Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument

23 Aug

It has been a busy end to the summer. A few weeks ago we had visitors. (YAY, we love visitors!) My husband’s parents brought our niece and nephew for a long weekend visit. The kids had a great time, as always, and the adults enjoyed catching up. During their visit we travelled to Florissant, Colorado to take in the wonder that is the Fossil Beds.

Before reaching the monument we stopped by the Hornbek Homestead to explore Florissant history. We then headed over to the monument and enjoyed a picnic lunch before exploring the grounds. Our first stop was a “lab” where a Park Ranger was carefully removing layers of shale in search of fossils. No fossils were discovered while we were there but it was interesting to see the process. It was a great time to ask questions.

Our picnic lunch visitor.

I thought the most amazing sights at the monument were the giant fossilized remains of redwood trees. Yes, redwoods in Colorado! Who would have thought this dry climate was once warm and moist like California? The stumps of these trees were petrified after being covered with mud and ash from a nearby volcano that is now extinct. They are scattered around the area, some more decomposed than others and some held together with metal bands. One stump even had two saw blades stuck in it from people trying to cut it into smaller chunks to get rid of it! It was an amazing sight. I was in awe.

If you’re ever in the area, make sure to take a day trip to Florissant.

Mike, Grandma Jan, and our nephew, Christopher, taking in the enormity of the stumps. I couldn’t get any closer to the stumps so this picture doesn’t show how massive they are. Just keep in mind that my husband is 6′ 5″!

The kids working diligently on their “homework” to become Junior Rangers. They would run ahead to find the next bench to get back to work quickly. Sam just waited until they were done so they could help him fill in his sheet.
From left to right – My daughter, Madalyn, Julia (niece), my son, Sam, Christopher (nephew), my son, Stephen.

Jan found this “flower” where a pinecone had fallen from the tree. Great find, Jan!

Can you find the saw blades?

1 Comment

Posted by on August 23, 2012 in Uncategorized


One response to “Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument

  1. Jan Scherr

    August 23, 2012 at 1:09 pm

    Katy, beautiful pictures and a good blog. Thank you. It was a great time!!!


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