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Traveling Around - Cartersville, Georgia - Tellus Science Museum
We had planned our trip to arrive shortly after noon so that we could lunch in the cafe at the museum before expanding our exploration. The 50 acre setting was welcoming. It is on the north side of Cartersville, located near the I-75 Expressway Exit #293.
After parking in the large parking lot to the right of the building in the picture there was a pleasant (windy) walk to the main entrance. The observatory is visible to the west of the entrance. Inside the museum proper is a large area that contains the front desk and ticket counter. At the edge of the hallway leading to the museum is a gift shop.
The hallway leads past the Orientation Theater into the Great Hall. Dominating the Great Hall is an 82 foot skeleton of an Apatosaurus (once know as a Brontosaurus).
Off this center area are segments of the museum that include starting on the entry's left and going around The Great Hall are The Planetarium, The Weinman Minereal Gallery,, The Fossil Gallery, The Science In Motion Gallery, Discovery Garden and Collins Family - My Big Backyard, The Theater, and a hallway that leads past some restrooms to The Cafe and some Banquet Halls. There are a couple outdoor areas that because of the weather we didn't attempt to investigate.
We made a bee line to the right of the entry and after stopping at the rest rooms, we went into the cafe. It is a combination of self service and kitchen provided food. We settled on having soup and it was very good. There weren't many people in the cafe and so it was quiet and we enjoyed just sitting and not being on the road.
After eating, we backtracked and went to the Orientation Theater where we saw an interesting movie where the thrust of the information was about the Big Bang and the formation of the earth and life rather than information about the museum itself. After viewing that, we backtracked to the ticket desk and got tickets to one of the showings in The Planetarium.
We waited for a few minutes before admission and then saw the presentation of "Firefall" which was about comets and their impact on the earth. The effects of a good planetarium (which this is) are always entertaining and this was no exception.
We proceeded to the Weinman Mineral Gallery. It turned out to be the one gallery that my wife returned to and spent time while I rested on a bench. Immediately outside the entryway into the gallery is a case containing an Amethyst Geode. The geode is enormous and measures 5 foot by 7 foot. It weighs 4400 pounds.
Inside the gallery, we saw many, many minerals and elements. There is an extensive display of gems such as beryl and aquamarine. There are emeralds, and turquoise, and rubies. There is a display of some of Georgia's most prized minerals. This included that large (probably 2 feet by 3 feet) geode that was deep purple and attracted many viewers.
Next to the Mineral Gallery is the Fossil Gallery. It is chock full of skeletized remains of dinosaurs and other pre historic animals. There is an excellent example of the Tyrannosaurus Rex. Most people have seen the dinosaurs displayed but the examples of the Duck Billed Dinosaur (Edmontosaurus), the Bulldog Fish, and a long necked sea monster that is reminiscent of the Loch Ness Monster are unusual and interesting..
In the gallery displaying Science In Motion, the exhibit that captures the eye immediately is the Wright Brothers Plane. It is 40 wide and 13 feet long. There is a dummy representing Orville at the controls of the plane.
In addition, the Gallery contains many other representations of various modes and times of transportation. There are combination motorcycle and autmobiles. There is an exhibit of a 1903 electric car. There are early motorcycles, three wheeled cars,and a small steam locomotive. There is a representation of the advances made in rocket science showing the size differences in the beginning rockets of Robert Goddard and the current Saturn V rocket.
One thing that we noticed with appreciation in this part of the museum is that they have placed strategic mirrors under many of the vehicles so that you can not only see the rudimentary beauty of the exposed vehicle but you can see the underpinnings and the workings. It makes for very interesting viewing.
We wandered into The Big Back Yard and The Discovery Garden not knowing what to expect. We were delighted to find many machines that would intrigue young minds of all ages. Even though it is billed as being for young people, people of any age would miss something if they skipped this gallery.
Next along the way is the special events theater. Being planned for the end of April was a "Speakeasy" evening that was to be fund raiser. It is an annual event that changes from year to year. The theater is also use to broadcast live telecast of events from the observatory located on the grounds. Events such as an eclipse or other solar events obscured by bad weather.
We spent probably 3 to 4 hours at the museum and could easily have spent an entire day. We could have arrived at opening and had lunch in the cafe and continued our investigations into the afternoon. Museum hours and admission costs are displayed at the website - www.tellusmuseum.org.