Monday, October 19, 2015

Dinosaur Ridge in Colorado

While visiting my sister Teri, and brother-in-law Randy, I had the opportunity to hike up the road to Dinosaur Ridge not far from their house.

The ridge was at one time a flat, shallow sea nearly 100 million years ago called, The Cretaceous Western Interior Seaway. The seaway split America, as we know it today, from the Gulf of Mexico to the north of Canada. Most of the tracks made in the mud were by large herbivores and carnivores who roamed along the edge of this sea and were preserved for us by an accident of geology.

The animals of the time had walked in the muddy, shallow terrain and their weight depressed the soil that eventually filled in with sand. For millions of years the land slowly rose and tilted upward at an angle. Erosion eventually uncovered some of the prints that we see today, I suspect there are millions more still hidden in the earth, just waiting to be discovered. I had to ask if they enhanced the footprints for easier identification... yes, they use charcoal.

Some of the exhibits almost look fake, but rest assured, these are the real deal! The patterns give paleontologists clues as to what they were, how they moved and behaved.

Here are just a few of the creatures that left prints and bones at Dinosaur Ridge. 

Footprints were not the only thing frozen in time. Here are some fossilized sand patterns caused by water lapping on the shore. 

This looks northeast from near the top of the ridge. Below this ridge is a drag strip and just past the freeway is the start of the central plains of America. I plan on taking the trail all the way to the top.

TA DA! My selfie, because there was no one else up there to record this historic event! Ha Ha

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Feeling Nostalgic up to 2005

I have a lot of photos in the cloud, but if anything were to happen to my PC and, or external hardrive I may lose a few that I would not want to, here are some that I like.

The family was so important to Donna. Our first years together, I did not have a lot of contact with my own family, but it was forced upon me through Donna. My family adopted her immediately, as if they knew something that I didn't, and she in turn loved being so involved with all my siblings, nieces and nephews that it couldn't help, but draw me in too.

I won't say that Donna made friends easily, but what she did do was to express an interest in everyone she met...the tight friends around her just seemed to bond themselves together without any effort. I always admired how forceful she was with her friendships.

Did Donna want me to buy and keep the boat in a slip at Mission Bay, San Diego...probably not. She was much more conservative than I was with money, but because she knew it was important to me, she agreed. After a year or two she loved getting away from Vegas to the boat as much as I did, like me...the boat grew on her.

Donna took up golf because I found a new love and she wanted to participate, and I love'd having her on the course with me. Neither one of us were any good, but at least we were bad together!

You can't fake a smile like this, Donna loved her Benji and Missy so much. Funny story...we had always had big dogs as pets and when the last big pet died of cancer, she expressed a wish for a lap dog. I found this breed, Havanese, by accident and from that day on we never had a pet...they were family members.

Travel? This girl loved to travel and camp. I'm not talking about "frilly" 5 star places... Donna just loved experiencing new or different places in the country. As her 50th was approaching, I asked where she'd like to celebrate it... Mexico (always a favorite) or some other exotic place? No, Donna had read that there was a mountain on the coast of Maine, Mt Cadillac, that is the highest point on the eastern seaboard and the very first to receive sunlight in the USA. So that's what we did, on the morning of her 50th, at 4:00 am, we drove to the peak of Mt Cadillac to celebrate...did we care if it was overcast? Na, we just pretended the sun that day was hitting Donna before anyone else in America...pretty cool.

Ah, the light of her life and always a cause of concern...our son, Jason. Jason was so important to Donna...even before he was born, that it nearly caused a ruckus when she was 6 months pregnant. I had always thought I was divorced in 1973 from Roxanne, and Donna and I got married in Janurary 1, 1978. Turns out that was not the case. Around December of 1982 Roxanne mentions that we never signed the papers and we were still legally married. I about shit a brick and we quickly finalized it and I told Donna not to worry. Yeah, right...that went over real well. The divorce was done by the end of 1982 and Donna insisted that we "remarry" at the courthouse on Janurary 1st, same day as in 1978 we thought we were married, so Jason's parents have two marriage licenses...pick one is what I say.

We really don't know what kind of impact a life will have on people when they are gone, some leave huge impacts...others like Donna leave such a subtle impact that until they are gone you don't realize just how much they have changed your life for the good...that was Donna.
I love you sweetie...