DRIVING FOR DINOS

Okay,  I”m really weary tonight.   Come along to a little museum with me,  but take note of the “Summer Silliness” in the Tag Line.

“Driving for dinosaurs”

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Today was my  “tourist” day to search for dinosaurs — and I found them —SAMSUNG

There must be a lot of other dinosaur lovers out here in the West, because there were dinosaurs all over.

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I did a double-take when I saw this one welcoming me to the gas pumps!   (Now, I don’t for a second believe that petroleum comes from smushed dinosaurs;  nevertheless,  for some reason,  gasoline is called “fossil fuel.”  I think this guy is safe from our hungry automobiles.)

So, these guys seemed to know where to go to find the REAL dinosaurs:

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(I gave up a couple meals today to be able to afford these guys for me and Cooper. . . .)

Here was our destination:

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“Wyoming State Museum”

Their dinosaur exhibit — who named this?

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R.ex   I.n    P.ieces    ?

SAMSUNGThere were a few nice arrangements to teach children about dinosaurs, in general.     I was used to visiting the huge professional “dinosaur” museums in Montana, last year.   This was more of a small town effort,  but I accepted it for what it was, and enjoyed being reminded of things I like about dinosaurs,  like size comparisons:

SAMSUNG“Man and  dinosaur femur.”

Many of the bones were inexplicably black:

SAMSUNGThere was no one around to ask why.     The museum was quite proud of having this on display.  It’s a complete skull of an Allosaurus . . .   which they named Big Al, of course.

I got in on the comparisons:
SAMSUNGThat’s not quite a dinosaur fossil, but rather the heel bone of a North American mastodon.    Oh, how I would have loved to see these creatures in great herds on our Plains.   I put my (blurry) hand next to the heel and felt very small.

Moving up ahead even further in time,   the museum had very thoughtful displays of the North American Indian tribes.

SAMSUNGThey had many artifacts from the past few centuries, with explanations that were interesting as well as descriptive.   (I know there is quite a skill to writing these little signs that museums display.   I have a friend who writes well, and I admired her even more when I found out that she’s written many of the signs used in our own state museum displays.)

We promote and protect the culture of the North American Indians.    We are also fostering the recovery of many of their skills.    One day out here in Wyoming, some thoughtless teenagers stole a famous ancient artifact called “Turtle Rock.”    It was made about three centuries ago – I think by the Shoshone — and it was visited in situ by many tourists.

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Eventually, the rock, that round rock there with the faint painting of a turtle on it,  was recovered.   This time it was placed in the State Museum, in a display that looks just like where it was first made out in the rocky wilderness.

It’s very much worth it to visit museums.    There is much to be proud of – and sometimes we need a little self-congratulations.

 

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