First-time visitors to our fair megalopolis often pore over guidebooks and maps ahead of their big Southern California vacation. They study up, they gather information, and, at least on some surface level, they understand that our famous La Brea Tar Pits are not out in some nature preserve but plunk in the middle of the city.
Still, it can be strange and wonderful for the first-timer to call upon our goopy, bubbly pits, pits that are tooth-by-cheek against big, big buildings.
That's the unlikely but very real setting for fossil-finding aplenty, and that's where we'll be celebrating National Fossil Day on Saturday, Oct. 12.
It's a free day set to unfurl at the Page Museum, the mastodon-nice, oh-so-tusky institution that's a just a bone's throw north of our city's iconic, pit-visiting mammoth family. Yep, La Brea Tar Pits (pictured right) fossils will take centerstage, as will "specimens collected by NHM scientists from around the globe."
Scientist chitchat, which might be the most scintillating kind of chitchat, learn-more tours, and all sorts of family friendly fossil-admiring will be the focus of the no-admission day. Hours are 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Hmm. Maybe it starts a little later because they have to turn on the tar pits each morning? Flip the switch, so the pits start to bubble? Oh, we kid. It is a wonder and a comfort to know that regardless of what we're up to in our lives, an ancient pool continues to calmly burble away, every minute of every day, on the Miracle Mile.
Call the Tar Pits an old and story-filled constant in our new and always changing city. And the fossils found within? They're the wondrous words that fill out that particularly sticky story.