The First Hike: Ashfall Fossil Beds

Alright, I know that Noel already posted…but these trips tend to keep moving quickly along, and we must post when we get the chance. I write this from a KOA in Casper Wyoming just off Interstate 25, on a bed of gravel with the stars so close I wanna reach out and grab em. I digress. I wanted to share my first hike of the trip, my #1 of 40. So here it goes.

We were visiting the amazing Ashfall fossil site, and Noel had heard about this great hike that one of the rangers was quoted as saying, “I would hike this every day if I could”. Okay. Great. So we signed the log book saying that we were on this hike. Noel noted that no one had taken this hike in three days. Warning sign. So after our first attempt to find the beginning of the trail failed, we viewed the bones, only to then locate the beginning behind a wooden gate. The trail was nestled within the tall prairie grasses of Nebraska, and the trail often was very hard to discern. But we plugged ahead, as the landscape was so beautiful, it really was. We bush wacked our way through the trail, following along with the trail guide that corresponded with numbered post signs until I heard Henna scream! “Spiders!” ” Tiny spiders are crawling all over me!”. Well, Henna wasn’t too excited about this hike to begin with…it was humid, muggy and buggy, so naturally I dismissed her freak out…until I saw them. Those tiny spiders she was complaining about….I found one on my leg, but it wasn’t a spider. It was a tick. Okay. Now I could either have told Henna the truth and freak her out more, or put on my mom poker face and lie (and at the same time make it kind of fun!) I chose the latter, and pushed her on as I flicked ticks off my shoes, legs and kept one eye on my daughter in front of me. Well, when we finally got off the trail, hot and red faced, I checked her and myself…and then I told her the truth about them spiders. Ugh!



Well, after de ticking both Henna and I after the trip (I actually found one later the day crawling up my face…while I was driving), I contemplated that hike with life. I won’t bore you, but I realized that life is kind of like that hike. Sometimes you’re going along, enjoying your self…when wham! You’re hit by something that really sucks. And you can let that affect you for a very long time by keeping you from doing things that you want. I was totally freaked out by those ticks…they got in my head and I questioned what the heck we were out here doing! Seriously. But as I sit here tonight, and those ticks are far behind I realize that in life you got to plug ahead, no matter if it scares you so bad you want to give up. I’m glad we kept moving forward, even as Noel thought I was loosing my mind while I continued to check both Henna and myself for ticks days later. Ugh. But I’ve made it these 40 years by moving forward, never going back. And I continue to keep doing just that. Corey

4 thoughts on “The First Hike: Ashfall Fossil Beds

  1. You are truly much more of a brave mother than I would have been.. I would have been the one running and screaming out of the woods, but I love how you dissected it, and turned it into a life lesson! Love the post, can’t wait to read more.. happy trails Corey, Henna and Noel!!!

  2. Hi Henna, sounds like your having a great trip ! Good job not letting those ticks ruin your day
    Can’t wait to see you again! Bye, ErinšŸ˜Š

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