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December 14, 2013

Today Scott and I went hiking at Dinosaur Ridge. It was my idea and I thought we would be following a trail to see dinosaur tracks. It turned out that we followed a road to see tracks, bones, and other geological features. I was a little unenthusiastic about following the road, but the hike and lunch afterward turned out great!
The Friends of Dinosaur Ridge that has protected the site for the last 24 years were holding a special event and stationed experts along the way who explained many of the sites. They started by showing us remnants of river beds and fossilized ripples from the ocean that used to be in Colorado. We also saw scratches by crocodiles and worm like fossils in the rocks that are now raised by the rockies.

Crocodile Scratches

Crocodile Scratches

As we continued up the road, several dinosaur tracks were pointed out to us. It is thought they were made from an Iguanodon. We found an off road trail shortly after looking at the tracks, so we missed the dinosaur bone exhibit, but that is OK, as I have seen one before and we can always return. The first discovery of a Stegosaurus was found at this site, and the bones in the exhibit are thought to be from a Stegosaurus or Apatosaurus.

From the road, we climbed up the snowy trail to the ridge for a fantastic 360 degree view. Red Rocks was visible from one side of the ridge while Denver could be seen from the other direction. We followed the ridge for some time and stepped aside for a mountain biker. I was quite impressed he could navigate the trail with all the snow. After about an hour we began to descend back down to the road where we shimmied under the fence and headed back toward the visitor center just in time to head to lunch in Morrison.

It was a quiet day in Morrison. We tried for Cajun food first, but the restaurant was closed due to its pipes bursting after the freezing cold temperatures earlier in the week. We eventually chose Morrison Inn, home to pretty good Mexican food and tasty margaritas! It was nice to enjoy a sunny and all things considered a warm day outside. ETB

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