Saturday, August 22, 2009

Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument

While at REI one day, we picked up a book with the top 50 hikes in Colorado Springs. I wonder if I can return it.

We started out, gung-ho, and Gunner took the kids to the PX to pick up child size camelbaks for the kids, so there would be no complaining. No "I don't want to drink after her" or "She's drinking all the water and there's not going to be any left for me" and the best of all "Are you trying to kill us by only having one source of water?". So off to get camelbaks he went.

He returned home with 4 new camelbaks (Junior's held 32 oz, and the other 3 held 50 oz). We filled them, packed snacks, located directions, and headed off.

Junior should be a walking advertisement for Camelback.
He loved that Camelbak and wore it the entire time. Unlike someone else....but I digress.....

Our first stop was the bathroom. We ran into a really nice Ranger who reprimanded us (nicely) when while giving us directions, Junior shows up with flowers that he found and picked.
It was the 40th anniversary today, so everything was free, saving us a whopping $6.

This area is known for all of its petrified stumps. The girls picked up the Junior Ranger books at the gift shop, and had to complete a certain number of assignments, as well as fun pages in order to get a badge or a patch.
It was beautiful out there. We headed out to walk to the Boulder Trail, where the Ranger told us that there were huge boulders that formed caves and you could crawl all over them. He said we were more likely to see wildlife going that route as well. But.....there's always a but with this crew......Abs and Em wanted to go see the Homestead first since it was one of the things that was on the Junior Ranger checklist.

We started walking. Abs got rocks in her shoes. Abs didn't want her Camelbak. Junior didn't want to walk.

I asked Abs to open her eyes and smile when I counted to 3. I got this.

We kept on walking. If there was supposed to be any wildlife, we weren't about to see it with the amount of noise we were making.

Junior polished off his water the first mile. We finally saw the Homestead in the was right off the main road. Everyone else got back in their cars and drove to it, which was really looking good at this point.

I tried to get a picture of Junior, but he was too busy sucking down water.

Em didn't mind posing for once.

We keep on walking, and by the time we get there.....the homestead was closed.

We had a snack. We discussed walking back along the road since it would be much faster, but we figured we came to hike, and we could still try to salvage this trip.

Em was less than enthusiastic about taking a longer route back. But there was a bridge...

Then we discovered that Junior pooped. Gunner was still carrying him on his shoulders and finally the smell got to him, so we stopped, removed the pullup that we thankfully that we had put on him. We had no wipes and no more pullups. Not too smart. So we used water from the camelback and I know Gunner now unconditionally loves his son as he washed his little bottom out in the forest with his bare hand. Ewwwww!

We got everything cleaned up as well as we could, and luckily Junior had underwear on over his pullup, so he didn't have to go commando. Maybe even luckier because when he pooped again, while on Gunner's shoulders, it didn't just explode all over my poor husband. And then the boy fell asleep....
At that point, the girls figured it wasn't worth complaining anymore because they thankfully didn't have a poopy boy sitting on their shoulders.

We finished our walk, never made it to the boulders, and hit the road, having walked almost 5 miles. The girls turned in their Junior Ranger work and were able to earn their award.

Looking back on it now, it doesn't seem as bad as it did at the time. We did see a bunch of chipmunks, birds, scat, and beautiful scenery. Next time we will be better prepared though!

We ended the day with Mexican food, a stop at the Arc, and the find of a chicken soup bowl, so the day ended on a good note. Now all the kids are tucked into bed and we are right behind them.


Crazy Shenanigans said...

I'm starting to get jealous. You guys always seem to go on these fun adventures every other day!

Uncle Dan said...

No fossils though?

ABW said...

No, the only fossils we saw were in the visitor center. Of course as loud as some people complained, they probably scared the fossils away too!

Crazy, come visit, you can join in the adventures, but you might want to bring some earplugs!

Spanish Princess said...

Wow! That was quite the adventure! It sounds like it was fun, despite the bathroom mishaps!