Although this exhibit may be less sophisticated than the dinosaurs of Universal Studios Jurrasic Park, here children can walk through a real rain forest, produced by this part of Oregon’s 80 – 100 inches of annual rainfall, and spend as much time as they like with these life-size reproductions. Each animal is identified along with a pronunciation guide for their scientific names and facts about their diet and the period in which they lived.
Port Orford is a great place for prehistoric monsters. It’s a genuine rain forest, sheltered in a small valley, mild in climate, drenched with rainfall; a place overrun with giant ferns, drippy mosses, and black muck soil that’s not good for much else.
Sculptor E.V. Nelson settled here and was inspired to build dinosaurs. He didn’t stop for over 40 years, eventually incorporating his sculptures into a tourist attraction he called Prehistoric Gardens.
E.V. often boasted that his life-size replicas were “scientifically correct,” but his sense of color is what will impress you most.
His two-dozen creations look like pop-art refugees from the Land That Earth Tones Forgot. And their authentic jungle setting wraps everything in green and shadow, ready to swallow anyone who might stray off the trail to get a better shot.