Getting the flavor of...
Dinosaur hunting in Wyoming
When I asked my two young sons if they wanted to drive eight hours to dig for dinosaur bones, “the answer came quick and unanimous: Absolutely!” said Rachel Walker in The Washington Post. The Wyoming Dinosaur Center in Thermopolis sits on top of a sedimentary rock formation that’s “among the most fertile sources of dinosaur fossils in North America.” And from mid-May through mid-September, the center runs a Dig for a Day program, letting amateur paleontologists hunt for the remains of sauropods, the long-necked behemoths that roamed the earth roughly 65 million to 150 million years ago. Just an hour into our dig, my 6-year-old discovered a black fossil so massive that the on-site geologist said a team would have to excavate it. Later, in the center’s lab, our guide gave the kids a power drill to remove sediment from some smaller, practice fossils. A laboratory full of dino bones and power tools? For my boys, it was “pure bliss.”
Wisconsin’s Ice Age Trail
You’ve probably heard of the Appalachian and Pacific Crest trails, said Beth Harpaz in the Associated Press. But what about the Ice Age Trail? Winding through a dramatic landscape of woods, hills, and wetlands sculpted by retreating glacial ice 12,000 years ago, the 1,100-mile trail zigzags east to west across northern Wisconsin, from St. Croix Falls to Potawatomi State Park. Just over half the trail is complete, so some stretches can be hard going, and GPS reception is patchy, which means maps and compasses are essential. Fewer than 150 people have walked the route in its entirety, but Melanie McManus hopes her new book, Thousand-Miler, will encourage more to take up the challenge. Those willing to make the trek can expect plenty of breathtaking scenery, says McManus, who has completed the route twice. One descent into a grassy field, she writes, produced “a stunning effect, like a carpet being unrolled for royalty.” ■