I took a little break from thinking about history yesterday to think about prehistory instead with a visit to the LaBrea Tar Pits and the Page Museum. The photo above shows what a dig there looks like–a jumble of different animal bones encased in solidified tar.
The open, ongoing digs were interesting, but I had no idea how active the site still is. The Page Museum’s perimeter is full of bubbling tar seeps that will still entrap small animals and permit your children to cover themselves in tar! For realz. Keep an eye out for traffic cones on the lawn alerting you to an open seep. It’s extra-cool, because this Yellowstone National Park-like seismic activity is all happening on Wilshire Boulevard in the middle of Los Angeles, on the same campus as the LACMA.
Watching kids poke sticks into the tarry goo at their feet inspired flashbacks to my own childhood, when I lived in a neighborhood that was still being built with fresh roads. I’d run home summer afternoons, my feet covered in fresh tar which my parents removed with a gasoline-soaked rag. (Leaded gas, I am sure!)