Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Prairie Fossil Center

In honor of Austin’s 9th birthday, and his love for dinosaurs/fossils/exploring, we decided to make a side trip on our way home from the 4th of July festivities in West Bend.  We made a pit-stop at the Prairie Fossil Park in Rockford, IA.  I had read about it online about a year and have been meaning to take him there since but never found the best opportunity to go.  We had decided that we would take a road trip down there on Tuesday, for his birthday.  But, then I figured it would be easier for me (less driving) if we just made the stop on the way home from West Bend.

It was kind of a dreary day for fossil hunting, and also, due to the holiday, the visitor center was not open.  However, we made the best of it.  It was a pretty cool area.

1

I really had no idea what to expect.  I was not expecting these kinds of bluffs/cliffs though.  The girls were a bit hesitant to be walking around on all the loose grave and steep drop offs, but Austin was in his element!  I (of course) had to take Ellie back to the car and the bathroom within minutes of hiking out to this place, and when we came back Rob and and Austin had found their way down the bluff and up the other side.

2

The girls and I eventually made our way over to them, but using the path, instead of climbing up the rocks.

I guess it used to be a gravel pit of sorts. I never did get the history of the place.  We ended up finding quite a few fossils of shells but nothing too awesome.  I think we probably spent more time crawling around than actually looking for fossils though!

3

Austin and I eventually made our way to the lake to test the water temperature.  Although it felt nice, this ended up being a very messy mistake.  One that the girls had to get in on too.

4

The ground was made of a clay/silt.  It got all over our shoes, and did not come off easily. Oh well, a little dirt never hurt anyone.

If it weren’t so far away, I think we’d go back here again some day when we were weren’t pressed for time and wanting to get home.  Maybe bring a picnic and check out the visitor center too.

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