Monday, July 13, 2015

Weekend Adventure

For our first summer adventure, the kids and I visited the Dinosaur Resource Center in Woodland Park. My daughter and I "discovered" it when we were driving down to Garden of the Gods in the spring, and we put it on our list of places we wanted to check out.

It's a small museum, but has a lot of neat stuff. There are displays of fossils here that aren't on display anywhere else in the world, some of which were discovered in Kansas or nearby in Colorado. Some of the fossils are still in plaster jackets, not entirely restored, and some haven't even been officially identified or named yet. There's also a working restoration area where you can watch people working on restorations/reconstructions (no one was working today, but we could still take a look at the workspace).

I was also really interested in the role 3D printing has played in creating models of different critters. This technique was used to create full-body reconstructions as well as reconstructions of skeletons--using a female pterosaur skeleton to project the size and shape of a male, for example. Overall, a fun beginning to our last-year-in-Colorado explorations.

My new phone takes pretty good pics, so you should be able to click on these photos and see big, hi-res versions.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

The Colorado Bucket List

In about a year, when my daughter graduates from high school, I’m planning a big change. After 20 years in Colorado, I’m heading back across country to Illinois, where my family lives and where I grew up.

It’s strange to realize that I’ve lived in Colorado longer than I lived in Illinois. But Illinois still feels like home, and there are other reasons for making the move, too, at least one of which is financial, and several of which are personal.

Knowing we’ve got a deadline, my kids and I are making a list this summer of places we want to see in Colorado before we head back out to the plains. I’ll be posting some info about these locations, the trips, why we picked them, and how things went. We probably won’t make it to all of them—in fact, we undoubtedly won’t—but we’re going to do what we can. Some of these places we’ve visited before and just want to see them again. Others are places we want to see before we go.

Some locations that have already made the list:

    •    Elitch Gardens (for one more visit)
    •    The Denver Zoo
    •    St. Mary’s Glacier
    •    Cave of the Winds
    •    Seven Falls
    •    Royal Gorge
    •    Sand Dunes
    •    Mesa Verde
    •    Leadville
    •    Georgetown
    •    Black Hawk
    •    Central City

That’s just the beginning. We’ll see how far we get.