Digging Dinosaurs and Exploring National Monuments in Fruita Colorado
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The Dinosaur Journey MuseumFruita is located in northwestern Colorado and about 11 miles west of Grand Junction. Dinosaur Journey Museum is part of the Western Museum of Colorado, providing visitors with a fun and educational experience. The museum features incredible life-like robotic dinosaurs, dinosaur fossils, hands-on exhibits and a working fossil preparation laboratory; guests are able to watch the museum scientists at work.
Dino DigsIn addition, the museum offers an amazing program to participate in a dinosaur dig. Have you ever dreamed of working side-by-side with a paleontologist on a digging site to discover real dinosaur bones? If Jurassic dinosaurs thrill you or your family, then here is your chance to book an exciting paleontology expedition.
The Dino Digs consists of one to five-day expeditions, including hikes) working with museum scientists to excavate dinosaur bones and locate dinosaur tracks from Colorado and Utah quarries.
A Paleontologist instructs guests on the correct tools and procedures for dinosaur bone excavation.
Excavating BonesThe tools used for your Dino Dig are a paintbrush, screwdriver, small hammer, bucket and, oh yes, a hat and plenty of sunscreen. After tool procedure and careful instruction, guests work along side one of the scientists at a specific area on the site that is in the process of bone excavation. When you find a dinosaur bone or bone fragment that is millions of years old, it is quite exhilarating to realize that you are the first person ever to see it.
Many individuals, couples and families often find bones and fragments. And, kids are absolutely giddy-happy to dig for dino bones, make discoveries, be allowed to get dirty in the name of science and take back home an exciting experience of a lifetime.
The Museum of Western Colorado offers a variety of expeditions and accompanying hikes, such as the wonderful and educational Trail Through Time hike on BLM land (Bureau of Land Management) located adjacent to the Mygatt-Moore site. The interpretive trail hike leads visitors past visible dinosaur fossilized vertebras and bones embedded in the rock formations that were to fragile to excavate. The views along the hike are stunning and your guide will talk about the area's geological formations and point out many fascinating features along the trail. For additional information on the Dinosaur Journey Museum and Dino Digs, visit Museum of Western Colorado
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Patrice Raplee is an experienced travel photojournalist and editor of Travel Excursion and Seattle Spotlight for Positively Entertainment magazine. In addition, she writes a monthly travel column for the award-wining site OffbeatTravel.com and is a regular contributor on travel radio shows. She is a member of North American Travel Journalists Association (NATJA), International Food, Wine & Travel Writers Association (IFWTWA) and the Recording Academy. Her articles and photographs have appeared in numerous international publications, as well as NW newspapers such as the Seattle Times, the Stranger and Seattle Weekly. Patrice travels the globe to cover destinations that feature fascinating culture, art, culinary, history and soft adventure.
Unless otherwise indicated, all photos by the author