This will come as a surprise, but I actually almost enjoyed camping. I woke up this morning with the sun and Ellie, my tent buddy, was still sound asleep. The air was crisp and cool, but I was warm and cozy in the tent. When her eyes opened, a huge (like ear to ear) smile spread across her face and she snuggled close to me. It was a magical way to wake up. But then she did the most gigantic sneeze that actually caused us to label our sleeping bags with a sharpie so that none of us other than Ellie will ever get the now named “booger bag.”
The morning at camp was a little rough. It was a bit chilly and we had so much to do. Turns out that packing up camp is a lot of work. I think Zak was getting a little frustrated with me as I was shaving and applying make up rather than rolling up sleeping bags and deflating mattress pads. The mosquitos were atrocious and we were trying to keep all our gear organized. Zak and I finally finished our morning duties and we had granola bars for breakfast. I tried the Starbucks instant latte Via and literally gagged. It was one of the most disgusting things I have ever consumed. So I had the iced bottle of coffee also from Starbucks. It was okish, but I think next time I’ll heat it in the trucker device. I also took advil for my knee, and maybe a caffeine withdrawal too.
We then took off for a lovely hike. It had everything we like: tiny trails, scampering, breathtaking scenery, little critters, and good temperatures. We only ran into one other pair of hikers, who helped us find the right tiny path, and we later helped find the confluence. Our original plan including crossing a dry riverbed and hike along a canyon wall. However, the snowmelt is still pretty high and the dry riverbed is actually quite wet. We couldn’t gauge how deep the river was, so we opted to turn around at the 3 mile mark.
It was still quite early when we wrapped up the hike so we drove to Harper’s Corner and did a small hike which included a picnic lunch and views that rivaled the Grand Canyon. All the signage indicated this was a 2 mile hike, but I have to argue that it was much longer. It may of been the argument over who was holding the binoculars, but I would guess it was much closer to 7 miles.
Once we wrapped that up we were done with the east side of the park. We made our way to the more popular west side. The side with the dinosaur bones! I was not really looking forward to this. I feared too many people and unlike my dear friend, Mollie (author of Meet the Otts), I don’t have a great interest in dinosaurs. However it was simply amazing. There was a giant rock that was just full of 1000s of dinosaur fossils. Throughout the years it has be quarried and the fossils are at museums across the world. The scientists left so many hundreds exposed in the rock and built a building around the rock. I’ve never seen anything like it.
After leaving the site we opted to hike back to the visitor’s center rather than take the tram. This gave us the option to see more fossils. The signage indicated it would be a 0.7 mile hike, but again, I need to argue with that. Perhaps it was Zak insisting on seeing clam fossils in the rocks or the high heat or the fact that us girls were wearing flip flops, but it seemed a lot closer to 8 miles. Regardless we made it back and the girls were sworn in as Junior Rangers for the second time this week.
We wrapped the day up with a dip in the pool, carried in dinner, and the loads of laundry.