Sweet! This week, I actually got paid to go to a new place. The Utah Field House of Natural History State Park Museum had its grand opening for the new curatorial facility, so a bunch of park employees (including Jordan and I) went to help out. The Field House is a dinosaur extravaganza showcasing fossils found throughout the Uinta Basin. The outside of the building is surrounded by life-size dinosaur replicas, including a Tyrannosaurus with six-inch teeth, a horned Triceratops, six-ton Stegosaurus, and a winged Pteranodon. The inside of the museum reveals over 600 million years of life, from the Pennsylvanian to the Pleistocene. You could definitely spend a solid days investigating all the artifacts. My favorite exhibit is the wall of fossilized leaves -- each rock with the fossil imprint was shaped into a rectangle, then mounted on a green wall. It's art.
However, very few museums can display all their artifacts, and the Field House is no exception. The curatorial facility is a humidity- and temperature-controlled building where they keep fossils, bones and other artifacts they don't have room to show in the museum. It won't typically be open to the public, but for the grand opening the community was invited to get a 'behind the scenes' look. Each park employee had an artifact to talk about, so I pretended to be an expert on fossilized turtle shells for a day. Sweet!
The Field House is located at 496 East Main Street, Vernal, UT 84078-2605. To reach them, call (435) 789-3799.