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Dinosaurland

August 18, 2015

DH was adding up all the days off at work he must use or lose this year.  He has accumulated a ton already and it’s only August.  Last year he was able to quit working after December 10th.  I think this year he might get the entire month of December off with pay.  But a better solution would be to start using them now.  That’s easier said than done however.  But I was in dire need of a break back in July so with a couple days’ notice we planned a quick vacation out to Vernal to Dinosaur National Monument.

And that was a month ago, but better late than never!  I really feel like catching up on summer photos before I can blog about our school plans.  And I took a lot, so this vacation post may stretch into several!

I don’t think I’ve been to Dinosaur Nat’l Monument since junior high, although I remember DH and I went to the Vernal Temple once before we had children.  We didn’t tell the boys we were going until after church, although they were suspicious when they saw all the snacks we had bought late Saturday night, or as D put it, “You never buy that food unless we’re going on . . . a road trip?”

We came home from church, ate a quick lunch, and told everybody to pack.  You’d think after staying overnight every other week at Grandma’s house this summer, we’d have the packing down to a science, but apparently not.  I thought we’d never get out of the house.  But finally we were on the road, DH convinced we need a bigger car for us and all of our gear.

It was an uneventful drive, but oh, so nice to get out of town!  We stayed the night at Springhill Suites, which will barely fit all seven of us in one suite.  When Little A is out of the bassinet, we’ll have to start getting two hotel rooms.  As it was her bed fit nicely in the closet and the boys took turns sleeping in the second bed and the couch bed.

A in the closet

Monday morning we were up bright and early to go see the dinosaurs.

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The older boys saw Jurassic World earlier in the summer and have been talking about dinosaurs pretty nonstop ever since.  They are highly enamored of the movie magic dinosaurs, C and D especially, and I’ll admit, I was worried that seeing the real thing might be kind of boring, but they were suitably impressed with the wall of 1500 dinosaur bones still in the rock in the new Quarry Exhibit Hall.

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Dh and A hiked the fossil trail back to the visitor’s center while the rest of us rode the shuttle bus with Little A who screamed the entire way.  I don’t know if she was worried about not being in her car seat or what, but she could not get off that shuttle fast enough.  C and D worked on their junior ranger badge workbooks while we waited and did enough to get their badges!

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Then we set off to see more of the monument, which I don’t think I’ve ever done.  All I remember is going to see the dinosaur bones.  Along the way we saw some petroglyphs and then had lunch by the Green River.

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After lunch the boys wanted to do another hike.  DH said he’d stay and watch Little A so I could go too, but E didn’t last very long.  Well, long enough that we were well past where DH could see us.  The hike was a loop so we sent his brothers off on the trail by themselves and waited awhile where it looped back around, but then E wanted to go clear back to Daddy.  So I just hoped his three brothers would be fine out there alone (at least there were three of them together, right?!) and we hiked back to the car.  DH started to worry about how long it was taking the others but by the time he decided to go meet them, they were back. Murphy’s Law, right?

They were so exhausted and hot!  It was actually really nice weather while we were out there, but it’s still the desert in the summer.  A was ready to be done for the day, but we decided to drive the rest of the Cub Creek Area road.

Part of Split Mountain:

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Turtle Rock:

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There was more to see, but Utah is too wide for my camera.  After drinking enough water and sitting in the car with the air conditioning cranked up, the boys revived and so we got out at the end of the road to see the Josie Morris cabin.  Josie settled there in 1914 and lived by herself way out there until the 1960s when she was 89.  I can’t even imagine!

Her cabin is empty, but we looked around inside, then hiked the Box Canyon trail where she would pasture her cows.  It was quite shaded and really nice with a breeze blowing.

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That’s D way out there in the grass so you can get an idea of the size of the canyon’s rock walls!

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I had really wanted to get over to the Colorado side of the Monument, but everyone was tired.  Little A was asleep in the car, so we headed back to our hotel for a nice swim before dinner.

Part 2 to come . . .

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