Day of the Dinosaurs

Colorado is not just about snow (the lack of which in 2008 is duly noted). Colorado has some absolutely incredible dinosaur excavations, including stuff that’s still being dug up to this day. That’s something I didn’t know until we went on a day-long excursion/adventure this week.

First stop was one of the sites about half an hour from where we are living, at Dinosaur Ridge. The dino footprints have been preserved and you can walk up and see them! While the Ridge is on the side of a roadway, the road has now been blocked off (except for the little tour bus), so you can safely walk up.

Looking at Dino tracks
Looking at Dino tracksThe tracks have been coloured black and go right up the side of the cliff
The rock is shale, and the history of this part of Colorado is that it used to be a sea. After the landforms changed the sea disappeared, and the dinosaurs were preserved and fossilized within the shale. It was great stopping at this site first because we looked first-hand, and touched the shale in the mountain. The layers of the rock were really cool.
From there we took a drive for another hour and a half to the Rocky Mountain Dinosaur Resource Center (RMDMC) at Woodland Park. It features lots of exceptionally cool stuff for adults as well as kids on the Dinosaurs they’ve found, how they preserve them, and lots of those cool skeletons. You can even see the paleontologists at work preserving the fossils! It was great because they described the shale excavation and some of their discoveries came from exactly where we had just been.
  november-2008-043The RMDRC has interactive kid activities, free hourly tours of the centre, two movies running all the time, and full displays of how they create the casts, and preserve the remains. Everything is presented in such a great way, it kept every one of us enthralled. There was no whingeing at this one! This was a day trip well worth taking!

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