Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Jurassic Park is in Omaha?

After my tour of South Texas, I am glad to be home for a few days before hitting the road again.  A few days means I get home Thursday night and leave the next Wednesday afternoon.  Almost a week!  Plus, this is a short trip, I am flying home Friday night.

Because I have been to Omaha two times this year already, I am running out of new things to do.  I checked out the theater schedule but there aren't any plays running right now.  Because the trip is so short, I don't really have time to venture too far away from the city and will really only have the one night, Thursday, to do anything.

Then I come across something I am sure must be a mistake.  DinoQuest2 is going on at Fontenelle Forest near Omaha.  There is a forest in Nebraska?

Entrance to the visitor center.

Fontenelle Forest is open year round and offers 16 miles of dirt trails, a 1 mile "riverview" boardwalk, an observation tower and 9 play areas.  DinoQuest2, a special limited-time exhibit, will cost me $10 and as it happens, Thursday is the only night they are open late.  Normally they close at 5, tonight - Triassic Thursday - I have until 8.

I am met by the first dinosaur before I even pay my money.  He is lurking behind the wood fence on the left of the entrance to the visitor center next to a little pond.

I didn't even see him at first he blends in so well.

Camo-saurus has a real name, Postosuchus.  Each dinosaur on the tour has this handy sign that teaches you pronunciation along with other facts.  This sign helpfully tells me that paleontologists can't agree on whether this guy ran on two or four legs.

Inside I am told there are more displays downstairs in the center itself if I want to do those after I see the boardwalk.  I am given a map and it is suggested that I "stay left".  I decide to be a rebel and stay right instead.

It won't matter since everything loops back to the same place.  This boardwalk is misnamed.  It is called the "Riverview Boardwalk" but I never saw the river.

The map says this is where I should be able to see the river. 
Nope.  Can't see it.  I did see more dinosaurs.

Can't see them?  Look on the tree.

No trouble seeing this one.

Half a mile down the trail, this small dinosaur startles me.  I didn't scream and you weren't there so you can't say that I did.  I wish I were friends with Laura Dern.  She would know what to do.

Some of the displays had little nests of eggs.  In all there were 11 dinosaur displays along the boardwalk.  There is a wedding rehearsal going on outside so I decide it is time to check out the inside.

This guy was partially hidden in the wall downstairs.  He is in a foliage display.

I had no idea that they had plastic ficus trees in the Mesozoic era!

A Dino Egg Incubator...Newman!

Important information recorded by another visitor earlier today on the
Official Daily Dino Progress Chart.

Checking out Nocturnal Dinos and recorded cicada noises.

Following in someone's some thing's footsteps.

Part of the downstairs is dedicated to bones and other dino related displays.  There is also an area where kids can put on a puppet show or dress up like Dinosaurs.

The sign asks that those over 8 don't put on the costumes.

So I only put on the hat.

They have a really nice gift shop here and I bought several things including:

A journal that contains paper made from Elephant Poo.  "Odorless" the label claims.

Mantis glasses.  They also had Wasp.  Wearing these you look through prisims in the lens so you see what it looks like to that bug.

This is me in the mirror at the hotel.

I also got a couple of unique crafts to do with the grandbabies eventually.  One is a fairy kit and the other a puppet kit that uses plastic grocery bags.

I thought this was very nice for the price.  Kids would like the playground and dino-dig area they have set up especially for them to go along with the indoor features.

Note to Nebraska:  Having been here, I don't think this is a forest.  Woods yes, forest no.

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