Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Excursion of the week: Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument

There are redwood trees in Colorado??

That was my first response when a friend invited me to come along with her to Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument. It turns out there are at least half a dozen PETRIFIED redwood tree stumps in a dusty little town called Florissant, Colorado.

We were told that this area used to be home to a lake many thousands of years ago. Since then, they (read: paleontologists and archaeologists) have found hundreds of fossils of insects, plants, and even a couple of dinosaur fossils.

My friend and I consider ourselves a bit on the geeky side since we actually enjoyed looking at old fossils and tree stumps for a couple of hours. Honestly, this is quite the place for naturalist-minded adventurers. So, if you are into such things as old trees, plant life and digging in the dirt or under rocks--this is the site for you!

Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument offers ranger-guided tours and lectures, several fossil specimen trays to observe, and even a hands-on opportunity to scrape away at your own piece of rock to discover buried fossils.