Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Dinosaur National Monument

Our latest adventure has been one of my favorites of any trip ever. We met Kevin's sister Renae, along with her husband Norm and their three adorable kidlets, in Vernal, UT to spend a couple of days at Dinosaur National Monument.

I've known dinosaur nuts my whole life, but have never considered myself a nut. An enthusiast, certainly, but I never really understood what drives someone to obsess over creatures that died out millions of years ago. Now I get it.

One of the visitor areas at the monument includes a quarry full of fossils. The park built a two-story gallery around the wall so that people can see, and in some cases touch, the bones up close and very personal. I was almost brought to tears as I thought of the history of the planet literally laid wide before me.

We also went on a short hike with the kids back to the main visitors center, giving my kids the chance to experience the Utah mountains firsthand. They chased lizards and found fossils; they climbed rocks and found shady nooks. Today has been one of the most amazing days of my life, and I loved being able to share it with my family.

Bonus story: speaking of nuts, we met a few on the trip. But they weren't dinosaur nuts; in fact, they'd probably best be termed anti-dinonuts. We were outside the quarry while we put on sunscreen and filled up water bottles before our hike and we overhead a man talking with this family. It was clearly not a family talking together, there was a definite patriarchal vibe. He was telling the others about how obvious it now was that dinosaurs aren't real, but that they are a colossal hoax perpetrated by the government. The point of the hoax is to generate revenue and to trick the godless, according to this expert. Wow. He turned it over to the kids for questions, who jumped in with their own versions of possible conspiracies. Interestingly, he vehemently asserted that the moon landings were factual; I'm not sure he's the kind of person I want on "my side" of the moon landing "debate". Again, wow. Just wow.


Karen said...

I have two favorites in this slide show: the fossil that is 2,000,000 times older than Annie and the Magritte rock.

D said...

My Grandma doesn't believe dinosaurs lived on earth. She thinks the remnants found are just part of the things that were used to create the earth. Yeah...she's a bit kooky. We love her anyway. And she isn't in charge of our science instruction. :)