We were sad to leave all our relatives at the ranch, but at least we knew the drive home had more adventures in store (especially since Aunt Erin was with us to find the coolest places). Before we got out of town we made sure to check out a few things in Creede, CO starting with the Largest Fork in the US... made of aluminum. We thought it was actually the largest until I Googled it. Oh, well, still fun.
We got back on the road until we stopped in Pagosa Springs for lunch at The Rose.
We enjoyed the walls of John Wayne.
And, evidently, it was really sunny...
(only we went with the cheaper Motel option)
I would definitely say it is worth visiting if you are ever in the area.
We spent a little time in the Visitors Center where they had some dinosaur (and non-dinosaur) bones. They had a kid's area where you could dig for fake bones and Gus could happily have stayed there all day. Good thing Jimmy actually wanted to see the petrified wood. He watched a Park Ranger do a demonstration about how the wood is made over millions of years He used sand, water, and sponges to show how the trees fall into river beds and get covered with sediment and blocked off from air and erosion. Jimmy was selected from the audience to pull out the hard sponges which he thought was very cool.
Then we headed out to see the real thing.
There are lots of places you can stop along the drive in the park, but this spot was recommended to us if you only had time for one place. The boys both thought it was pretty cool.
Zach freaked Gus out by pretending something inside this rock bit him, but I guess he was brave enough to stick his own hand in just to make sure.
Nora was a good sport through it all and Gus really like showing everyone the rings on the rocks.
We bought some petrified wood for the boys since it illegal to remove any (and apparently bad mojo, too) and they were so excited about thoserocks. All in all, a successful National Park Adventure with our three kids (and the help of one kind aunt). Yay, us!
If you are unfamiliar with what I am talking about it is from the movie Cars which is a huge favorite in our house. Here is what The Cozy Cone looks like:
We made our own version once which you can see here. Yes, we are obsessed, so getting to see this place was exciting for us all. The vintage cars parked everywhere made it even cooler.http://ridethefuturetour.com/.
Despite the heat, it was so worth the stop!!!
Then we headed to a local restaurant for some late lunch.
After talking to the owner, we found out it also gave some inspiration for the movie Cars:
Then we finished the trek home. Jimmy was more than pleased that seeing some people with a flat tire and a skyline in Phoenix helped him blackout his Auto Bingo Card.