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Tag: colorado

I included this in our Flat Satori envelope, but thought I’d share here as well. Click the image to it see full-size and print out if you like.


The state flower is a photo we took a few weeks ago! I also learned the West Painted Turtle became a state symbol just a few years ago.

Continuing with the coal theme in The Rag Coat rowing, today we explored coal a bit more and learned that Colorado is ranked 8th in coal production in the US. We see coal trains everyday, so naturally we wondered where the coal is in Colorado. Looking at this map of Colorado Mines, we can see it is in the western side of the mountains that we live in. The black and white icons in the map are coal mines.

Colorado Mines

Colorado Mines

Here is a train full of coal resting in Rollinsville, CO, our hometown. We took this photo today.

Coal train in Rollinsville

Coal train in Rollinsville

And a closer look…

Coal

Coal

We also checked out this “Coal Areas in the United States” map from coaleducation.com to see where coal is found in the United States. Satori recognized the Appalachian mountain area, which of course is rich with coal, as well as our very own Rocky Mountain range.

Coal Areas in the United States

Coal Areas in the United States

The  Kentucky Coal Education website also has lots of coal education ideas, games, and videos. Also the American Coal Foundation has lesson plans about coal for teachers. They used to even send homeschoolers free samples of coal. Be sure to check these website out if you read or row The Rag Coat!

This morning we did a family hike on Rollins Pass, and it was a gorgeous day – mid 60’s and mostly sunny.

Tolland road

Tolland road

We are thrilled to have all this in our big backyard. A few miles west is Winter Park. Below is Moffet Tunnel, which marks the entrance to our hike.

Moffat Tunnel, Rollinsville

Moffat Tunnel, Rollinsville

And another view of Moffat Tunnel, from a ladybug’s perspective.

Ladybug's perspective of Moffat Tunnel

Ladybug's perspective of Moffat Tunnel

The trail was full of rushing mountain steams, and a dozen little wooden bridges to cross. Sometimes we did have to get our feet wet.

We reached our destination, a nice meadow and another wooden bridge over a stream.

David and Satori on bridge

David and Satori on bridge

Satori smiles

Satori smiles

A few mountain wildflowers…

Mertensia  lanceolata (Bluebells)

Blue Bells

Blue Bells

I love the striking red colors of the Castilleja miniata (Indian Paintbrush).

Indian Paintbrush

Indian Paintbrush

I wouldn’t have given this photo a second glance, but the colorful bokeh (round circles) caught my eye.

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We are lucky to live just minutes away from this spectacular dinosaur site – Dinosaur Ridge in Morrison, Colorado. If you live around Denver/Boulder, then take your family to one of their Dinosaur Discovery Days, the second Saturday of each month from 10am to 2:30pm. It’s free, and there will be lots of guides there to give demos and answer questions!

Dinosaur Ridge

Dinosaur Ridge

Our visit was cut short due to both an afternoon storm and our hurry to get to a friend’s party in Boulder. So we’ll have to visit again soon, but the hour that we were there, I was very impressed. This area was the time of the Jurassic dinosaurs – from 206-144 mya. We learned that four of the world’s most famous dinosaurs were discovered in this very place – Stegosaurus, Allosaurus, Apatosaurus, and Diplodocus! Although Apatosaurus was first incorrectly identified and named Brontosaurus, so you may see that dinosaur referenced to Colorado as well.

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Friendly, knowledgeable guides are posted all over the ridge to answer your questions.

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As we chatted with them, some of them thought I was a geologist! Quite flattered, I said I loved studying geology in college, but I forgot it all until this summer, when I homeschooled my daughter in prehistory. They urged Satori and I to be volunteers even, saying that visitors love it when young people are the guides, it makes it more relevant to them I guess. 🙂 Anyway, I was able to look at a picture, and name off the exact period in the past 600 million years where the picture might have represented. Just by reading Satori Smiles blog, you might be able to spot the Dimetrodon (sail-backed reptiles) in this photo and realize this was the Permian period.

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They were even more impressed with Satori, who asked some great questions! We ran into a budding paleontologist, a young girl, probably high school age. We hope to visit her at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science some Wednesday morning when she works. Why would she be there on a school day? Because she is homeschooled too! Satori and the girl had great fun talking about their fossils. She wants to be a curator at a big museum someday.

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Just as we were about to see the fascinating footprints of the dinos on the side of the hill, it started to rain. We quickly flagged down the bus and had to end our day at Dinosaur Ridge. We’ll be back very soon! July 11 might be a good day, we’ll get to bring our own fossils and talk about them. We’ll also plan better and visit the Morrison Natural History Museum.

Next weekend we get to take another dinosaur field trip to a place of mom’s choice, providing it is driving distance! Should it be Utah or Wyoming?