Posted by: Cross Country Couple | November 3, 2010

Day 46 … Florissant Fossil Beds

For the past two nights, we have been very happy to be staying with friends. Not only is it great to see a familiar face, but it is much more convenient than setting up and breaking down the car. Each night we spend 15-20 setting up the bed. The process involves moving the cooler, laptops, packs, and laundry towards the front of the car. Then, we pull all the heavy items out of the cargo pod and put the pod on the roof. We restock the pod with anything that will fit and strap it to the roof. Meanwhile, one of us will blow up our sleeping pads and lay out all the blankets. Finally, we hop into the car and hang the curtains. If we want to watch a movie, we will set up the sun shade across the back of the wagon and prop the laptop up.

After hiking through the grasslands and checking out the exhibits, we were back on the road again. We referenced our Most Scenic Drives in America book and decided to take the Shelf Road to cut through Colorado on our way to Texas. The Shelf Road is a dirt road that has been cut into the side of a canyon. The drop offs were very steep, but the drive was exciting.


Today, we toured the Florissant Fossils Beds on the way out of town. At the visitors center, we watched a small film about the park and picked up our park map. Just behind the visitors center, there is a paved walkway that leads guests to a few of the park’s exhibits which feature petrified trees. The Florissant Fossils Beds are known for hosting some of the world’s largest petrified trees. Many years ago, these trees were buried 15′ deep by a large volcanic flow. Once the lava hardened, the exposed part of the trees rotted away. As time past a lake bed formed, and the surface of the lake became covered in algae, leaves and insects. Eventually, the algae and debris sank to the bottom and fossilized.


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