ONE LAST TIME

Dinorama

I don’t often take the time to be a tourist in Washington, D.C. – I’ve spent most of my free time using D.C. as a jump-off point for weekend road trips (hence the name) or jumping on good airfare deals I wouldn’t have enjoyed in my previous home of Billings, Montana.

This weekend was different. I forced my way into the mad throngs of vacationers to visit the Smithsonian’s Natural History museum, and for good reason. This very weekend was to be the last for the museum’s popular (but outdated) Fossil Hall. Alas, another Montana transplant, that being the famed Tyrannosaurus Rex of Bozeman’s Museum of the Rockies, has moved to D.C. (and the Natural History museum) and necessitated the need for a complete makeover of the museum’s main attraction. That means the public won’t be seeing fossils at the Natural History museum for a whole five years!

Crowds were even more massive for the final Saturday of the Fossil Hall

Crowds were even more massive for the final Saturday of the Fossil Hall

What seems typical of most American boys, dinosaurs were one of my first loves. That and baseball. The fact that Jurassic Park hit theaters right at the peak of my childhood (11 years old) cemented the dinos place in my heart well into adulthood. I’ve wandered through Fossil Hall many times before so it was with some sadness that this would be the last time seeing it as I remembered as a child. I’m all for change and modernizing a bit, but five whole years!? Kids visiting D.C. who are 8, 9, or 10, will be in the throes of teenage life by the time fossils are on display again, and may perhaps miss out on a great memory in the process.

For what its worth, I took way too many pictures in my quest to archive the Hall’s final Saturday. Here’s but a few of them…

My mandatory "proof of visit" shot. I'm turning into a caveman myself apparently...time to shave.

My mandatory “proof of visit” shot. I’m turning into a caveman myself apparently…time to shave.

The famous timeline that marks the entrance to the Hall.

The famous timeline that marks the entrance to the Hall.

Decidedly not the T-Rex from Montana

Decidedly not the T-Rex from Montana

I'll miss this guy hovering above the exhibit.

I’ll miss this guy hovering above the exhibit.

The Allosaurus, in my book, was one of the more underrated beasts.

To my friends from Canada, behold the Albertosaurus

The now extinct Fossil Cafe. Eh, it needed a good window cleaning anyway...

The now extinct Fossil Cafe. Eh, it needed a good window cleaning anyway…

Still waiting for someone to successfully clone one of these...

Still waiting for someone to successfully clone one of these…

Turtles got nothing on this guy...

Turtles got nothing on this guy…

This one always reminded me of something from Transformers Beast Wars

This one always reminded me of something from Transformers Beast Wars

Times up!

Times up!

A panoramic scene of the main room at Fossil Hall

A panoramic scene of the main room at Fossil Hall

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