On Feb. 19th, we visited Waco Mammoth National Monument. To those of you paying close attention, you will have realized that we have gone astray from the Texas itinerary we posted earlier in our blog, stating that we would not be visiting Waco until March 1st. This occurred for several reasons and will be mentioned more in our next post. For now, know that due to weather and flexibility, we decided to travel even further north into Texas, before eventually, we will head south just to head north again.
Weather- the day was a perfect day to visit Waco Mammoth National Monument. Seeing that the weather forecast called for heavy rain showers, we were pleased to find ourselves indoors in a state of the art, climate controlled, excavation site protected from the elements; 70 degrees with 50% humidity, 365 days of the year. We began our journey on a ranger lead tour from the visitors center to the dig site, all piled in an extra large sized golf cart.
Before entering the facility we learned valuable information about how the first bones were found near a river bed, eventually leading to the discovery of the largest find of Mammoth bones together in one place in the entire world.
Once inside we were amazed at what we saw. A real live archaeological dig preserved for public viewing. With a ranger lead tour, we learned about the type and size of the giant elephant like mammals. From age to era, gender to temperament, the ranger explained the findings and history. One of a kind, I believe, is an understatement. It was history, science, archaeology and wonder all contained in a climate controlled box.
To better understand the size of the great beasts, they had a life sized picture of a Columbian mammoth (not to be mistaken with the Woolly mammoth) painted on the wall. Our kids stood by it for perspective.
After a fascinating day of discovery and fun, the kids placed their hands on a replica mammoth tooth to be sworn in as honorary Junior Rangers of the Waco Mammoth National Monument.