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David Boehnlein is a retired physicist and freelance writer.
Interests: I'm interested in paleontology and I love to travel, hence the Paleo-Tourist blog. My other interests include physics, astronomy, science fiction and beer, not necessarily in that order.
Recent Activity
On my recent trip to Japan, I was able to follow up on a couple of articles I’d written earlier about the Stanford fossil of the ancient aquatic mammal Paleoparadoxia repenningi. For 20 years a cast of the fossil stood on display at the SLAC visitors center in Menlo Park,... Continue reading
Posted May 12, 2016 at The Paleo-Tourist
Last month I was in Tokyo and I went to Ueno Park to see the cherry trees in bloom. The park is filled with birds seeking nectar from the flowers as well as Japan’s history, like the tombstones of soldiers who fell defending the last shogunate. And for the paleo-tourist,... Continue reading
Posted Apr 28, 2016 at The Paleo-Tourist
Last week I was back at Virginia’s York River State Park for one of a series of spring break events called the Fossil Frenzy. The event lasted about two hours and was conducted by two park rangers, who introduced themselves as John and Carl. It drew about 20 participants, many... Continue reading
Posted Mar 29, 2016 at The Paleo-Tourist
After leaving Albuquerque, I continued through New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Tennessee, but I didn't make any more paleontology stops until I reached my destination state. Tucked away in the southwest corner of Virginia just a few miles off of Interstate 81, there lies the small but interesting town... Continue reading
Posted Feb 2, 2016 at The Paleo-Tourist
The Paleo-Tourist is pleased to present its first-ever guest column. The following is an exclusive report to the Paleo-Tourist from Toronto, Ontario by Mrs. Paleo-Tourist. Due to the epic 2016 snowstorm along the east coast in the US, I found myself forced to extend a business trip in Toronto. Being... Continue reading
Posted Jan 26, 2016 at The Paleo-Tourist
Continuing down Interstate 40, I left Arizona and entered New Mexico. I hit Albuquerque around lunch time and I figured there had to be a cafeteria at the local natural history museum. With that excuse, I pulled off the highway to visit the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and... Continue reading
Posted Jan 15, 2016 at The Paleo-Tourist
2015 has been a busy year for this paleo-tourist. It’s nearly over now and I still haven’t finished writing up my summer road trip. I left off in Arizona’s Petrified Forest and before I move on I’ll revisit an encounter there. As I was walking on the Long Logs Trail,... Continue reading
Posted Dec 31, 2015 at The Paleo-Tourist
Paleo-Dave is now following EPOD - a service of USRA
Aug 27, 2015
If I could visit only one paleo-destination in the United States, I would choose the Petrified Forest. The names of the locales within this national park – The Painted Desert, the Rainbow Forest, Blue Mesa – are evocative of the natural beauty of the place. Although the name “Petrified Forest”... Continue reading
Posted Aug 19, 2015 at The Paleo-Tourist
Amateur paleontology lost a good friend this week with the passing of Barb Hill Benson. Barb was a leader in the Utah Friends of Paleontology Castle Valley Chapter and worked with the Prehistoric Museum in Price, Utah, as well as in the prep lab at Utah State University Eastern. A... Continue reading
Posted Aug 7, 2015 at The Paleo-Tourist
The next stop on my road trip came as I was driving through Coconino County, Arizona along a section of Interstate 40 that used to be part of the famous Route 66. I was looking forward to seeing the Petrified Forest, but a sign informed me that I was not... Continue reading
Posted Jul 24, 2015 at The Paleo-Tourist
The first stop on my road trip was Ernst Quarries, site of a rich deposit of Miocene fossils near Bakersfield, California. The Ernst Quarries are located near Sharktooth Hill, which yielded the first fossils in America to be found west of the Rocky Mountains. The hill actually does bear a... Continue reading
Posted Jul 22, 2015 at The Paleo-Tourist
