Tuesday, July 26, 2011

NSS Convention

 As you might have guessed from my last post, I spent some time last week hanging out with cavers. It was time for the annual National Speleological Society (NSS) Convention, and it was held in Glenwood Springs, Colorado. That meant it was within driving distance and we could go!

It had been several years since I've driven across Utah on I-70, and I had forgotten what an absolutely beautiful drive it is. There were many scenic pulloffs, but we only stopped at one, where we got out to stretch our legs.

 We didn't want to dawdle, because we had a destination in mind:

 The Dinosaur Museum in Fruita, CO. We checked out some of the exhibits, watched the movie (which was mainly about Dinosaur National Monument), and did a couple activities. The best part was the moving dinosaurs.
 This T Rex terrified Desert Boy and Desert Girl. They wouldn't even pose for a photo in front of it.

Afterwards we went to the visitor information center, ate dinner at Old MacDonald's (that's Desert Boy's name for it), and decided to go visit Dinosaur Hill.
 Dinosaur bones were excavated from this hill and shipped back to the Museum of Natural History in Chicago. We couldn't actually see any dinosaur bones, or at least I didn't. A certain four-year old saw them everywhere.

 We took a trail up and around the hill. The kids weren't always the happiest, but I figured it would be good for them. I can be a mean mom like that sometimes.
 The view from the top was great. We could see the swollen Colorado River and several ponds.

Then it was time to decide where to stay the night. I hadn't been camping yet this summer and I kind of wanted to save money, so I was leaning towards camping. I wasn't one hundred percent sure, though, because huge storm clouds loomed to the south and it was 95 degrees. But it was getting later, the clouds were dissipating, and the temperatures slowly dropping...

...so we went to a nearby state park and they had space. But silly me, when I mentioned we wanted to tent camp and the lady asked if we wanted the walk-in tent camping, I said yes.
 That meant we parked, put all our camping stuff in a wheelbarrow, and walked to a campsite. That was a little more adventure than I had anticipated traveling alone with two little kids!
 We set up the tent, and then it was time to explore. It was a state park, which meant it had wonderful amenities, like a playground and hot showers. I like camping so much better when I can have a hot shower!
 I took a photo as the sun was setting. Nearby was Colorado National Monument, with gorgeous sandstone cliffs.

 We all slept pretty well, although the kids were up soooo early!

 Here's the sunrise photo.

After breakfast and church, it was on to Glenwood Springs, where we picked up our registration materials. Then we met up with my brother who had flown in for the week, and my parents, who had taken Amtrak to watch the kids while I did convention things.

I didn't take a whole lot of photos at the convention, as much of it was spent in rooms listening to talks. Somehow that doesn't make for the most compelling photos. But I did take a few photos of the more photogenic events.

 One of those events was the climbing contest. Participants compete in 30 m or 120 m distances using classic 3 knot, sit-stand, or mechanical climbing systems. The competition is divided into male and female and age groups. I wanted to do well, so I had been practicing in my yard periodically for a few weeks before the contest.

I use the sit-stand, or Frog system. Here's Dan demonstrating it:


Meanwhile, Desert Boy was fascinated with CaveSim, a fake cave with formations wired so if you touched them (or got close to fragile ones), it would beep and keep track of your mistake. He also liked the big BLM blow-up cave.
Here he is at the entrance.

And how did I do in the climbing contest?

Let's just say that the world record board will have to have a new entry for my age group!
yippee!

3 comments:

g said...

Congrats on your world record! Did your cheering section of screaming kids help?

Annette said...

Great Job!

The Incredible Woody said...

Haha! Not quite my neck of the woods:)

Congrats on the record!! You are awesome!

That sunset photo is breathtaking!

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