It’s been a busy couple of weeks. We just had inventory at work, which involves a lot of prep work, and both my coworkers have been on vacation/daddy leave. But finally it was my turn to vacation, so C and I took a little road trip to Dinosaur National Monument in Northwest Colorado/Northeastern Utah. There are two entrances to this park, and both are beautiful.
We took our time on the 4 hour drive, and my wonderful husband even stopped at two thrift stores in Craig, Colorado! Among our treasures were a copy of A Clockwork Orange, a book on conversational German for my father-in-law, a coral pink button up with a subtle bird print for me, and a pair of leather Sperry Topsiders, new! Sperry is one of my favorite brands but unfortunately these were a full size too small. But for $3.50 I couldn’t pass them up and I will try to sell them at the local consignment shop!
It was a bit rainy, and C’s back hurt from being in the car for hours, so once we got to our destination we decided to get a hotel room. Score! We never stay in hotels and camping in the rain was not very appealing. Our stay also included breakfast, double score!
While in Vernal we discovered Cafe Rio. This is comparable to Qdoba but so much better! Located in 10 states this ‘good food quickly’ eatery focuses on fresh ingredients, and it shows. C got a pork burrito, made with their homemade tortillas that are cooked in front of you, and I got the shredded chicken salad. It weighed at least 2 pounds, and in addition to chicken and lettuce it had rice, pico de gallo, guac, and the most wonderful dressing! All served on their tortilla. Tonight I recreated their tomatillo dressing, following a recipe I found from Chef in Training. Follow the link for all sorts of great Cafe Rio-inspired recipes!
I have never cooked with tomatillo, but this is a dressing I will whip up often because it is so good! I could almost take shots of it I love it so much. But enough gushing, here’s the recipe!
Cafe Rio Tomatillo Ranch dressing
I packet dry buttermilk ranch mix (I used Simply Organic brand ranch mix)
1/2 cup mayo
1/2 cup 0% fat greek yogurt
1 cup buttermilk
bunch cilantro, chopped
2 tomatillo, husked and diced
1 large jalapeno, seeded and diced
few shakes of garlic powder
juice from 1 lime
Blend mayo, yogurt, dressing mix, buttermilk, and garlic powder until smooth. Add tomatillo, jalapeño, cilantro, and lime juice. Blend until smooth and creamy. Chill for at least 30 minutes.
But I digress. Back to the dinosaurs!
After a restful night sleep at the hotel and a (subpar but free) breakfast buffet we headed into the park. There is a large building built around the wall of bones, which is pretty impressive. I’m sure I would have learned a lot from the Ranger if it wasn’t for the 30 or so preteens on a school trip having a great (loud) time. Needless to say we didn’t spend much time gazing at the bone wall!
We continued on our way driving through the park. The scenery was amazing, and there were lots of petroglyphs along the way. There is also an old homestead at the end of the Utah side of the park, where in 1913 a woman built a cabin and lived alone for almost 50 years. She must have been a pretty strong lady!
After exploring the homestead it was time to be heading back to our homestead. But first we drove the 30 miles or so on Harpers Corner Road to the Colorado part of the park. No fossils on the Colorado side, but we saw a lot of antelope, some amazing scenery, and only 2 other people! We took a nice 2 mile walk out to a beautiful vista at the end of the park. It was a great way to end our visit to Dinosaur National Monument!
While we didn’t have much time to really get into vacation mode we were able to see a lot and spend some quality time together. I love exploring new places with my husband, and can’t wait for our next adventure together!
Where have you been lately? And where are you going next?
Enjoy your adventures,