In the foothills overlooking the Salt Lake Valley is a copper tinted building that blends perfectly into the natural environment.

 The Rio Tinto Natural History Museum was my destination for a Saturday afternoon with my niece, and I’m not sure who was more excited.

“The Eyes of the Future are looking back at us and they are praying for us to see beyond our own time.”
-Terry Tempest Williams

A child’s curiosity and unspoiled wonder makes everything better in a place like this. We start by gazing at the world’s largest known land mammal, a massive beast that frightens her for a moment, then she laughs. We explore the tiniest of creatures under a microscope, to being in awe at the size of the horned dinosaurs.

We re-create the Bonneville lake that covered the whole Salt Lake Valley under water millions of years ago, to learning about the Native American Indians that called this place home.

“I’ve read that a naked eye can see six thousand stars in the hundred billion galaxies, but I couldn’t believe it, what with the white sky and starlight. I saw one million stars with one eye and two million with both.”
-William Least Heat Moon

The origins of man confuse her in the most delightful way….”are neanderthals Jesus’s ancestors?”
I smile and let her know that they came way before him, and this seems to satisfy.

We avoid the snakes and spiders where we can, and play instead with cell mitochondria and science labs, drawing horses and learning about different landscapes.

The Natural History Museum is a great place to escape the summer heat for a few hours for kids of all ages.

Wench, bring my ale, what say you?

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