I have been fascinated by dinosaurs my whole life and am interested in studying paleontology. So, four years ago, my parents took me on a 3-week trip to all the museums and places where I could learn about paleontology in the Western U.S. and Canada.
We started out by traveling to Grand Junction, Colorado and visited the Dinosaur Discovery Museum. We then camped in Dinosaur National Park and visited the Natural History Museum of Utah in Vernal.
We traveled north to Thermopolis, Wyoming to the Wyoming Dinosaur Museum where I went on my first “dig” for dinosaurs. As we traveled east across Wyoming we stopped at the Glenrock Paleontological Museum and the Natural History Museum of Western Wyoming College.
At last we arrived in our first big destination, the Black Hills Institute of Paleontological Research in Black Hills, South Dakota. We visited the museum and Mount Rushmore, then we traveled to the Devil’s Tower National Monument area so I could participate in a professional “dig” with paleontologist Peter Larson, who discovered the famous Dinosaur Sue T-Rex.
After packaging the Camarasaurus fossils I dug that Mr. Larson let me keep, we continued north to Montana to spend two days at the Museum of the Rockies, one of the finest natural history museums I’ve ever visited.
Our next major stop was to camp in Dinosaur Provincial Park and visit the Royal Tyrrell Museum in Drumheller, Alberta in Canada. This would be my third dig of the trip, and I also had the opportunity to learn about casting techniques.
After nearly two and half weeks on the road, we headed south through Montana and Utah, finally arriving in California. My parents knew that a trip like this would either cause me to reconsider my love of paleontology or cement it for life. I am pleased to say that I am beginning my college education, planning on a dual degree of music and paleobiology, then continuing on to get my Masters and Ph.D. in Paleontology.
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