Location: Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument and Garden of the Gods Park
|Three fossilized redwoods in central Colorado|
The ever-so-helpful Park Rangers were eager to have visitors and showed me all the neat fossils and trails. Its hard to believe this high and arid region of Colorado once was a thriving Redwood forest, but that's exactly what the monument preserves. In an interesting twist of natural history, there was a Redwood Forest teaming with life 34 million years ago and it was preserved in the most interesting of ways. A nearby volcano had a fierce eruption which covered the surrounding area in a volcanic layer (for lack of a better word). So essentially, the stumps of the redwoods were preserved while the tops died off. Also, the ancient lake was covered in volcanic ash, which basically preserved all the insects, plants and fish that were in it at the time. For a more academic explanation, please actually visit the monument!
|Very well preserved fossils|
I happened to be there on "Junior Ranger Day"! It was so endearing to see young people enjoying the national park and having fun with all of its activities. If I ever have kids, they will become Junior Rangers as soon as they can walk. On a related note, one family brought their 8 month-old infant to the park, and it was his first!
|Massive petrified redwood trunks|
|Climbers Paradise at Garden of the Gods|