Our time was limited so we only visited the Sheep Rock Unit with the Thomas Condon visitor's center and the historic Cant Ranch, and walked the Story In Stone Trail located at the Foree picnic area. The trail was paved for use by wheelchairs and we did push our wheelchair the whole way, but the entire loop was not paved, we should probably have returned the way we came to make things easier for the chair.
Ranger Axel at the Thomas Condon center was very kind and helpful. When we arrived they had not quite opened and he was out raising the flag. Then he offered to let us in early and show us the film as soon as we wanted. He was soon joined by Ranger Megan Wilkins who had been up on the hillside photographing wildflowers. Megan helped us find the paleontologists who were digging on the side of Sheep Rock, aligned the binoclulars and the bench just so we could enjoy seeing the scientific method in progress.
The Cant Ranch House was my favorite part of the visit. I learned so much about the sheep wars and the process of growing and getting wool to the mills! I loved that we had the freedom to look in the only partially updated kitchen to see how things used to be done. The old photography was also well preserved and interesting. One of the first things we saw there was the tree map posted on the front wall of the house and it was one of the last things we referred back to, as well.
Everything was clean and well-stocked. The only thing in short supply was shade! Luckily, the Cant Ranch still has part of its old orchard with picnic tables beneath a few of the trees and we were able to eat our lunch in comfort.
If you are creationists, the Thomas Condon center is annoying - the film is the most annoying part because there is an excess of imagination and "millions of years ago" all shown as postitive truth when most of it is still theory, conjecture, and guesswork. I would have much preferred a film showing how the digs went, who did the digging, what was found - in other words, the history of this site rather than imaginative drawings of what things might have been like and footage of Hawaiian lava flows. That is the only reason for the lower rating.
On a wet day this is probably a miserable place to be. On a sunny day it is a very hot place to be. I don't advise anyone to go there in the heat of summer but that is the most likely time for travel so don't say I didn't warn you. Bring your own drinks and food, there are no stores closer than 10 miles and they close early.
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