all the fossils and learning the history of the area.

It was incredible to see real dinosaur bones as fossils which have been perfectly preserved in a wall of rock. Apparently, the entire area is just booming with new discoveries as the area used to be a pretty large river. I had no idea that Utah is one of the most popular places for dino digs!

After learning all about dinosaurs, we headed to a crisp clear river just behind our campsite. All three boys played and bathed while I sat on the shady beach. Perfect way to end a busy day!

These rocky mountains are where they continue to find fossils!

 Our campsite was in that tree area, right by the river. So wonderful!

Always bring Dr. Bronners soap on long camping trips so you can bathe in the rivers!

On our way to Wyoming, we drove through Dinosaur City where we enjoyed an interactive fossil museum.

The boys got to observe a man carefully chipping away rock from a dinosaur fossil.

Then it was Elijah's turn to make a discovery!

Posing with the dinosaurs was a huge hit.

We had about a four hour drive to Sinks Canyon where we were greeted by dear friends and a camp fire. Brad and Amy used to live in St. Louis but have since moved to Lander, WY. I'm glad they did, because it was very refreshing to spend a night with them : the boys got to play with other kids their age, we had PORK for dinner, and the conversation was deep and uplifting.

The scenery was also breathtaking. Wyoming is more beautiful than I imagined! We went for a little hike and got to see "the Sinks".

This area is called Sinks Canyon because the river literally sinks beneath the ground, disappearing completely yet still flowing underground.

"There it goes!"

 About 1/4 of a mile down the mountain, the river water reappears but it's not a big hole. It lightly bubbles up from the ground to make a nice little fish pool.

It was hard to leave this beautiful place, but with Yellowstone on the map, we forged ahead. I will mention this - if you're ever driving through Wyoming, you MUST listen to Sigur Ros. It's as if the mountains were singing to us!


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