T-rex Tuesday Road Trip Special

Though I won’t actually be featuring a Tyrannosaurs rex on today’s T.rex Tuesday, it’s still a pretty special occasion for me. I am traveling for work, and on my way home from a successful mission that wrapped yesterday. So Mrs. TrRT, Doggosaurus, and I pushed a little extra to take a slight detour through Vernal, UT on the way back to Colorado. Tomorrow will mark my first ever visit to Dinosaur National Monument, as we get a little sampler of what the area has to offer. That would be exciting enough, but the story of how I managed to prevent myself from making it here before now is too funny not to share.

Dinah, the pink sauropod, greets visitors entering Vernal, UT on Highway 40. The area has really embraced its role in dinosaur history, and rather readily converted it into dinosaur tourism.  

Dinah, the pink sauropod, greets visitors entering Vernal, UT on Highway 40. The area has really embraced its role in dinosaur history, and rather readily converted it into dinosaur tourism.  

I came into the dinosaur thing pretty young, as most of us did. My dream job as a child was to be a paleontologist - at a time when most people were just amazed to hear the word come out of a little mouth. My teen years weren’t kind to that dream, as I have detailed before. But it came with several other compatible interests as well. My love of kaiju movies, for instance, was born from the same passions at around the same time. (Did anyone else see the new Godzilla trailer that dropped today? I just can’t wait another month...)

Those two interests collided hard a little over 40 years ago. My aunt and uncle lived in Ogden, so we were in Utah visiting at least once a year. During one of those visits, my parents planned a big day to Dinosaur National Monument. The night before, however, Godzilla played interference. I went with my cousins to see Godzilla vs. Megalon at a local drive-in theater. We ate way too much candy and junk food, and stayed up way, way, WAY too late. When the much too early hour came to wake me up and head out, I had a full scale toddler meltdown. My delirious mind was still replaying the night’s movie, and was convinced that the dinosaurs were going to come alive and eat me. Needless to say, my parents gave up after a bit, and went back to bed. 

It’s probably a testament to their patience that I made it out of my single digits and lasted long enough to finally make it here. In retrospect, I doubt they got much sleep that night either. My cousins and I couldn’t have been all that quiet. I realized pretty quickly what I had screwed up, but that ship had already sailed. So it’s taken me more than four decades to figure out how to get back here on my own.

Work schedules will make this stop a short one. But it should give us a good idea of what to expect when we can come back again.  Tomorrow morning, we’re going to pay a visit to the Utah Field House Museum and the Dinosaur National Monument Quarry Center. I am really looking forward to it, and am already trying to figure out another trip back to spend more time here. Fortunately, we only live around six hours away now. Stay tuned for a Theropod Thursday update that is a little more on-topic. And until then, happy travels!