Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Vintage Roadside Visits: The Prehistoric Gardens

We're huge fans of dinosaur attractions here at Vintage Roadside. We've dug for fossils at The Petrified Creatures Museum in Richfield Springs, NY, smiled for days after seeing the animated dinosaurs at Stewart's Petrified Wood outside Holbrook, AZ, and stood in awe at the feet of the world's largest dinosaurs in Cabazon, CA. But until recently we'd been missing out on what has become one of our all-time favorites - The Prehistoric Gardens near Port Orford, OR.

The dinosaurs in the attraction are the work of sculptor E.V. Nelson. He began work in 1953 and based his dinosaurs on "extensive research at the larger natural history museums of the United States: the American Museum in New York, the Field Museum in Chicago, the Denver Museum and many others; and at the Geology and Paleontology Departments of the University of Oregon."

We visited on a rainy, gray day in early March and found the weather fit the setting perfectly - water dripped off of the moss-covered trees and the creek bubbled noisily through the woods. Here's what the brochure has to say about the setting:

"These Rain Forests are different from other forested areas, and are due to several localized conditions...our average rainfall is over 6 1/2 feet per year. This heavy rainfall makes it possible for the Rain Forest vegetation to grow so abundantly: here the ferns grow to gigantic size, many types of mosses hang from the trees, and even the common skunk cabbage develops huge tropical leaves."

The brochure also includes this handy map:

Here are a few of the photos we took on our visit - remember to follow the tracks.

Stinky used to demonstrate how large a dinosaur track would be compared to a full grown human.

Gigantic turtle

Armor plated

Baby Triceratops

No surprise this guy never survived

All of the displays have these great informational signs

Even though it was still early March you can see how tidy the Gardens and trails are as well as the dinosaurs

Stinky once again demonstrates scale

The parrot-beaked Psittacosaurus

A short video we filmed on our visit

If you find yourself heading along the southern Oregon coast we'd highly recommend a stop at The Gardens!

Jeff & Kelly


Rick Kilby said...

Wish I had visited here last summer! great photos as usual!

Vintage Roadside said...

Rick - Don't feel bad, we live in Oregon and it was our first visit. Next time you're out here it's well worth a visit though. Plus, that area of the coast is beautiful.

Traci said...

What fun! I haven't been there, but I have seen the dinos at Dinosaur World in Plant City, FL!

Jen said...

That looks like such fun! I loved places like this when I was a kid (and still do).

Donald Dale Milne said...

Great photos and detail. There's another of these concrete dinosaur attractions at Dinosaur Gardens, Ossineke, Michigan.

Wurmbrand said...

I seriously love the way your video captures the sounds not only of tromping along the damp path, but of the traffic passing, for that true roadside attraction flavor. My school class visited this site around 1967. I came, at a young age, to love the moss, ferns, crowding trees of such places to visit.