I listen to a lot of music and I like to play the drums and I take piano lessons. My Daddy plays the guitar at home all the time and I sing on a microphone my Uncle and Aunt got for me for Christmas.
I even like to make music with my teeth. I make a beat with my teeth by chomping them together and then I hum or sing a song.
Well, my tooth started to hurt and my dentist thinks that tooth music is how I cracked my tooth. I noticed that my tooth started bothering me before the 100th day of school and that was a while ago.
I got a little patch for my tooth a little while ago and then today my dentist made the big fix up.
I got to breathe special air to help me when she fixed my tooth all up. When I left her office, I had to bite down on tubes of cotton because my mouth had some blood but my dentist said that is normal for what happened. I could not chew food but I could drink things. It hurt for a little bit but I do feel better now and I do not make music with my teeth anymore. Ever.
At this museum for children I pretended I was a veterinarian. Some kids get veterinarian and vegetarian all mixed up but I know the difference. I do not eat animals and so that means I am a vegetarian. A veterinarian takes care of animals and doctors rhem.
I combed, cut hair, and looked inside the ears of a hamster and two kitties. There were cages and tools for me to do this with. A veterinarian would be an interesting job.
Mostly we make our own food on trips and bring snacks like fruit and nuts and hummus and carrots and water. Sometimes we make bean burritos or peanut butter sandwiches with apples
But sometimes on a road trip Daddy and I pick out some treats together. This is one of the nice surprises about long trips and gas stations. Daddy and I decided together that chocolate mints, honey flavored peanuts, salty almonds, and a cheese stick would be nice to eat. Daddy also some bubbley green soda for just him. I do not drink it because it has caffeine and caffeine is not right for my body.
I noticed this train was slowly coming toward this town and so I waited for it to pass by. It was very nice to be so close to the train and see the whole train pass by. It was very long and so I got to watch the train for a long time.
When I first saw the tallest cowboy statue in the world, I saw it during the day. I really wished I could see it at night so I could see the lights. Well, I got to see it! This time I noticed that the cowboy was blowing a cigarette. Cigarettes are bad for people’s bodies but a long time ago people did not know this, not even doctors. Now if you are a person who blows cigarettes, your doctor would tell you to stop it. My doctor is very nice and funny too. I think my doctor would say it in a nice way.
This is a place you can go where you can see so many dinosaur bones altogether in rock. The bones are still inside the rocks. This place is called a quarry.
I learned that a femur is the bone in the top part of a leg. I have a femur. This is a dinosaur femur and it is taller than I am. This shows that some dinosaurs were very big.
I worked on answering questions so I could be a Junior Ranger at this National Park too.Some bones are missing but they are set up so I could see what a baby stegosaurus looked like. The scientists did not find any stegosaurus back plates (the parts that stick up like fins) so they have a smart guess that maybe they grew them once they got bigger. But they do not know for sure.
I took another oath! Then I worked on a 100th year Junior Ranger program. It took me over an hour to do the work. Now I have earned three badges!
I am learning about the dinosaurs that used to live here near this area in Utah.
Adults who work to find dinosaur bones as their job use brushes to gently move dirt but not hurt he bones.
Some of the bones they show are made of plaster but the exact same size as the real ones.
The brown ones on the ground are real, actual dinosaur bones!
Extinct means that they are not alive anymore and never will be again.
I saw a whole wall of fossils of plants and small animals.
This is a tiny and delicate dinosaur that reminds me of my dogs. This is a wooly mammoth statue. It is not real. It is the right size though. Birds like to steal the fur and use it for their nests. So the museum has to keep putting on more fur!
When they made the wooly mammoth statue they had to drive it to the museum. Mama and I laughed so hard imagining seeing that drive down the freeway!
This last dinosaur was a new one to me. They are vegetarians, like me!
Today I learned a lot. Daddy read almost everything to me in the Mesa Verde Visitor Center museum. I went back to certain parts twice to learn again a little more.
I saw tools that Native Americans used.
I looked through some special binoculars because some cliff dwelling homes are falling apart with boulders falling and so people may not go inside them.
I looked inside these action scenes called dioramas. I answered the questions in my booklet.
After I finished my Junior Ranger booklet I waited in line by myself and answered some learning questions to the Ranger by myself, no help.
After the Ranger checked my answers and talked with me, I took an oath. An oath is a promise. I promised to take great care of the National Parks.
I have a Mesa Verde National Park Junior Ranger badge now. You may not buy them in the gift shop, you have to earn it.
Now I am not just a regular kid. I am a JUNIOR RANGER!
I took a hike and I learned a new word. That word is strenuous. Strenuous means pretty much the same as challenging or pretty difficult but you can do it.
This hike had tall ladders to climb up, more than 30 feet tall, and little tunnels to crawl through on your hands and knees.
This is a place where Native Americans used to live. They built their homes up high in the cliffs.
I learned that if you were a Native American living in this cliff dwelling, your life cycle was a lot shorter than nowadays. I learned that a kiva was used for ceremonies like special occasions. Other times the Native Americans went in there to stay warm.
