The four corners of Utah, Arizona, New Mexico and Colorado meet together. We spent a week down there and had endless adventures. We visited Bluff Fort and learned about early settlers. We hiked and explored Indian ruins in the area. I chose geo cashes that would ask the kids questions about the Indians or the geography of the area. We just wander with a curious mind and have so many questions that promote learning. How did the Indians get there? What do they eat. Why would they choose this canyon? How were these canyons made. Then of course there are all the fun walks along any stream that we can find. Exploring trails on feet and with our trusty pathfinder.
We found the best oasis by wandering. We were up of the cliffs looking down, down, down at the river and notices a dirt road down there. I studied the map and found the way there. Pretty soon we were driving on the narrow dirt road along the canyon wall. We talked about how the canyon was created, why some rocks eroded and others did not. We wandered and wandered and pretty soon found a stream running through the red rock. We all got out and started exploring again, erosion, plant life, minerals, so much fun.
One of our summer trips took up in the tent trailer to Cape Disappointment WA. It is located at the mouth of the mighty Columbia river.
While there we visited several WWII armaments. It was a great chance for the kids to explore and learn about history and how the country all pulled together.
Another spot was that we visited was the spot where Lewis and Clark spent the winter. It is a great spot, beautiful woods, nice visitor center, junior ranger books and cool reproductions. The whole fort has been rebuilt. You can walk through and see how they lived. There were also fun educational presentations.
A favorite fascinating spot was the Columbia River Maritime Museum in Astoria. We learned about the graveyard of the Pacific. Just as you enter there is a huge map with all the shipwreck’s on it. They have full size boats, life boats, fishing boats, and so much. Outside there is a boat that you get to walk around. It explained why the Columbia river was such an important shipping highway and why it was so dangerous. It was neat to understand the history of the mighty river. We also were able to learn about the Bar and every time we drove over the bridge back to WA we could observe and talk about what we learned.
Out front is a spot for the local train. We were all excited to get a ride. Again my husband was wonderful because the kids and I got a train ride and he tried to follow along in the car and guess where the stops would be.
There is a tall Column in Astoria OR it tells the history of the town and why it was build. This stop was a highlight because we climbed the stairs and flew paper airplanes off the top, up and down up and down. great exercise. From that vantage point we were able to see the whole area, we could see the river and all the huge ocean going ships.
We could also see the bridge over the Columbia river. It was really fun to see the coastal fog. Inland it was a clear and nice day but we could distinctly see the fog right along the coast. This again lead to another great discussion about weather. There was also a huge grass hill that we ran and rolled down.
Again dad was willing to forgo the fun and drive the van down so we did not have to climb back up.
Yellowstone has a great junior ranger program they also have a young scientist kit that you can reserve. The kids had a great time running around pointing the heat gun into all the hot pools and geysers to find out the temperatures. Then we could figure out why some were hotter than others and observe the colors and depth. The kids entertained themselves by running in the woods by the campsite pretending to be buffalo.
Another favorite source of good dirty entertainment has been our sand box.
Everywhere we have moved we have built a sand box. Hours of building together and playing has been done in the sand box. The kids work together to make cities, ovens and food, rivers and mountains. My youngest one loves to recreate places we have visited.
Grandpa uses his tractor to till his sandbox and create a huge hill. The sand hill is always a favorite during every reunion. We finally have a sand box big enough, the house we bought in Utah had a sand volley ball court!! We have not yet volleyball in it but many, many hours have been spent in the sand.
Our fascination with starfish started when we lived in Portland OR. The beach was less than an hour away and made the perfect spot for a weekend drive.
At the time you were able to collect starfish from the rocks. We were captivated by them how they ate, how strong they were and all those tiny suckers.