In the midst of urban Los Angeles, one finds Hancock park, home to LACMA and the infamous La Brea Tar Pits. I come here to explore the latter.
The tar pits are actually an asphalt lake that has churned and spewed methane gas for thousands of years. Creatures have come for just as long, looking for a place to quench their thirst and cool off, only to find themselves becoming trapped and eventually fossilized.
Entry to see the tar pit itself is free, with a nominal fee to also enter the museum, which you should also check out to see the bones of the giant Mammoth and the 30,000 jawbones of the direwolf.
For someone that would constantly look at history picture books as a child and dream of saber tooth cats and wooly mammoths, a visit to the tar pits was a dream come true.