Monday, April 23, 2012

A Walk Through Time

In this part of the country, it's all about the peaks.  If you're young enough and healthy enough, you may get bitten by the peak fever.  It starts slow.  You may want to hike this or that peak in your back yard.  Then you want to do a 14'er.  Then you want to do all the 14'ers.  When you finish the 14'ers, you start to look at the 13'ers, all the summits in a county, all the county high points, all the high points in the 50 states, and so on and so on.  Some people feel they haven't hiked if they didn't summit something.

Me? Not so much.  Not yet, anyway.  I like a good peak, but there are a lot of other things that I like as well. Like a hike, even though it's flat, that has some good history to it.  Like a canyon with legends of hidden gold, haunted by lost souls.  That's really all I know to that story, but that's what they say. We didn't see any signs of gold, but there was lots of other stuff to see.

About what all 5 miles of this trip looked like.

Remains of what was probably a ranch house.
Remains of what was definitely a stove. 15-20 feet from the house.  I always wonder why something so heavy got moved. It's not important, but it makes me curious nonetheless.
Detailing that shows that what is now a hunk of rust once mattered.
Okay, the next part does not show up well in pictures, but I have to share it anyway.  We have no idea how old these are.  Someone said 400 years old, but it seems possible that they could be more or less.

I wish I could draw arrows and circles, but there is an animal up higher on the right.
Dunno what all of it is or means, but it looks cool.

I will let you draw your own conclusion what this might be about.

Because of the headdress, someone thought this might depict a shaman.

This was to the right of the shaman was this figure. It kind of looks like he's holding a cross in the left hand.
 Next stop on the trip through time was a Spanish mission.  This one was not as old as you might think, dated in the late 1800's to early 1900's.

The remains of the church and old cemetery.
The last stop required a river crossing. So fun! Normally, you try to stay dry, but we brought appropriate footwear to change into, and you just step in.  I had old tennis shoes, and it's really an odd sensation to feel all of the air bubbles release and then you are squishing water with every step.  But it was hot out and the water was cool and it was fun to wade across the river, so there you go.

And our destination on the other side of the river? Dinosaur tracks! For real, folks!

It is, unfortunately, sort of hard to get in pictures, but we were walking where the dinosaurs walked.  My favorite was the brontosaurus tracks.  You could see the paths that they walked. The rock was all rounded between their footsteps and almost still looked like mud.  You could almost see their feet squishing in. There are several sets of parallel tracks, showing that there was some social behavior.  Dinosaur bones may show something of what they looked like when they died, but their tracks show something of how they lived.  It was such a crazy feeling to be there in the middle of their footprints.

Their feet were a little bigger than mine.
 The allosaurus tracks were much smaller.  These were the meat eaters. Luckily the best set of tracks had a little water in them, so they are a little easier to see.  For the most part, their tracks were harder to find.  They didn't create such deep craters!

The conditions have to be just perfect for the fossils to form in the first place, and then they have to be just perfect again for them to be uncovered for us to see them. It was so great to get to experience that.

A little something pretty that I found on the way out.


  1. Okay, I thought the stove was cool, then you move on to ancient inscriptions, and then you end with DINOSAURS?! I'm with you - forget the peaks, go for the tracks!

  2. So cool! Thanks for sharing. It must give you the chills to know you are walking the same path as a dinosaur!

  3. What a cool, diverse hike! Thanks for sharing.

  4. Wow - what an awesome hike! I agree with TMC - forget the peaks, go for the tracks!!!!

  5. What great pictures! Thanks for posting.

  6. Great pictures! I suspect we live in the same area of the country. ;) There's lots of 14'ers around here, too (I prefer mountain biking, but I can say I've been to the top of a few 14'ers!). I love the dinosaur tracks!

  7. SO cool! Dinosaur tracks kind of blow my mind a little!

  8. Those pictures are awesome! We are about to start our Pioneer simulation in my 4th grade class, we will also be hitting the gold rush. The students will be making the trek across the west and I will have to show them these pictures. Thanks for sharing them with us! :)

  9. Awesome! How wonderful to be able to hike in such beauty and history.

  10. Great hike/pictures!
    Years ago I loved visiting the Grand Canyon, but the other great memory of that trip was hiking among lava rocks ~ being an East Coast kid, something I never thought I would see. Now I think I need to put hiking by dinosaur tracks on my bucket list.

  11. wow! thanks for sharing. I will have to add this to my list of things I would like to experience :)

  12. Amazing! We just went to the Natural History Museum to look at the dinosaur bones, it's pretty cool to realize how much history is surrounding us. Awesome that you could enjoy so many different artifacts on one hike!

  13. This is amazing! Esp about the dinosaurs! How awesome to have the chance to walk in their footsteps!!!