Sunday, May 10, 2009

Walking with the Dinosaurs

My mom took a tour of Picketwire Canyon in the Comanche National Grasslands last September to see the dinosaur tracks, and she thought it was neat and wanted to share it with all of us. So, she got us reservations and yesterday we all got up at the crack of dawn to be able to get to La Junta in time for the start of the tour at 8AM. It’s a bumpy ride down to the bottom of the canyon, but it was neat to see and hear about some of the history of Colorado. The first stop on the tour is some indian petroglyphs. 2009_0509_PicketwireCanyon-5

There is a neat sandstone arch down the road at the second stop, and you can also get a good view of the canyon around you.

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Rusty picked up a stomach-bug from his backyard eating adventures and wasn't feeling his best, but he is a good traveler and the kids had fun walking and spoiling him with attention during the day.

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The third stop on the tour is the spot with the largest area of preserved dinosaur tracks in the US.

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The long 'gashes' you see in this picture are spots where dinosaur tails lay in the mud.

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The really spectacular sets of tracks are across the river, so we all got to take our shoes off and walk to the other side. Beth, Bryce and I chose to walk over the newly constructed dam where there was only a couple of spots with rushing water.

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Mark and Carissa went a little further upstream where the water flow was a little slower as he carried Brenna and Sarah across. Sarah was a bit upset that she didn’t get to take her shoes off too LOL (this picture is actually of him carrying them back across after we were done looking at the tracks).

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There are spots where you can see two sets of sauropod tracks walking side by side.

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Here's an aerial view from one of the signs along the trail. It was taken several years ago and the dam is not in the photo. We were looking at the tracks on the left side of the photo.

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We ate lunch at the dinosaur tracks stop, and then continued on just a bit further down the canyon to the spot where the mission was located.

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And the last stop of the day was the Rourke Ranch. It was established in 1871 and was a working ranch until the early 1980s. What started out as a 40 acre holding grew to over 50,000 acres under the care of three generations of the Rourke family. I admit to falling in love with the old barns. The wood parts are all washed a really pretty green color and are weathered, along with white washed plaster for the walls. It has that shabby, abandoned look that is really cool. It would be a great place for a photo shoot. If we ever go back I'll have to torture my family by making them wear coordinating clothes and letting me take photos of them there.

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Thanks for taking us on the trip, Mama. It was a fun day and one we won’t forget!

5 Comments:

Blogger Kimberly said...

An amazing adventure! This would be too too cool (and I may well take you up on your picture offer! Bookmarking for future theft, um, borrowing, lol!)

6:33 PM  
Blogger Kim Jensen said...

Looks like a really cool place! Glad you had a good trip. I know there are supposed to be dinosaur tracks at a park a few hours south of here as well, but we haven't been to see them.

7:31 PM  
Blogger jessica said...

Oh wow, Melinda! I'm jealous you have such a cool place to visit nearby! My boys would absolutely LOVE it! Great photos... TFS!!

9:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Looks like a you all had a fun day:) great photos,Melinda.
Raji

10:39 PM  
Blogger clc said...

I may have to make this trip someday - your photos are awesome!

8:03 AM  

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