Gene and I drove up to Colorado Springs this morning to visit my parents. Shortly after we arrived we drove further to visit the Florissant Fossil Beds National Park. This park is fairly small (14 miles of hiking trails) but it’s really cool because it has petrified red woods from 34 million years ago! The visitor center also has lots of fossils that were found in the park. The fossils are quite impressive because they are of full leaves and insects. Fossils found on this land have been taken all across the world for study and museums. I bet we have some in the Denver Nature and Science museum, I’ll have to look the next time I’m there.
I learned that there used to be a volcano 15 miles away from the park (34 million years ago, of course) that erupted multiple times, allowing the petrification of these redwood trees and the fossilization of the plants and insects. How cool is it that Colorado used to have a climate that allowed red woods to grow here?! Too bad we don’t have that climate anymore.
We went on a short hike to see some of the petrified stumps and although it was quite windy outside I had a fun time.