Day 11: using 4WD

Today we went to Dinosaur National Monument. The visitor center is closed because it is falling apart due to ground movement. They have a temporary center set up which was pretty cool – several bones including skulls were there for the kids to see and touch. There is a 1 mile hike you can take to see dinosaur bones that are exposed due to the natural erosion of the area. We showed up around 1p or so and it was 90+ degrees, so we opted not to go down the trail (even though someone had just finished it and said it was worth the hike).

We drove through the park and saw some petroglyphs, and ended up at a log cabin that a lady lived in all by herself from the early 1900s through 1964 when she died – never had power, phone, or even internet.

On the way back we went down a road that was "not recommended for passenger vehicles". Since we were in the jeep, we figured it was just for us. After winding down the road for about 15 minutes, and thinking that the sign was wrong, we started to go up, up, up. Went up 2000 feet on very rough road – 4WD was required. The road was still going up when we weenied out – 100 degree heat, down to 1/4 tank of gass, the topo map on the gps looked like it was going to get even steeper, and clouds were starting to roll in (there was a flash flood warning yesterday, and a chance for more thunderstorms today). Looking at the map, there are a bunch of jeep trails in the area – we need to get the skorupa jeep club to make a trip out here.

On the way back into town, we stopped at the museum of natural land history – it was really cool. You started in a theater with a 15 minute video on how they dig up fossils, and then you moved from station to station looking at different fossils. They had several skeletons of entire dinosaurs. The kids had a blast.

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