For my first solo trip I went to South Dakota back in 2012. While I was there I stopped in Hill City, specifically at the Museum at Black Hills Institute. I had mistakenly heard that Sue, the most complete T-Rex fossil ever found, was housed there. Although she was there at one time, she had since been moved to The Field Museum in Chicago. The Black Hills Institute had Stan, a smaller, yet still impressive T-Rex on display. Not to make Stan feel bad or anything, but I left the museum a little sad that I had missed Sue.
Fast forward 2 years and I was in Chicago and the day had finally arrived for me to see Sue. It was a rainy day in Chicago and in my opinion there is no better day than a rainy one to be in a museum. Before I entered the museum I snapped this photo of a dinosaur sporting his Blackhawk pride. It was during the Stanley Cup playoffs and Chicago was in the running. As an original 6 team I of course had to root for the Hawks.
I entered the museum through the North Entrance. As I stood in line to purchase my ticket I could see Sue looming in the background. She was in fact as impressive as I thought she would be.
An interesting side note her skull is a replica as it is too heavy for the display. Her skull is located upstairs overlooking the first floor. This above view is a great vantage point to see Sue from.
After soaking up all of Sue I moved on to the rest of the museum. As I am not much of a museum goer I took the map and selected the sections that most interested me. Once I had my stops planned out I made my way to the first exhibit, Inside Ancient Egypt. Here I found several mummies and artifacts. There were several school groups touring the museum that day and it was amusing to overhear the kids talking about the mummies and how there were “real people” inside the coffins.
The next spot I stopped at was The Ancient Americas. The exhibit was interesting, specially the different clothing used by the numerous tribes. I am not sure why I do not have any photos of the displays, so I apologize, but aside from Sue this was my favorite part of the museum. You can call it my 17 years of working in the retail apparel industry and me geeking out over the clothes. I am always facilitated by how detailed the tribes made their clothing, especially the bead detailing. Just imaging the tools they had to use and how intricate the beading is, these artisans were truly gifted.
My last stop was in the dinosaur hall and evolving planet. I felt I should see the other dinosaurs so Sue would not have all the attention. The displays of fossils were extensive as to be expected. You are guided through 4 million years of fossils after all!