Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Dinosaur Tracks in Tuba City Arizona

A fun thing to do with your  family is to take them to Tuba City Arizona and take a tour of the Dinosaur Tracks on the Navajo Indian Reservation.  It's free but they request a donation.  Don gave them $20.00 for our family of four.  The site is located on the north side of US Hwy 160, five miles east of US Hwy 89 or a little over five miles west of the turnoff for Tuba City. Turn north onto the dirt track, then drive about a quarter-mile.

Dennis, a native Indian and born in the area, was our guide.  He seemed knowledgeable and was very friendly.  He answered our questions and was patient with our kids who wanted to climb all over everything.  They encourage you to touch and walk around.  They also allow you to pick up rocks (lots of Red Agate and petrified wood)  and small things (like dinosaure poop-corporlite splaters, YUK!) and keep them. 

Supposedly a "baby" T-rex footprint.

This natural site contains many lower Jurassic theropod tracks. A site that describes Dinosaur Tracks in much more detail and has a link to Tuba City and other tracking sites is

Another thing about this spot is the native made jewelry and crafts that are for sale at the roadside stands. The stands are rough made wooden stands, some refer to them as vending tables,  but the crafts are beautiful.  They encourage you to touch and the jewelry is usually made from local stones or ones imported from not too far away. The prices are reasonable too and you can usually work a deal.
The people are very kind and friendly.  It was a pleasure to talk with them.

Apparently this area was at one time a huge lake and as it receded the animals would come to the edge for drinks.  The soft mud around the water was littered with droppings, foot prints, and foliage that was pressed down into it.  Evidence of this was everywhere. Our guide told us that as the winds were very strong there the sandstone was bombarded and eroded away leaving impressions of prints, leaves, and fossilized and petrified eggs, wood, and bones.

The tour was fun though I was chasing my grandsons most of the time.  They loved it.  So I didn't get to hear much of what our guide was saying.  He did tell us that through out his wonderings as a kid he discovered a lot of fun things like ripples in sandstone left by the water, foot prints that they believed to be Anasazi Indians, and foliage imbedded into the sandstone. 
Dinosaur Tail

 As we were on our way to California and under a time crunch we didn't get to hang out there as long as we would have liked.  I do plan on going back and spending longer looking around.  I thought it was fasinating to see and enjoyed it very much.

Pre-historic Fish Egg.

Davy touching a pre-historic fish egg.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Santa Fe New Mexico Adventure

I have always wanted to go to Santa Fe and stay in the old town part.  There are several hotels and numerous restaurants. Aside from that there are endless shops and galleries. Most of the stores have Southwest style goods but there are a few other choices.  What is cool is that there are lots of "Plazas" inside buildings that if you don't stop in you miss a lot!  It's pretty cool to see what is hidden away off the main street stores. So I recommend you take a couple of days and enjoy it all.  The shops surround the square where street performers play. Nice place to rest from shopping.
Street vendors selling jewelry in the square.

 One of the interesting points of the day was the native sellers of jewelry that lined one side of the square along the block long building.  They sat in chairs against the wall and spread out their wares on the ground while shoppers came by to check out the art.  The pieces were beautiful and the prices were reasonable. They encourage you to touch too, which is pretty cool. They aren't pushy, they just let you look and answer your questions.  

Old Town Square.

I loved this sculpture. 10K.
Plaza Bakery.

We love pastries and ice cream.  We saw the Plaza Bakery and stayed to have some goodies and coffee for lunch.  They have a good variety of pastries, pies, and breakfast choices, all of which looked great. Denice and I got an eclair, Don ordered a whole wheat roll and almond croissant, and Greg had a cinnamon roll.  The pastries tasted good.  My coffee was bitter but some of us like it that way.  I like mine smoother.  What was terrible was the bathrooms.  If I had gone in there first I would not have stayed to eat.  They were disgusting!
Eclair at the Plaza Bakery.

Sue in Mink! Overland Sheepskin Factory.

Our room at the Inn of the Governors near Old Town Sante Fe, NM.
Our suite had a living room area.

Breakfast Buffet at The Inn of the Governors.
The breakfast at our hotel was great.  Lots of choices and everything was fresh and cooked well.  I liked the choices of fresh fruit, but there were eggs, pastries, meats, pancakes, cereal, breads and more.  Fresh orange juice and coffee accompanied the food at a well laid out buffet. The wait staff was great too. 
Sue and Don enjoying breakfast.

Greg and Denice.

At the Inn of the Governors the rooms were decorated in a Southwest Style and the queen size beds were comfortable.  There was a small balcony outside, but it overlooked the parking lot. The room included a nice sitting room on the other side of a short half wall.  The bathroom was okay, but the grout was crumbling around the tub.  The room was clean and the towels and linens were good quality.  Two robes for going to the pool hung in the closet.  They looked cozy. There is also an honor bar in the small refrigerator and the water on the counter cost $1 per bottle.  Coffee was included in the room price.There was plenty of room for the four of us.  I also like the fact that the Internet was free.  The decor around the outside of the building needs updating. In the evening there is tea and sherry with biscochitos. We enjoyed a cup of herb tea while we look at a book full of restaurants and menus.  Unfortunately we didn't realize that the fine dining requires or strongly recommends reservations so we ate at the Blue Corn Cafe.  The food was okay, but I missed out on getting some of those wonderful dishes I wanted to try from the hand of a chef that does the regional style cooking.  Hopefully next time.The breakfast was really good and there was plenty of choices.

Love this vase.

The dining area was nice and the service was good.  They are happy to answer questions and meet your needs.  Overall it was a good experience.  I would recommend it as a moderately priced place to stay in the old town area.  The room was $230 per night and the breakfast and tea were included.  They charge for an extra person and the taxes were high.  But that is New Mexico.