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 A Really Different Vacation

Now anyone can participate in a professionally led 'dinosaur dig'.

Tired of doing the same old things? Maybe you want to try something really different - and really old! Excavating a 67.5 million year old dinosaur in the Badlands of Western Canada. An organization called Earthwise Adventure offers anyone willing travel to Horsethief Canyon in the Badlands surrounding Drumheller, Alberta, a chance to participate in a real search for dinosaur fossils.

Earthwise Adventure has been offering these tours for six years. They now attract about 700 people a year ranging in age from groups of school children to people in their 70s. The majority of the people come from the United States and Canada, but a few have come from countries around the world including England, Wales, China and Japan.

Packages available range from 'day trips' to five-day outings that include luxury accommodations or camping packages. Each group includes from approximately three to 12 people.

What Earthwise Adventure offers is not a simulation or drill. It's a real 'dig' for dinosaur bones in one of the world's most productive areas for finds. After a brief orientation session, most of the time is spent working with hand tools such as awls, hammers, chisels, picks, shovels and brushes to collect actual dinosaur specimens. All digs are supervised by professional personnel. The primary dinosaur species collected are hadrosaurs, but various other species - including some that are rare or unique - have also been found. 

Tour participants don't get to keep what they find. The collected fossils are supplied to museums. If the group is from a museum, arrangements can often be made to have whatever fossils are unearthed on that trip made available to that facility.

The program operates yearly from mid-May to early September, although tours can be conducted outside these dates for groups of half a dozen or more. Earthwise Adventure is currently exploring the possibility of operating similar tours in other areas of the world, including Mexico.

If this sounds like something you'd be interested in, check the Earthwise web site at www.earthwiseadventure.com. You can also obtain more information by phoning tour leader George Lammers, Phd., at (204) 488-0087.