Woke up bright and early to a gorgeous view in the campgrounds that we could not see last night. Our sight was on the green river with a gorgeous mountain view. We ate breakfast and packed up to get in a quick visit of the dinosaur quarry and visitors center as our plans were rearranged from our cancelled flight yesterday. The quarry was fascinating. We saw dinosaur bones 149 million years old left in the mountains they were found in preserved by a ancient river and discovered in the early 1900s. In the 1950s various people protested a dam that was to be built that would fill the area with water and destroy the bones and in 1990 they built a building around the quarry after finding the most intact dinosaurs anywhere in the world from the Jurassic period. Of course we made time for Hannah Emma and Olivia to become Jr. rangers and then stopped to see petroglyphs drawn on the mountains by people 1000 years ago.
We drove 3.5 hours watching movies and almost running out of gas as usual. Watching Ronnie squirm at every mile marker and small town sign that said " no services" was a riot. Somehow we saw a large Sunoco sign in the distance! Was it a mirage? It turned out to be real and we made it just in the nick of time.
Next we drove to Deadhorse Point State Park. We drove to the point and looked to the east rim and the west rim. We saw potash mining ( the blue color) Canyon lands national park and an amazing view. Hannah was convinced that the red rocks were painted. Next we went to the visitors center and The girls dis the Jr. Ranger program. We learned how although the desert is very dry when there is a rainstorm puddles form on the rock and an entire ecosystem of life forms in the puddles. When the puddles dry up many of the animals have exoskeletons that protect and sustain them on the dry rock for months or even years until the next rainstorm! We learned the legend of the cowboys who rounded up wild horses in the heat and left them to die by accident thus the name...We also saw an exhibit of a famous photographers work of the area. It was gorgeous. We drove another hour to Red Cliffs Lodge to go horse back riding.
We met our guides Magda and James and they have us a quick review of how to hold the reins and control our horses. Olivia complained that she didn't want to go but we convinced her that it would be fun. She watched Magda intently and payed close attention to all of her instructions. When we each got on our horses we headed out to the trail. It is the same trail that the Marlboro Man ads are shot. It is unbelievably beautiful. We were surrounded by red rock cliffs and rode through a rocky dusty mountain trail. The girls cracked up when the horses stopped to pee and poop and Hannah and Aida had a tough time telling their horses not to stop and eat. Olivia led the way behind Magda of course and had the time of her life! Magda told us how she came to the ranch from Germany for a high school project because her dad had connections with the owner of the ranch. Her dad was the photographer for the Marlboro Man ads! She said when she came she knew she was home so she stayed! Now she goes to Colorado State University. After a long fun ride near water and up and down the Rocky Mountains we ate dinner at the ranch overlooking a gorgeous view of the Colorado River watching hummingbirds crash into the windows of the hotel!
After horseback riding and dinner we drove a few minutes to the Ranch where we were staying for a Shabbat. We were excited to see the gorgeous peaceful cabins on the riverside. The girls ran around on the grass lawns enjoying the view and the swings rocks and trees while we brought in the bags and got settled. We could hardly stop taking pictures to unpack but eventually we did and relaxed as shabbat set in. The girls went up to sleep in the gorgeous loft as we listened to the flow of the Colorado River.