My Montana

My Montana
My Montana

Friday, September 6, 2013

Diverted by Dinosaurs

As we drove through Glendive, Montana, on the east side of looking for a park in which to eat our lunch, we saw a huge dinosaur along the roadside. Then we saw a dinosaur museum and a sign for a second one. So after lunch we decided to visit the two museums. One was the Makoshika Dinosaur Museum which was run by the owner of a music store. His daughter had started it when she was eleven and now they have a group of people that support it. The goal of the museum is to keep some of the local dinosaur finds at home. This area holds the Hell Creel Formation and so far, over ten species of dinosaurs have been found, including Tyrannosaurus Rex, and Triceratops. 


We enjoyed the small museum and also visiting with the proprietor. He told us that we needed to go up the road a very short way to Makoshika State Park. This is the largest park in Minnesota and has a dinosaur exhibit, a good movie, and marvelous badlands. At the time we heard about the park, it was early afternoon and very bright and hot. I suggested we first go to the other museum, Glendive Fossile and Dinosaur Museum.  This museum is not part of the Montana Dinosaur Trail, as are the other two museums, but is run by the Foundation Advancing Creation Truth. Their dinosaur story is told from the context of the Bible. They were able to explain the the earth is very young and dinosaurs coexisted with humans. A few of the most compelling arguments for people having lived with  dinosaurs were a mold of a human footprint and pottery with pictures of dinosaurs on them. 

Mold of human footprint on top of dinosaur track

Bob and large dinosaur

Huge extinct sea turtle

Small but lethal dinosaur - note killing toe on back foot

By late afternoon, we were ready to go visit the park. When we got there it was locked, but had a “Back at 4:00 P.M. sign on the door. So we hung around a few minutes, then got to go into the air-conditioned building. This felt wonderful because that day was the hottest I've experienced in Montana. I sweated all afternoon. We explored the displays and then watched the movie about the park's badlands. After that, we were ready to take the drive through the park with many stops. I think I ended this little detour with about four hundred pictures.

View near the park entrance

The capstones protect the clay from washing away making hoodoos

Huge hoodoo

Typical evening colors

Long view across badlands

Feral filly

Surely fairies live here

Another magical late day view

These Montana badlands were actually much more scenic than were the Badlands of the North and South Units of Theodore Roosevelt National Park. ( But you'll get to decide that for yourself after I get the time and the Interne access to put up blogs on them. )

This day and the day before, when we diverted our trip to the Battlefield of the Little Bighorn, where Custer was defeated and killed, were our most spontaneous and therefore the most fun days.

I'm writing this in camp in the North Unit of Theodore Roosevelt NP. We are planning to stay one more day. We plan to hike in the morning, then spend the afternoon at a library catching up on blogging, and e-mail. Then on Wednesday, September 4, we'll head east again but stop at a few historical centers and then camp near Bismark. Thursday, we are going to visit Judy Bell, a fellow NWR volunteer and blogger at Tamarac NWR in Minnosota before heading closer to Minneapolis to put Bob on a bus back to Houston, Texas. I'll have four days to myself before I meet up with my paddling buddies In Grand Marais, Minnesota to paddle two weeks in the Boundary Waters.

I'm going to miss having a companion as well as a chauffeur, but am looking forward to the next chapter in this adventure.

News Flash! I have accepted a position at Okefenokee NWR from November to April. So I'm all fixed until next fall. I see lots of paddling adventures in my future.