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Ginkgo Gem Shop Dinosaurs

Field review by the editors.

Vantage, Washington

The Ginkgo Gem Shop stands just outside the entrance to Ginkgo Petrified Forest State Park. It sells a lot of petrified wood. But despite the colorful dinosaurs posed outside, it sells no dinosaur fossils -- because dinosaur fossils are almost nonexistent in Washington State. "Maybe if you dig down 15,000 feet you might find some," said Bill Rose, who owns the place.

Bill put up the dinosaurs in 2009 purely as "something to stop people," not to advertise the contents of his shop. He bought them from the defunct International Petrified Forest in Arizona. He left the biggest one, a velociraptor, as it was (We remember it hissing at a bigger dinosaur). Bill, however, had the two smaller dinos, a brontosaurus and pterodactyl, repainted in gaudy colors. "I didn't want them accurate," he said, "I wanted something that was going to show up" (They may still be accurate, since no one knows the true colors of dinosaurs).

Ginko Dino.

"I got it as bright as I could get it," said Bill. "They're funnier that way."

Bill's strategy seems to have worked, because lots of people have been stopping by to see his dinosaurs. "But they stop out there in the roadway, take a picture, and then drive off!" he said, laughing. "Oh, well. You gotta try."

Ginkgo Gem Shop Dinosaurs

330 Ginkgo Ave., Vantage, WA
I-90 exit 136. Drive north on Vantage Hwy/Main St. about a half-mile, then turn right onto Ginko Ave. The shop will be a quarter-mile ahead, on the right; look for the dinosaurs.
Daily 9 am - 5 pm. (Call to verify) Local health policies may affect hours and access.
RA Rates:
Worth a Detour
Save to My Sights

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