Thursday, July 13, 2017

Fremont State Park--Day 1

Once we arrived in Fremont State Park, we went to the visitor center.  We watched a video about the Fremont and walked around the museum.  The video told us that the Fremont lived in this area from about 300-1300 A.D.  We have found many unfired clay creations from them.  The Fremont were named after the Fremont River which was named after the explorer John C. Fremont.  In 1983, they were building I-70 through Clear Creek Canyon.  Archaeologists came upon the largest Fremont ruins in Utah.

The video also explained that petroglyphs are chiseled into rock.  Pictographs are painted on rock.  Pictoglyphs are when a combination of chiseling and painting is used.  There are only 9 pictoglyphs in Utah and most of them are found in Fremont State Park.  

There's more info in the photo below but I thought this was pretty interesting.  A skull was found near Richfield.  Using forensic anthropology, they were able to recreate what the woman looked like.   

Gabby got to try out grinding corn using a mano and metate.  (I think I spellled that correctly).

 After the museum, we had lunch and then headed on our first hike.  It was right behind the museum and was only about 1/2 mile long but was filled with petroglyphs.

You'll notice that in many pictures either Michelle or Ella (or both) are helping the younger kids.  They are both so nurturing and helpful.  So grateful for these girls.

Like most trips, there were lots of fun moments interspersed with moments of grumpiness or sadness or just being tired.

 We got to go into a recreated pit house.  It was pretty small inside with a low ceiling (I couldn't quite stand up straight in most parts of the pit house.)  But it was shady and cooler in the pit house.

 We also got to look inside a corn storage pit.

 It was pretty hot so after this hike and exploring the pit house, we headed to our campsite.  Fortunately, our campsite was in an area that stayed fairly shaded thanks to the trees and the canyon.  It was really beautiful.  We all slept in a big tipi.

A bunny...we saw lots of bunnies while there.

This was our beautiful scenery right by our tipi.

Michelle is a goof ball!

 One of the nice things was that it would get pretty hot in the afternoon.  But on both Friday and Saturday, an afternoon thunderstorm rolled in.  It rained pretty hard for about 30 minutes and then the rest of the day was cooler.
This was the yummiest dessert ever!  First you melt some butter in a pan. Then you slice up pound cake and plop it into the pan.  Add cut up berries and unwrapped rolos and cook until the rolos melt.  So very delicious!!

The kids all enjoyed playing up in the canyon right behind us.  They played some game where they gave each other powers and also stole powers from each other.

 That evening we went on a scorpion hunt.  We met at 9 and the park ranger and his wife told us about scorpions.  Here's some of what we learned.  Scorpions are arachnids (as are ticks).  Scorpions eat insects.  Bats, birds, snakes (and humans) eat scorpions.  Scorpions can live up to 25 years.

The scorpions in this area have the same class of toxin as bees.  If you are allergic to bees, you are allergic to these scorpions.  One big difference between bees and scorpions, though, is that bees will just sting you once while a scorpion will sting you over and over.

Scorpions like to be in warm climates.  Here in the Clear Creek Canyon area, that means they prefer to be on the south facing cliffs because they get more sunlight.  They will burrow down underground in the winter and can go for six months without food or water.

Their babies are born live but don't have a hard exoskeleton for the first couple of weeks.  So at first, they ride around on their mother's back.  Once they develop the hard exoskeleton, they have to scurry away quickly or she will eat them.

When mating, scorpions will lock claws and move back and forth together for up to 8 hours.

Scorpions luminesce under black lights which is how we would be able to see them.

My girls weren't all that excited about going on the scorpion hunt, and Gabby had a bad headache so she wanted to just go to bed.  But being the mean mom that I am, I made them go.  It ended up being Gabby and Michelle's favorite part of the trip.