Guest post from my cousin and friend – Emily Wilberg!
On a quick weekend trip to Los Angeles I was able to visit the highly unusual LA BREA TAR PITS. My husband was on board to visit as well, but once he saw it was next door to the LA ART MUSEUM, he jumped ship and went to the museum instead.
I thought the tar pits were fascinating! We had been once before when the kids were little and just walked around the grounds, but this time I was solo so I sprung for a ticket to the museum. It also included a walking tour of the grounds, which was super interesting.
Imagine you’re a mammoth or giant sloth and you are being chased by a pack of dire wolves or a sabre tooth tiger. You might run right into a tar pit without realizing you will get stuck, especially if it had a layer of leaves on top. The big pit at the entrance which looks like a big black bubbling pond seems like it would be not-too-hard-to-avoid, but mostly the “tar pits” were great patches of sticky tar that bubbled up from underground. If you look closely around the grounds, you will see other areas where the tar continues to ooze up (look for orange cones.) The fossils found here are about 90% scavengers that were attracted to what they thought was an easy meal.
The museum is very well done and not-too-large where you feel like you can’t see it all in the amount of time you have. There is a glass window where you can see into the Fossil Lab and the scientists meticulously counting and sorting tiny, tiny bones.
There was a ‘meh’ gift shop (not sure what I was looking for, but I didn’t find it) and a little pavilion with what looked like vending machines. However, right outside the gates was a guy selling fruit with lime and chili powder that TOTALLY HIT THE SPOT. You can see how huge it was; online reviews were saying it was expensive but I thought that this was a lot of fruit for $6. I have tried to recreate it in my kitchen at home but have been unable to duplicate it. You know how some things just taste better when you’re there?