Monday, October 24

Mountain Time (Joe Bonnamassa)

When we told the kids we were heading to Colorado, the only place they really wanted to visit was the Garden of the Gods.  Granted, they didn't really know what else was out there, but they had a one track mind on this.  So it was our number one 'must do.'
At the entrance of our parking area, there was a trail guide pointing out all of the various geological 'structures,' like the Kissing Camels shown in the second photo.  We had fun renaming almost all of them!
This was one of our last stops on the Colorado trip, and we had told the boys that it may not happen...you know...keep them on their toes a little bit.  So they were pretty stoked when we got there!
Ah, but the disappointment quickly set in when we made them get down and stop climbing.  Without a permit and (naturally) the correct gear, climbing is not allowed.  We had not come prepared to climb, but we did spend a long time watching the ones who had.


We spent a lot of time walking the trails and exploring the plant life in the area.  It's pretty different from what we're used to seeing at home and on our east coast jobs.  It was morning, not too hot yet, and the day was shaping up to be a beauty!
As we were leaving, we discovered the area that is set up for climbing.  We had watched the rock climbers from the trail, and the boys were a little disappointed that they weren't able to climb, so we let them crawl all over this area.  All four of us enjoyed that hour!!
What you can't see in this picture is that the oldest has just fallen off a rock and disappeared into.....well, apparently a mini-cave that he found.  
Isn't the view stunning??

Rocks & Minerals Unit Study

Wednesday, October 12

Path of Thorns (Sarah McLachlan)

Our trip through Nebraska took us right by Chimney Rock.....the same one that we used to stop off at when playing Oregon Trail on the old Apple II-E.  
We also stumbled upon the Chimney Rock Cemetery...where many loved ones were lain to rest during the trek Westward.  The cemetery wasn't as full as we'd predicted, but there was probably hundreds of settlers lain to rest beside the trail in unmarked graves...

Oregon Trail Unit Study
Reading Resources
Check out all of our We Were There unit studies!

Thursday, October 6

Everybody's Got a Mountain to Climb (Allman Brothers)



At the park entrance are all fifty state flags.  It's quite a long walk to get to the trail that wraps around the mountain.  The day we stopped by was absolutely gorgeous....not hot or cold, beautiful Carolina blue sky...perfect day.
Inside the museum, you can watch a video about the sculptor (Borglum) and the history of Mount Rushmore, from inception to completion.  There are also several exhibits showing the various phases of construction and talking about the project from a geological standpoint.
We took the trail around the mountain, to get a closer look, and the boys worked on their Junior Ranger Program workbooks.  We love this program - they get a small token for completing the day's schoolwork!  This is the same spot on the trail where National Treasure 2 was filmed toward the end.
It's a pretty impressive mountain....you know that it's huge, but you can't really fathom just how big it is until you've stood underneath the faces.
“Let us place there, carved high, as close to heaven as we can...their faces, to show posterity what manner of men they were.” ~Gutzon Borglum

Mount Rushmore Resources