Take The Ingles Open Road to Hands On! Discovery Center and Gray Fossil Site
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I’m Chris Bainbridge… inviting you to take a ride with me. This is an amazing place to find adventure in all shapes and sizes. Ingles has sent me on a mission to bring you the very best of what our beautiful home has to offer – food, fun, nature music, and more… all affordable, and all out of the ordinary. This is The Ingles Open Road.
Today we’re taking you to a time when mastodons and rhinos roamed the grassy plains of history. And we’re taking you to a place where that history is being discovered on a daily basis. Welcome to Hands On! Discovery Center and the Gray Fossil Site and Museum.
It was in the year 2000 when road construction led to the accidental discovery of a treasure trove from the Early Pliocene Epoch. As a result, the road was re-routed, and the excavation was on. And it’s still going strong.
To date more than 31,000 fossil specimens have been discovered. 200 different species of plants and animals have been identified. I mentioned the mastodons and rhinos, but how about tapirs, alligators, rhinos, camels, elephants, saber-toothed cats, and even red pandas. The museum has grown up around the site to help all of us experience this important and fascinating find.
If you live in Georgia, the Carolinas, or Tennessee, you’re in easy driving distance to one of the most extraordinary paleontological dig sites in the entire country. The prep lab cleans and re-assembles each of the fossil specimens as well as preparing them for long-term storage. And research is done by staff, students, and volunteers.
The Paleo Hall is full of exhibits showcasing many of the fossils found on-site. Upstairs, visitors can view work happening in the prep lab and collections room in addition to the Paleo Viewing Deck where visitors can view work happening on the site.
The three-story Paleo Tower is a great way to get active and hands-on with replicas of fossils being discovered here at the site. Not only that, but Hands On! Discovery Center brings science to life for kids young and old with a wide variety of other amazing exhibits just waiting for your exploration.
If you love the thrill of discovery and the adventure of combining history, science, and imagination, then you have to find your way to Hands On! Discovery Center, and the Gray Fossil Site and Museum. You can get started at VisitHandsOn.org. There’s an Ingles 10 minutes up the road so you can stock up and fuel up for your drive home. Your weekend is waiting… on the Ingles Open Road.