Just a bit further down the pathway is the old fishing lodge that,

after being purchased by its new owners, has been repurposed as the headquarters and living space for scientists working at the Boneyard. Two years later, in 1949, the Dino Institute was officially formed within this very lodge, offering on-site paleontology classes and eventually internships for graduate students.

To help fund their research programs the grad students’ cafeteria was converted into a restaurant, and opened to the public. Don’t expect any formal dining though, this is still an active campus and the hijinks going on here are part of the draw.

Entering the lodge’s front doors we step into the cafeteria-turned-restaurant,

where you can dig into gourmet burgers and other American fare. The room is decorated with various dino-themed displays and framed pictures.

The main hall once served as a makeshift visitor’s center and museum,

many fossils are still on display along the walls. Today the room primarily serves as a common space and classroom, with the projector used for both lectures and their weekly double feature movie nights.

As the dig site grew, creative ways were found to expand the lodge.

A Quonset hut was added for maintaining service vehicles.

Semi-permanent tents were also added for storing provisions and camping gear.

The latest Boneyard finds are also cataloged within the tents.

On the other side of the lodge is the plastering room,

where fossils are prepped for shipping to various museums and institutes around the world.

The adjoined room is the students’ bunk room, with a loft style sleeping quarters.

The lodge’s rec room has been converted into the Hip Joint,

a place to unwind after a long day of adventure and discoveries. Here you can play various board games, basketball, bad-mitten, and a one-of-a-kind “Big Bang” version of darts. It’s also the place to simply relax, socialize with others, and appreciate the uniquely designed atmosphere.

You can spend hours in this room just looking through all that is on display here.

Many of the Dino Institute’s traditions can even be found right here in the Hip Joint…

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