Field Trips and Sites

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Date Place / Site Description
2/15/99 Verde Valley area Click here to view our Verde Valley webpage
2/11/99 Montezuma Castle National Monument Montezuma Castle is a spectacular place to see.  It was built in the 1100's and was abandoned in the 1400's.  There is a 1/3 mile loop walkway with lots of displays describing the location.  We learned that there were about 200 inhabitants within the community.  The "castle", cliff dwelling seen here, housed about 35 people.  The kids enjoyed reading most of the displays and talking about the different trees plants, and animals.  We saw soapberry trees that had poisonous berries that were used to make soap and learned about the uses of many other trees and plants
2/9/99 Tuzigoot National Monument Tuzigoot is another indian ruin from the 1100's  It is built on the top of a small hill with the Verde River and farmland around the bottom.  Each cell in this pattern is a separate room. The river can be seen in the background in the second picture.   Access to the rooms was through an opening on the roof using ladders.  On top of the walls were thatch roofs covered with mud.  Today most of the roofs have fallen, rotted, and been blown away by the wind
1/25/99 Quartzsite Arizona Quartzsite Arizona is a very small town.  There are two truck stops, one McDonalds and a handful of local businesses.  The town has three intersections with four-way blinking red lights.  Now, imagine for four weeks each year, this town is occupied by eight to ten thousand RVs.  There are four or five main flea market areas.  All together there must be two thousand booths.  As we understand it, this all got started as a gem and rock hound show and trading session.  Without a doubt we saw many beautiful gems, rocks, petrified wood pieces, fossils, etc.  It looks like it grew by attracting people that have specialized RV equipment and supplies to sell, so now it's about 50-50 rocks and RV equipment.
1/1/99 Tournament of Roses Parade Click here for description
11/30/98 Rock Plows As we drove along south from Big Sur, California along Highway 1 we saw "rockplows".  They look just like a snowplow.  There were rocks on the road every mile or so along the way.  At one point mud, water, and rocks were flowing and bouncing across the road as we drove through.  The cliffs were nearly strait up and at least 100 feet high and it was raining very hard, creating a wash.  One time we could hear many rocks clashing as they fell down the slope but we didn't slow to look.  I was glad we were going south since the northbound traffic had five times more rocks on their lane.  Some rocks where as much as eighteen inches in diameter.  The rock plows drove back and forth over a twenty mile stretch and still the roads were covered with rocks.
11/29/98 Monterey Aquarium This is an excellent aquarium with some of the largest tanks we've ever seen. They have many educational displays.  We learned a lot about different fisheries, the problems of over fishing, habitat destruction, pollutants and solutions to these problems.  Here's some pictures we took at the aquarium of an orange Jelly fish, a link to the aquarium's web page, a picture of their web cam, a link to their web cam and the kids working on a project in one of the labs.
11/27/98 Pfeiffer Beach The trail enters the beach in a small cove mostly shielded by seventy foot rocks.  The large waves, fifteen to twenty feet that day, smash over, around, and through the rocks.  Again, we had the opportunity to see the awesome force of the ocean waves.
11/27/98 Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park Here we saw our largest redwood trees.  We measured one having a circumference of 21 feet, but the next day found another with a 32 foot circumference.  Both of these trees were older then 1500 years. 

We learned a lot talking with Harvey, an older fellow that staffed the nature center.  Harvey had many skeletons,  animal skins and written material.  We learned about the different kinds of snakes that live in this areas.  Max held up the tail of a mountain lion skin while Harvey held up the head.  The big cat was at least nine feet long.  We looked over the skulls of several animals and compared the jaws and teeth to match them up to the food they each ate.  We saw the skulls of a sea otter, mountain lion, seal, beaver, horse and pelican.  Harvey also told us more about the redwood trees. 

11/26/98 Carmel River Beach On our way to Big Sur from Monterey we stopped at the Carmel River Beach.   The waves were very large that day and the bowl-like shape of the beach kicks the surf up.  The wave actually breaks right on the beach.  You can stand right in front of a ten foot breaking wave but we usually ran before we got wet.  There was two life guards training in the surf that day.  An extremely large wave came along and washed over the highest point on the beach.  Mitch and Max jumped up on a large log to keep dry.  Although the water was only six inches deep Max jumped off quickly as it began to move and Mitch held on for the ride.  It moved about two feet as they both learned how powerful the ocean waves really are.  We all had a good laugh.  A young girl lost her sandal during this large wave giving the life guards something to rescue.  They used a whistle to communicate over the roar of the waves and used hand signals to communicate directions. 
11/25/98 Santa Cruz Pier and Bluff Santa Cruz is a fun town.  Along the beach is a large arcade and amusement park.  There is a great beach and a long pier with lots of shops and plenty of seals hanging around to watch.  We also walked along the bluff and watch the waves and surfers. Here's another shot
11/24/98 Redwood Train In Felton California, 9 miles north of Santa Cruz is a park with a steam train ride that travels into a old growth redwood forest. 
11/17/98 Meteor Storm We made it far enough south to get out from under the clouds.  We were just north of Sacramento and saw the most meteors between 8 and 9:00 that night.  All together we saw about a dozen shooting stars.
11/16/98 Myrtle Creek Mill Grind Stone We stayed in a city park that had 7 RV sites with full hook up.  There was a lot of history here.  The park was previously a large paper and lumber mill and after a large fire was later donated for the city park.   There was a large mill stone display.  The mill stone was from the old mill along the river next to the covered bridge which still stands today.  The mill stone was so heavy it could not be brought to the west over land.  Instead it was brought by ship around the cape of South America.  We forgot exactly what year it was brought over but it was in the 1800's.
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