DH, I and the boys took a trip to Vernal, Utah this weekend to see the dinosaur park. I don’t know what we expected, but it wasn’t quite what we saw.
None-the-less, we had a good drive, saw places we haven’t seen before ate a lot of fast food and swam in a motel pool. (well the pool was actually a glorified outdoor community bathtub with floating bugs, not what I expected, but A was thrilled.)
We stopped at the community library before we left and picked up some books on CD to listen to on the drive. The selection was limited, but I spotted a book called “The Bear in the Attic” by Patrick F. McManus. I have read McManus’ goofy woodsman humor before and was pretty sure the males in the car would like it. The 11-year-old grumbled, (he does that a lot lately) and DH shrugged. But we were not far down the road before everyone, including the seven-year-old was roaring with laughter.
It was not what they expected, but it was fun!
We drove and drove and drove and drove. But the kids didn’t fight, and we were able to see places we had heard about but never seen. Strawberry Reservoir was pretty; Duchene a long way from anywhere, Vernal was even further.
We arrived in Vernal Friday afternoon, crashed in the motel for a few minutes then ate supper and bobbed around in the pool for a while.
The next morning we drove to the dinosaur quarry. I convinced A to give up his flip-flops for sneakers, loaded the camera bag with sunscreen, and we all donned hats. The quarry was not what we expected, either.
In retrospect what we expected was illogical, but the quarry was enclosed. We thought it would be an open pit. We also expected it to be much larger than it was, and thought the children would be able to climb around on the rocks digging for fossils while DH and I sat in the shade and watched.
Nope. The quarry wall was fascinating. It really was. But there was not climbing and looking for fossils. L had $20 burning a hole in his pocket. He wanted to buy some trilobites or polished rocks. There were none to be found.
We didn’t take the hike because we still didn’t have sturdy enough shoes and A was complaining his feet hurt. So we did the tourists of National Lampoon’s vacation. Stood and took a few photos, then went back to town.
There was a museum in town, too. It was fun. It had and interesting movie and the kids were given the chance to dig among wood chips to find bones. The thing is, the wood chips were made of rubber, and the “bones” were formed and stuck to the bottom of the tray. Fun, but … well, you know the rest.
Sunday we tried once again. This time we went looking for petroglyphs. We followed the map out to someone’s ranch; put $2 in a metal box in a little shack. Grabbed some walking sticks and started climbing up the side of the mountain for the “easy hike.”
Part way up A slipped, skinned his leg and decided he was done. So I stayed with A while DH and L continue on to see the petroglyphs. A tossed rocks at the tin roof of the ranch shed. After a few minutes the rest of the party returned and said the petroglyphs were … do I really have to say it again?
My favorite things about the trip were unexpected as well. There was the kitsch factor. There were fiberglass dinosaurs everywhere. One of my favorites was the pink dino with purple toenails I came to understand was “Dina” the town mascot.
I was also impressed with the Vernal LDS Temple. I knew the temple was there, but it had slipped my mind. It is a beautiful building, a great gift to the people of the community.
When we arrived home with stacks of laundry and tired children, we heard several messages on the answering machine.
One was from a ya-ya scrapper (K) inviting me to a crop on Friday. Of course I didn’t make it. But I did call her back because I wanted to know if she had the results of a page contest being held in our LSS. She did, she had won first place with a $200 shopping spree in the store, and her page was picked up by Scrap Trends Magazine to be published.
The contest was judged by two editors of Scrap Trends and two Creating Keepsakes editors.
I took second place, and K took third place. You guessed it, very unexpected ~ in a good way. I went into the store on Thursday and saw everyone’s work and was pretty sure I didn’t have a huge chance of winning. So I am very pleased.