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Cruisin' the Fossil Freeway: An Epoch Tale of a Scientist and an Artist on the Ultimate 5,000-Mile Paleo Road Trip Paperback – October 1, 2007
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"...a fantastic work of art that is truly fanciful and awe inspiring, catching the real flavor of a bygone life." -- Science Books & Films, May/June 2008
"...belongs on coffee tables of every paleonerd, art lover, and general science enthusiast, and the home of anyone with children." -- blogcritics.com, December 23, 2007
"...this book will make anyone want to go on a fossil hunt." -- True West, March 1, 2008
"...Funny, stealthily informative...This is one of a tiny handful of books equally useful to adults and twelve-year olds." --Foreword Magazine, Jan-Feb 2009
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Top Customer Reviews
Kirk's writing conjures up multiple layers of history from the landscapes they pass through: the ancient environments where sediments accumulated and hardened into rock, the processes that brought these rocks to the surface and shaped the current scenery, and, most of all, the ongoing stories of discoveries made by scientists, collectors, and fossil fanatics throughout this geologic wonderland. Ray's artwork brings each of these histories to life and mixes them together in a sort of deep-time gumbo: dinosaurs rise from the dead and amble alongside pickup trucks and gas stations, prehistoric mammals pose for portraits, and wide-eyed ichthyosaurs and half-coiled ammonites dreamily float alongside monster movies and cheeseburgers.
Ultimately, Cruisin' the Fossil Freeway is like getting several books in one: geology primer, road-trip travelogue, collection of scientific-surrealist art, and exposé of the "paleonerd" subculture in the American West. If you've ever driven down an open highway, looked out at the rocks around you and briefly wondered if there might be dinosaur bones buried there, then you'll definitely want a copy for your bookshelf.
From a backstage meeting with Ziggy Marley about a potentially new species of ancient marijuana to tracking down the ever-elusive fossilized tooth whorls of Helicoprion, the book places the reader in the cab with the authors as they carve their way through the western landscape, searching for fossils, footprints, and a good country-fried steak. Like any good paleontologist knows, there's much more to the science than bones collecting dust in museum drawers; paleontology has an incredibly rich and adventurous history, and there's no better way to pay homage to the great bone sharps of the past but to hop in the truck and kick up dust on the way to find the perfect ammonite or Triceratops skull. During the course of their trek, the authors stop in to see local rock hounds, professional paleontologists, amateur fossil freaks, and others, illuminating the ever-changing landscape between searches for a decent hotel and a hot meal.Read more ›
Now, after reading the book, I have a full blown case, and am itching to get back on the road. This book strikes just the right balance between hard information and just plain fun.
We went to Montana last summer and met several people who were at least as interesting as the bones - with strange tales of discovery and survival. Guess what! after reading the book, I now know that there is a whole world of fossils and people just waiting to be discovered.
This book answers a lot of questions that I had - i.e. what on earth is a concretion? Before reading the book, I could recognize one, but couldn't define what it was. Now I know more about what they are and how they form.
The book delivers a steady drip of valid scientific information that you almost don't realize that you are getting. (The author is a curator at the Denver Museum.)
The book will also tell you how to recognize and find dinosaur tracks at 65 miles an hour. - I won't give away the secret,but, I'll give you a hint: it involves birthday cake and ants.
Be warned! If you read this book, you will be left screaming for a ROAD TRIP in the great old American tradition.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Outstanding read. Should be compulsory reading for anyone planning to travel on their own fossil highway as I plan for 2017Published 2 months ago by Doug Miller
If you like fossils and dinosaurs, this is a MUST have book. Super cool stories and art. Highly recommend.Published 15 months ago by RabbitPond
I reviewed the map (bought separately) because I was thrilled with it and with this book. What a treasure to have on trips out west with my grandchildren.Published on December 27, 2013 by Lucy Scardino
Regarding Cruisin' The Fossil Freeway, I love to be entertained while being educated. For me, science details are more easily forgotten when they are presented as facts without... Read morePublished on September 9, 2013 by Judi S. Colby
This is an amazingly approachable and entertaining book. It is particularly appropriate for anyone living in or visiting the US mountain west region (Colorado and surrounding... Read morePublished on August 16, 2013 by R. J. Bolender