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our curse: Our family decided to take a last minute trip to Vernal, UT to visit Dinosaur National Park. Vernal is about a 3-hour drive from SLC, with the first half of the trip providing beautiful scenery, and the last half of the trip providing scenery that could give Nevada competition for its ugliest scenic highway and byway distinction.

Upon arriving at our hotel, we were showered with the only baby crib in the joint. Unfortunately, it is missing a wheel. We pulled out the other 3 to make it balance; what else could we do? The one time we travel without our crib, and this is what we get. Lesson learned.

Saturday night we went hiking in a place about 10 miles north of Vernal to see some petroglyphs. We ate dinner there, which consisted of things we could eat that we found at the grocery store. Maggie ate an apple, Dalton ate baby food, Susie and I shared a salad, and I ate a nectarine. Incidentally, I would suggest this activity for anyone seeking a fun, cheap date. Give yourself ten minutes at the grocery store to make dinner you can eat at the park. Most deli sections provide free plasticware; however, if you pick anything juicy, like a nectarine, best also pick up some baby wipes.

The petroglyphs were pretty neat looking. Maggie hiked the entire trail, 1 mile, with many steep parts, and seemed to enjoy looking at the drawings.

Today was THE day. We started with continental breakfast, which was basically code for one waffle iron to be shared among the 50 guests at our hotel. Then we went to Dinosaur National Monument, the UT side, and saw some dino bones still buried deep in the rock. Maggie really enjoyed this! Then we hiked into a box canyon where a lady lived by herself in a log cabin from 1870-1950 something.

Next we drove into Dinosaur National Monument in CO, where, oddly enough, there are no dinosaur fossils! We enjoyed the 31-mile drive to see some pretty spectacular scenery, but alas, as always happens, we ran into a huge rain storm that dropped the temperature from the 80's down to a balmy 45 degrees. So no more hiking for us at this point. Every time we venture out, it rains. I guess that's why Bangalore won't have us; what do they need with more rain? At any rate, I've now been to CO! Maggie was deputized as a paleontologist and Dalton was deputized as a jr ranger. Maggie was given a Boy Scout iron-on badge and Dalton got a pin-on badge that, though pinned to his shirt, still somehow made its way into his mouth.

For dinner we chanced upon a chinese buffet where, for only $20, we ate every American Chinese dish known to man, also ate mac and cheese, jello shots for the kids, ice cream, Mongolian BBQ, and pudding!

The best part of this trip came during mile 89 of our trip today. I heard nothing but laughing and giggling from the backseat of the car. Maggie and Dalton were playing together and it was awesome. They'll be great playmates soon, if we can get them to share.

Tomorrow we will hit the actual dinosaur museum, and stop to pose with the 50+ kitschy statuettes of dinosaurs that adorn the town. The largest one, a T-Rex, has taken Sam Eagle's place. He is spouting Uncle Sam clothing and has two large USA banners adorning his left and right flanks. I'd love to see how they dress him up for the other holidays!

I would love to escape life one day and live in a small town like this. But not this one. My allergies have been unkind to me since we got here.


© 2003-2015 John Chadwick.