When the Native Americans were alive here they ate pine nuts from the piñon trees, rabbit stew, and they grew corn, squash, and beans on top of the mesas above their cliff houses. The Native Americans used sandstone rocks to grind up the corn and then that means bits of sandstone mixed in. So when the Natives ate the corn and sand, it wore out their teeth and germs got into their bodies from their teeth having openings.
I like beans, corn and squash and some nuts, but I would definitely not eat rabbits today. Maybe I would have had to if I had been a Native American a very long time ago.
I saw a very fast creature run very in front of my car on a fast road.
It was a fast bird called a Roadrunner. Roadrunners eat bugs but they also can eat scorpions and even tarantulas! They can run so fast that they can even eat rattlesnakes. I think they eat a lot of dangerous bugs.
I learned that they can run almost 20 miles an hour which is fast. Roadrunners lean forward when they run.
I saw this beautiful arch from the car and so I stopped and hiked uphill to get to the arch. The shape you see here is called an arch. It happens from wind or water shaping the rock a tiny bit but for a very long time. That is called erosion. I have seen a lot of erosion!
I waited for a while after my little hike because I saw that some rock climbers were about to come down from the top of the arch. When rock climbers do that it is called rappelling. The rock climbers had friends with big cameras and so I stayed to watch until they finished.
These are the Sand Dunes. They are a hike to get to and then you can look around or slide or run or roll down them. It is a lot of work to climb up each one because this place is really high up from the ocean. My sled is for snow, not sand, but I was still able to slide.
I have been to The Great Sand Dunes National Park before. I was here last year on a road trip but I could not stay for sand boarding because the wind was making the sand blow sharp into my skin. This time there was not really any wind.
Last year this is where I learned all about Kangaroo Rats.
I went to the UFO watchtower but I went during the day. It’s better to go at night. I learned that UFOs are Unidentified Flying Objects. Unidentified means we do not know what it is. I think that what people look for in the tower at night is spaceships that are not from Earth.
I do not really know if there are creatures on other planets or places but this was an interesting place to visit.
Some people believe there are energy swirls here, two of them. If you walk through that area then you leave something of yours there. I left two of my crayons, red and orange ones with good points on them.
Mama took a picture in between the energy swirl areas and her picture looked really different than the others she took.
When we left, we saw something in the sky! It was a piece of tumbleweed. It was stuck in the electrical wires.
I keep a real tape measure in my purse. My purse has markers and paper and a comic book in it too. No one else was eating in this area so it was okay to wander around and measure different items. You have to be careful with a tape measure because they can snap back at you if you are not careful. I was very careful and measured Daddy’s nose.
I went on an uphill hike and saw real dinosaur bones. The bone belonged to some dinosaurs who lived a long time ago. All dinosaurs are extinct now. The bones I saw and touched belonged to dinosaurs called stegosaurus and apatosaurus dinosaurs.
I thought dinosaur bones would be white but these were brown and inside the rocks. I touched them all.
Madagascar Hissing Cockroaches have no wings at all. They live on the floor of the forest underneath leaves.
They eat bits of fruit that other animals have dropped. Cockroaches do a good job of keeping the forest floor clean.
I have petted one of this type before when I was 4 and in New Orleans, Louisiana, but this time I did not but pet any and that’s because they weren’t able to be petted, and not because I didn’t want to.
I am on the other side of some glass but it looks like they are crawling all over me but they are not. 😀
I toured a tea factory. When I got there, I had to wait a little bit for the tour and during that time I drank tea samples and looked at the artwork and teapot collection.
I did not like the teas very much but I kept trying them out. I finally found out that the tea I like is called Thai Chai with milk and honey added in. That is tasty.
This factory is where the workers make dry bags of tea to sell to stores. Everyone has to wear a hair net. If you have hair all over your face then you wear a beard net too. I counted three people with beard nets. All of them were men. Nobody wants hair in their tea.
On the tour the guide opens this red garage door and all of the visitors get to step inside. They keep it closed because this is where they dry out the mint plant and put it into bags for peppermint teas. The mint is so strong that if they didn’t have this big door, the mint smell would get into all of their other teas and all of them would be taken over by mint!!
Some people needed to step out of this room while we were on the tour. Mama and I stayed in! Mama liked it but I did not. My eyes drooled and my nose started to hurt.
This dress is made of bags of tea. It also had a pair of matching high heels and a purse too!
I saw a lot of butterflies in a special building that was warm and a little bit wet so the butterflies could feel comfortable. Sometimes the butterflies land on the ground so I was careful to look where I put my feet.
Butterflies use their tongues to drink nectar from flowers. You can look closely at the butterflies and see their long curled up tongue. That is how they get into the flowers.
Mama bought a butterfly guide and I checked off all of the ones I saw. I like to do this. Daddy and I did this in Death Valley when we looked at all the wild flowers there for the Super Bloom. One problem was that I found a very beautiful butterfly and it was not in the guide.
I have spent a lot of time in a special part of this hotel while Daddy worked. This is a place where you can eat and relax and color or talk. I worked on some math and journaling here too.