It’s been nearly 3 weeks since I set out on a road trip across the United States and I’m now settling in to the great Commonwealth of Virginia. My trip took me from the San Francisco Bay to the Chesapeake in 9 days, arriving at last in Yorktown. The USA... Continue reading
Posted Jul 12, 2015 at The Paleo-Tourist
Summer is here and the paleo-tourist is set for a road trip. For the next week or so, I'll be driving across the USA, setting out from the San Francisco Bay area and heading for the Chesapeake. I'll be seeking out paleontological points of interest along the way, so let's... Continue reading
Posted Jun 24, 2015 at The Paleo-Tourist
As a school child studying a map of the world I noticed how South America and Africa seem to fit together and wondered if, somehow, they ever did. I certainly wasn’t the only one to wonder this, but until the middle of the 20th Century, the answer from the experts... Continue reading
Posted Jun 4, 2015 at The Paleo-Tourist
I visited the California Academy of Sciences this weekend, one of several attractions in San Francisco's scenic Golden Gate Park. It's actually several museums rolled into one, including the Kimball Natural History Museum, the Morrison Planetarium and the Steinhart Aquarium. The admission is $35 (planetarium show not included) but you... Continue reading
Posted Jun 2, 2015 at The Paleo-Tourist
My friend Jim gave me a fossilized clam a few weeks ago. It’s a nice one; I have it on my bookcase in a place of honor. Thoughtfulness makes things special. Jim found it on the beach near his home in Half Moon Bay. There are sandstone cliffs nearby and... Continue reading
Posted Apr 17, 2015 at The Paleo-Tourist
Season's Greetings, paleo-tourists! I was passing through Chicago yesterday and saw that my old friend, the Brachiosaurus, is decked out for the holidays. Continue reading
Posted Dec 28, 2014 at The Paleo-Tourist
I was in Chicago this weekend and, as usual, I spent an afternoon facilitating in the Field Museum’s Evolving Planet exhibit. If you’re unfamiliar with the term “facilitating” in this context, it’s the museum’s technical term for what we volunteer docents are doing when we’re hanging around the exhibits and... Continue reading
Posted Dec 8, 2014 at The Paleo-Tourist
Hello again, paleo-tourists, it’s time to catch up on things. I visited Peru again this summer and one of the most wonderful spots there is the Paracas National Reserve. The Paracas Reserve is like no place I’ve seen before; perhaps like no place else on earth. It’s a vast desert... Continue reading
Posted Oct 18, 2014 at The Paleo-Tourist
A few years ago I posted a note on the Stanford Paleoparadoxia, a 10 million-year-old aquatic mammal found during the construction of SLAC National Laboratory. Time for an update: SLAC is undergoing some renovations and the old building housing the Visitors’ Center has been torn down (along with the cafeteria,... Continue reading
Posted Jun 1, 2014 at The Paleo-Tourist
I was in Chicago this weekend and went in to the Field Museum on Saturday. As usual, I gave a tour of the Evolving Planet exhibit, but I went in a bit early to check out a new exhibit that will open next week. It’s called The Machine Inside and... Continue reading
Posted Mar 11, 2014 at The Paleo-Tourist
The trains no longer come to Cincinnati’s Union Terminal. As with most of America’s passenger rail system, it long ago gave way to the automobile and Cincinnati today sits in the confluence of several interstate highways. The old Union Terminal, however, has found new life as the Cincinnati Museum Center.... Continue reading
Posted Jan 12, 2014 at The Paleo-Tourist
The Jewel of the Twin Creek Valley A couple months ago I went on a family visit to my wife’s hometown of Germantown, Ohio. Germantown is a quiet and picturesque town set amid the farming communities of southern Ohio, the quintessential small town, USA. I half expected to see Andy... Continue reading
Posted Dec 10, 2013 at The Paleo-Tourist
I hadn’t realized it when I came here, but Maryland is Dinosaur Country. The first dinosaur bones to be recognized as such in America were found in New Jersey in 1858. It was only a year later that dinosaur remains were found in Maryland, in the form of Astrodon johnstoni,... Continue reading
Posted Nov 2, 2013 at The Paleo-Tourist