Day 3

It’s kind of funny writing about today knowing that it won’t be published until tomorrow. By then we will have camped our first night. But right now, we are getting ready for the adventure called camping. I’ll go back to the beginning of the day.

We drove just over an hour to Dinosaur, Colorado. After checking in with a ranger, buying firewood, and refueling the car, we drove down a windy road to another windy, but dirt!, road. We were on this dirty, bumpy road for only 13 miles, but it took over an hour. Those the kinds of roads that just make my stomach so happy. #untruth

Along the route we read lots of material about the history of the land. I wish I had a mind that could better comprehend the geographical timeline. The depth of the history is made clear in the rocks, yet I can’t wrap my brain around what the land looked like during each period. And just about most recently dinosaurs were roaming this part of the country. (Not right where we are tonight, because the vegetation is too scarce for them.) Anyway, it just boggles my mind.

We did stop at the former Chew Ranch. Oh my goodness! What fun! The Chew family settled here about 100 years ago and for a couple of generations lived on the land as they ranched cattle, and eventually sheep. They sold the ranch to the park service in 1966 and the property has been left untouched. We saw their log cabins, a wagon, the corrals, and a home built not long before they sold, including a bunker and an outhouse with two seats! How funny would it be to take care of business right next to your sister or father?!

A touch farther down the road we pulled off to see petroglyphs. I can’t remember when they were from but the ground has eroded down 35 feet since they were created. Crazy to think of the power of the river in just 1,000 years.

And finally we rolled into camp. Oh my, this is not what I was created to do. We did find a nice site, number five of the eleven here. Once the tents were set up we met our neighbor, a single guy from Staten Island who is spending the summer traveling the country. We then started on our first hike of the trip. I hadn’t had my hiking boots on since the dreadful day at Starved Rock at the end of February that ruined my knee. It felt really good being back in them and hiking. We did a short 3 mile out and back in the blazing sun and a temperature of 106. I think we would of liked to go further, but it was just too hot. Regardless, it felt good, it was fun, we saw beautiful flowers, rocks, a river, and skittering geckos.

Once we got back to camp I realized that I might not be meant for this. I was dirty from the hike and wanted to wash my feet and face. Not possible. I want to cold beer and all we have is the fifth of Disaronno and cold canned coffee. I want a comfy chair and all we have is a picnic table. Oh well. Only five more nights after this.

Once we wrap up the blogging we are going to cook dinner. Oh my, this is embarrassing to admit, but we actually brought the left over brats from our going away party on Monday all the way across the country. We are going to heat them up over the campfire and eat apples and chips. (I’m feeling my inner Margie and Larry who somehow seem to eat leftovers at every meal.) After roasting marshmallows we’ll turn in and attempt to get a good night’s sleep before tomorrow’s long hike.

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