We ate our breakfasts here, came back for help-yourself snacks and drinks, and we have dinner here too. Tonight we even stayed for dessert!! The foods I ate for breakfast were salmon and cream cheese on English Muffin. The snacks I ate were from big jars that I scooped into a tiny paper bag. The choices are goldfish crackers, almonds, peanuts, tiny chocolate candies, and banana chips. The dinner is actually something called hors d’ oeuvres (you say it like or-dervz) and it was nice cheeses, crackers, shrimp soup, vegetables with dip-dip, hummus and olives. Each night there are some different choices and it all is so yummy.
I really like the man who is in charge here. He talks just like my friend’s grandma. He has a British accident just like her and his name is Adrian. I followed him around and told him things about me and what I did during the day. I showed him my ant candy and he asked me questions and did not think it was “eww.” That made me feel good.
He took away our plates and brought us drinks and told us what was for dinner and what was for dessert too. He was so very nice to us and I think he is very good at his job.
Adrian picked out a stuffed Colorado bear for me as a gift to remember my trip by. Mama and Daddy told me that he said I was very well-behaved. I am well-behaved. I can go places because I know when it is ok to act all wild and when it is time to be calm. I am already taking good care of my bear and I know my bear will come alive at night. I will have a memory of this. I hope I get to visit here again.
I held a tarantula today. I liked that so much that I asked to hold her again.
I got a sticker saying that I held Rosie but actually there are 170 Rosies!! The tarantulas should not be held for more than 2 hours every 7 days. Plus some tarantulas get to go visit schools or nursing homes. Some other ones are losing their skin and some are being badly behaved and are not visiting people at all.
Tarantulas eat insects.
The tarantula felt so soft and it was a little bit like velvet. I know what velvet feels like because I was wearing a velvet dress today.
When we are in buildings with elevators, I am in charge of pushing the elevator buttons.
In a building with 3 floors it is not hard to find the right floor. When I am in a hotel or other type of building and there are lots of floors, it can be hard to find the number mixed in with all of the other numbers.
The building I have been in has a lot of buttons for a lot of floors and it has been taking me a while to find the right one.
I saw this man waiting for his elevator too. He used to play basketball and everyone knows who he is. He is very tall. VERY. Taller than Mama or Daddy.
Today I used tools. These tools were not little ones for kids, they were real ones that adults use. I used a sharp saw, vise, nails, hammer, screwdriver, screws, and it was so fun. I wore safety goggles to protect my eyes. That’s the rule when sawing wood or working with tools at this workbench.
I was proud of myself when my real saw finally cut the wood. I worked at sawing for quite a long time before I finished.
I like to get down low to smell the wildflowers. Usually they smell good but this one smelled like cheese marshmallows. Not terrible, but not like a flower.
I explored caves that were just my size.
Wind and water can change the shape of rocks. That is what happened in this place. It takes a very long time, it is not fast at all. These rocks are very smooth and sandy. Actually, they are made of a rock called sandstone!
These rocks are called Hoodoos but everyone calls them Goblins! I think that is pretty funny.
We are driving into these clouds that have snow coming out of them instead of rain. It’s cold outside so that is why there is snow and not rain.
We might have to put something called chains on our tires.
Chains are kind of like pokey necklaces you wrap around your car tires and then when you drive up hill roads the have snow on them, you don’t slide down.
Mama packed chains for the tires just in case but it probably will not be fun to put the chains on, but it will be interesting, I think.
We stopped when the sunset was happening and hiked up a hill to some real train tracks. I wanted to wait until a train came by but Mama and Daddy explained that the wait could be hours so we would not be able to do that.
On the way up the hill I found some rocks and they are called igneous rocks. They look a little like glass. They come from lava. Sometimes the lava rocks have little holes in them and are not shiny at all. My favorite example of that type is called pumice. I find pumice all the time now because I recognize it very fast! Some other interesting things I found were rocks called sedimentary rocks and you can sometimes break those apart because they are pretty much just dirt. I smashed some and I also found some plates of dirt to pick up.
We parked our car next to a model of some tracks and we took a silly picture. I know that I should not ever lie down on train tracks because trains can come very quickly and bump you. These train tracks were pretend.
This is one of my favorite places. It is called The Salt Flats.
When I visit this place I always see interesting things. A lot of people come here to take pictures that will be in magazines or record videos for shows. Today I saw a dance video being filmed and a man dressed in a coyote costume. Also, I saw people driving their cars and trucks on the salt! That is allowed and probably is fun to do.
Last year when I visited this place, I told Mama and Daddy that I would like to have my birthday party here.
Today the weather was very windy and underneath the salt was watery mud. I ran very far and played chase.
The salt is here because this spot used to be a big salty lake a long time ago.
This is tallest cowboy in the world. He is 63 feet tall and glows at night. The glow tubes are called neon and this statue has over 1,000 feet of neon glowing tubes. I would have liked to see the glowing neon at night. Mama is going to show me a picture and I can compare the day and night.