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Day Four – Driving With Dixie

Anolther lovely day on the Montana Dinosaur Trail with my sister and the three handsome grandsons! We left Shelby this morning and made it all the way to Bozeman with several adventures and awesome decisions to make in all the gift shops…what choices!

The drive to Bynum started with not one cloud in the sky and the spectacular Bob Marshall Wilderness across our windshield. There were green fields and oil wells alongside cattle and horses and once in a while a grazing flock of sheep…and to think this all used to be an ocean, a tropical forest teeming with diverse plants and animals.

The museum in Bynum was truly AWEsome, with the biggest dinosaur represented at 23 feel tall at the hip! Oh my gosh, the kids were stunned, and I was spellbound by the magnitude of the work done to create this display. Well worth our miles on the road.

By the way, it hasn’t really seemed all that far. The stories behind the discoveries of all the dinosaurs we have seen have been up front and personal each day in each museum we have visited!

The boys also enjoyed the Rock Shop next to Two Medicine Dinosaur Museum in Bynum.

Then, we were off to Choteau where we saw the maiasaura right outside the Old Trail Museum.

When we went into the museum they welcomed us with cookies, the mayor was there, and Dana, a museum board member greeted us and showed us the informative displays. “My,what big feet you have” is one comment I heard, as there are magnificent foot prints of different dinos there.

There is a great replica of an embedded maiasaur with his head turned out looking at us when we stood there. That was intimidating! His eye seemed to just keep looking at us…oh, on to lunch!

Leaving Choteau, we headed to Great Falls, then to the Upper Musselshell Museum in Harlowton. We saw the Missouri River in Great Falls, the surreal wind farm outside of Judith Gap and then it was on to our second to the last museum to get our Dino Trail passports signed.

At the Upper Mussellshell Museum we were introduced to Ava, the little dinosasur in their museum. They have a cool little sand dig for the boys to look for some dinosaurs with little paint brushes. The boys had a really good time as the director showed them around.

They have an antique coke machine (big hit with the boys) and, when you visit, be sure to go up to the second floor. You will be amazed to find the biggest collection of Milwaukee model trains in North America! It isn’t completely set up but we got a sneak peak. The man started collecting when he was about six years old when he received a train as a gift from his grandparents. The collection is a tribute to them and an honor for the museum to have to share with the public. Each car of the train is numbered and labeled with its name, the date it was in use, and what it was used for. We were fascinated by those that had electricity connections.

So, Ava the dinosaur shares her special place of honor on the dinosaur trail with an equally splendid display of trains!

Here’s a nice photo of our shoppers at the Upper Musselshell gift shop in Harlowton.

We are going to the Museum of the Rockies tomorrow. I am excited to show the boys the hall of horns since I haven’t seen it yet myself.

Dixie, Debbie and the grandsons

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