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Civl War Dinosaurs
November 12, 2008 8:03 AM   Subscribe

"It's 1863 and Union soldiers have discovered a hidden valley filled with dinosaurs. Now the Yankees plan to use the dinosaurs as weapons of mass destruction against the South." Presenting Professor Cline's Dinosaur Kingdom at Natural Bridge VA. Providing fun for the whole family, this is "not your father's dinosaur park." [via]

If you can't imagine the ensuing mayhem, there's always a flickr group to document it. Brought to you by the mind of Mark Cline, who is also responsible for Foamhenge.
posted by marxchivist (22 comments total) 13 users marked this as a favorite

 
OMG another saurpunk thread.

Just kidding, I love it!
posted by Mister_A at 8:19 AM on November 12, 2008


Needs either the "fucking awesome" or "batshitinsane" tag, possibly both. Me likey!
posted by The Ardship of Cambry at 8:30 AM on November 12, 2008


Those dinosuars used to, quite surreally, inhabit the small nearby town of Glasgow.
posted by Wolfdog at 8:32 AM on November 12, 2008


Dinosaurs + American Civil War + Carnage = Win
posted by Tehanu at 8:34 AM on November 12, 2008


Shades of Yetisburg.
posted by zamboni at 8:50 AM on November 12, 2008 [1 favorite]


Natural Bridge, Virginia needs the batshitinsane tag.
posted by junkbox at 8:53 AM on November 12, 2008


If they put wings on those fiberglass critters and told the staff to use a froggy accent, they could repackage it instantly as Temeraire Valley!
posted by wenestvedt at 8:57 AM on November 12, 2008


As you enter, the voice of Sir Richard Attenborough proclaims, "Welcome to...Masassas Park!"

My favorite part of the article was the passing reference to Foamhenge.
posted by ericbop at 9:01 AM on November 12, 2008


damn. Manassas Park.
posted by ericbop at 9:02 AM on November 12, 2008


Wow; I read the FPP, 'Union soldiers have discovered a hidden valley filled with dinosaurs,' and thought these links were about real historical events. I wondered how the Yankees planned to use bones to fight the Rebs.

Boy was I off-base.
posted by paisley henosis at 9:04 AM on November 12, 2008


Well, we know what Harry Turtledove's next book is going to be now.
posted by Caduceus at 9:07 AM on November 12, 2008 [4 favorites]


I stopped overnight in Natural Bridge for the explicit purpose of seeing that. Spending the night there meant we were going to break our drive into a 5 hour day and a 12 hour day, which wasn't exactly what I wanted. It also meant killing most of a night in the nowhere town of Natural Bridge, because we got in at six pm, and the person on the phone said the exhibit closed at 5 pm. But whatever - sacrifices were going to be made, and it was going to be worth it.

As we were checking out of our hotel room, I asked the desk clerk where the dinosaurs fighting the civil war exhibit was. He said he had no idea. (Natural Bridge, I should point out, looked to have about a thousand people or less in it. It seemed like the sort of place where something like that would stick out.) There was a rack of tourist brochures next to his desk, and a full row of them were for the exhibit. I pulled one out and showed it to him, and he said that he'd never heard of it but maybe we should ask the maid, because she was from around there.

The maid said she didn't know, either, but that we were actually just outside of natural bridge so if just drove down the road about four miles we'd probably see it. The waitress at the Pink Cadillac diner - which had statues of King Kong with an airplane in hand and Humpty Dumpty with a menu in hand outside, as well as lots of Elvis memorabilia inside - also had no idea where this was.

We drove for half an hour, then an hour, looking for it. There was a confusing fork in the road, and there were no posted signs for it - although there were a few for a haunted house, which was open up until Halloween. (This was almost exactly a year ago - early November - so the haunted house was closed.) We drive past a lot of weird stuff, like Foamhenge and a fairy tale kingdom that's burned to the ground, as well as a zoo with dinosaur statues in front of it, but we can't find it. We finally figure that if anybody is going to know where this damn thing is, it would be the post office people - they'd have to know the area pretty well.

