Given that we are only a few hours drive away from the town and national monument, Dinosaur, and I wanted to indulge my inner geologist/palaeontologist, we thought we’d pay it a visit. The weather predicted storms over SLC so we headed East where it stayed dry and sunny. The drive over was spectacular, driving over and around various mountain ranges, we kept our eye out for ski resorts, through Indian reserves, rural landscape and red dusty rocks.
Dinosaur is a national monument, different from a state park that is on the Utah/ Colorado border, which unsurprisingly is named because it is a massive dinosaur graveyard/quarry. Here sits thousands of dinosaur bones, and is where many complete skeletons have been found that are in several of today’s museums around the world.
We found one of the visitor centres, and excitedly found everyone outside gathered aorund a snake! I have no idea what kind but it wasn’t a rattle snake and was about two meters long. This was a good start! In order to reach the dinosaur ‘wall’ literally a massive wall of bones, which to be more accurate is a large hillside, which has been excavated. To get here you can walk up a small route, finding fossils along the way or jump on a little bus that takes you up to the wall. The wall was actually bigger than I expected, and bones everywhere. This is largely due to the type of rocks and was fairly impressive.
We had a walk aorund the park, enjoy the landscape, small abandoned homesteads, fossils, and small canyons. We were also excited to find some petroglyph’s dotted aorund the park. These are carved into the rock in various shapes and sizes. Some of the drawings are quite clear where as some are more abstract. These carvings are around a thousand years old, and nobody really knows what they mean. They could be the equivalent to modern day graffiti, a family history, warnings to other tribes, directions or just doodles. Whatever they were made for the look impressive and it was fascinating to see something with so much history. Very cool Utah, very cool!
Getting outside into the fresh air always makes me feel better just having time to breath and take it all in. Sometimes its really easy to forget that a simple thing like going for a walk can feel so great. We recently popped up to St Joseph county park, what’s great is amongst the strip malls and drive through places there is also some great green spaces. St Joseph park is massive. You can walk around for hours. nestled in this big park there are several small hiking trails, bike ones, bird watching and in summer kayaking on the river as well as tubbing and xcountry ski-ing in the winter.
The big red barn, is well big and red, I really liked that it had its own surprised little face. There is also a blue barn next to it that sits on a little lake and is beautiful. I wanted to make it into a house and live there with a row boat for decoration. Kiwi and I looked for turtles in the pond and also wondered what the fish do when winter comes and the lake freezes. We wondered if they knew and swam into the main river, or if they found little air pockets, or if they swam around until one day they freeze.
Its hard to believe these pictures were taken only a few weeks ago, when we had the last bit of sunshine before the Arctic arrived. It was nice to imagine what life might have been like living and working on a farmstead, I guess its equivalent to all those English manor houses but with less corsets and tea. One of the highlights was a little swingset, you are never to old to enjoy a swing, even if this one was in some serious need of an oil. I tried to learn how to jump off in midair but wimped out. We walked through the gardens where there were many apple trees and other fruits, we looked in earnest for Blackthorne bushes but to no avail. If I close my eyes I can almost remember the sun on my back and the lungfuls of delicious fresh air that smelt of autumn leaves. Now if you’ve just read this post I urge you to go for a little walk :-)
This weekend to make the most of the good weather we visited one of the local state parks. It was very pretty. A big lake in the middle that you can boat and fish on. Already searching for some kayaks! Lots of woodland and trails. You can hire bikes and cycle around or go on a nice walk. Theres a whole horse camping ground and lots of picnic spots. Ive been keeping my eye out for blackberries and some sloes. We did spot some wild turkeys and a water vole!