Dinosaur National Monument (Utah) for RR’s 13th BDay!

On Saturday we came to Vernal Utah after our happy couple of weeks in Palisade CO. Vernal is close to the Utah side of Dinosaur National Monument that RR has been looking forward to for awhile! The drive here was pretty…

I love these roads that appear to vanish into the mountains:

Douglass Pass was a sweaty palm-er! It was more nerve wrecking than Shafer to me because we were pulling Woody and there were many cars around!

It sure was pretty though! Betty rocked it and although we were sometimes going up less than 20 mph – she did great! I think the shower and massage we gave her in Colorado was great preparation. What a great team Betty and Woody are!

Here we are entering Utah… again. We’ve been in Utah a lot! It’s definitely one of our fave states.

The next day, Sunday, our RR turned 13!!! I can not believe it! We started his day with donuts, measuring against Mommy, presents, and love.

He loved the Yoda card:

And especially the sweet sweet card from E:

They sure do look alike haha:

It was all Star Wars, Erin Hunter books, and bike accessories this year.

Ever since he was little he’s been lighting up rooms with that smile:

Okay… on to the Dinosaur National Monument! We took a tram from the visitors center to the exhibit hall:

And when we landed we saw a ranger hike was about to start! Perfect timing. And we’re off…

Despite the heat the girls wore their Yankees stuff for RR!

Doesn’t this formation look like a dinosaur!?

Here are our very first dinosaur fossils “in the wild” (outside of a museum!). A leg bone and a vertebrate:

It was a hot hike but our ranger was great and it was enjoyable!

But then …the exhibit hall !!!! We had no idea this was going to be SO cool!!!!!

Professor Earl Douglass from Carnegie Museum first discovered fossils here in 1909 (after wandering for 6 weeks in July in his wool suit in the scorching desert heat!). He ended up staying for 15 years because of the immense amount of fossils found! Many dinosaur exhibits from museums around the country come from this quarry, like the Smithsonian in DC!

The exhibit hall is a huge building built around one section of the mountain where fossils were uncovered. What a great idea! It’s so cool to see them in the mountain where they were found!

There are thousands of bones here representing hundreds of dinosaurs. This area is believed to have been under a deep sea (of course) and then when the waters receded, it was a river which eventually slowed down and dried up and left the carcasses piled up in a “logjam”. Pretty incredible!

They have books and a touch screen at the exhibit (and they are also working on a digital quarry online!) that lets you look at where the bone is on the wall and then find out what dinosaur it belongs to and what part of the body it is!

The most common dinosaurs found here are the stegosaurus and the camarasaurus.

I would label my pics for you with what we discovered but I’m not going to. You have to go do the work in person yourself 😊.

The most fascinating one to me was this skull! Wow!!!

It’s so rare to find a skull and vertebrae in tact like that. So so so cool.

Dinosaurs are just fascinating aren’t they!?

We are definitely going to go back again this week and study some more. This was such a cool monument!

We of course got our Junior Rangers badges. #21 on July 21!

We are so excited that our friends we met in Cali were able to meet up with us for the week! This is the 2nd birthday they’ve celebrated with us. It’s truly a blessing to have road friends to enjoy, and spend time with.

I also love that the night ended in a game of kickball. It’s now a tradition to play on his BDay since RR had a kickball party last year which we all enjoyed so much!

We are so grateful for RR. He has the sweetest relationship with the Lord and has the best heart ❤️ . He is SO fun, silly, imaginative, artistic, and loyal. He is extremely intelligent, athletic, and determined. He’s also very persuasive and a good communicator…. those characteristics along with the intelligence really gives us a run for our money….but we have no doubt it’s what’s going to make him a worldchanger! It’s truly an honor to have been chosen to parent him.

It was such a great day celebrating him! We have so much to be thankful for!

4 thoughts on “Dinosaur National Monument (Utah) for RR’s 13th BDay!

  1. Happy birthday R!

    I’ve got to add that R is a great role-model for younger boys. He is so incredibly kind-hearted, one of the best qualities you can find in a man. He’s going to make a wonderful father someday. He’s constantly going out of his way to include everyone and make everyone feel good about themselves. It is a delight to watch him play with our kiddos. Thank you for blessing us with your friendship R!

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