We pull into the post office. The clerk is talking to a customer. They clearly know each other very well and have been gossiping for awhile. They both look at me suspiciously when I enter. I show them the brochure and ask them where it is. "I think that burned down," the customer says. "No, you're thinking of the fairy tale kingdom," the postal worker says. A debate ensues about whether or not they are the same thing. The postal worker finally concludes that I should ask at the wax museum about it, because the wax museum people are the people that would know about it - whether its still viewable or not, they built it, they own it, and if tickets are available, I'd buy some from them.

The wax museum is in the dead center of the awkward fork in the road we've crossed eight or nine time already, so I'm well aware of it. It looks like a big library and has "WAX MUSEUM" stamped on the front of it. In front of the building is a gentleman in a cowboy hat riding a velociraptor - a good sign.

We ask at the desk about the dinosaur park. For the first time all day - someone has heard of it. We couldn't see it because it was hidden in the woods - its part of an outdoor maze. It's also not separate from the haunted house. Which closed on halloween, a week or so ago. But - we called yesterday and were told you were open till five! Oh, that's the wax museum part of it, she said. Buy an admission ticket and you can see all the wax figurines you want - but no dinosaurs; that won't be possible until next summer.

So a word of warning: Do not even think of trying to see this in person until next summer. It might be an awesome roadside attraction. But it is not worth a $60 hotel room and a few hours circling town and a handful of awkward conversations with confused locals to find out that it is not, in fact, a wax museum or a burned down fairy tale kingdom, but rather, a few strange statues stuck into a rainy backwoods that they won't even let you see, not even for money.
posted by Kiablokirk at 9:08 AM on November 12, 2008 [22 favorites]


There's a nature trail/wildlife museum north of Dallas that has pretty much those same dinos tucked into the woods. You can see our pictures of them here. (Obviously a self-link...the dino pics start about halfway down the page, and then on to the 2nd.

No civil war carnage though...just fiberglass dinos.
posted by dejah420 at 9:16 AM on November 12, 2008


Well this is just silly. Everyone knows the dinosaurs were extinct by the time the US Civil War began. They were, however, present at the US revolution.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 9:27 AM on November 12, 2008


Wow, Mark Cline is clearly a genius. A MAD genius. The best kind!

"feedin zone - push here to feed" - HILARIOUS
posted by mwhybark at 9:34 AM on November 12, 2008


And hearn's Mr. Clines very owns website!
posted by mwhybark at 9:36 AM on November 12, 2008


And this Roadside America article mentions the fire cited above.
posted by mwhybark at 9:37 AM on November 12, 2008


I stopped overnight in Natural Bridge for the explicit purpose of seeing that. Spending the night there meant we were going to break our drive into a 5 hour day and a 12 hour day, which wasn't exactly what I wanted. It also meant killing most of a night in the nowhere town of Natural Bridge, because we got in at six pm, and the person on the phone said the exhibit closed at 5 pm. But whatever - sacrifices were going to be made, and it was going to be worth it.

Fantastic comment and flagged as such!
posted by lostburner at 9:41 AM on November 12, 2008


not your father's dinosaur park.

Well, no, because Adam and Eve clearly did not participate in the Civil War.
posted by shakespeherian at 9:43 AM on November 12, 2008


Anybody that wants to a place to stay while visiting the tourist junk in Natural Bridge should feel free to drop me an email instead of dropping $60 for a room.
posted by Wolfdog at 11:04 AM on November 12, 2008


Quiet! The right flank is approaching the Tyrannosaur paddock.
posted by bjork24 at 11:05 AM on November 12, 2008


This is awesome. Makes me want to go home and watch Valley of Gwangi.
posted by brundlefly at 2:11 PM on November 12, 2008


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