John Messeder


Some 66 million years ago, the last of the giant dinosaurs ended their 160-million-year reign as the giantist wanderers on the planet. But never fear; their bones became permanently encased in the future crust of the aforementioned cosmic sphere, waiting for future young archeologists to dig them up.

Apparently, a few of the smaller specimens walked around Adams County, imprinting their footsteps in the still sandy future stone to become, in one location, capstone atop a bridge over a creek below Little Roundtop. It’s difficult to imagine dinosaurs leaving footprints on the battlefield where thousands of soldiers yet unimagined would die in bloody grapple.

Act 98 of 2018 titled “An act encouraging landowners to make land and water areas available to the public for recreational purposes by limiting liability in connection therewith, and repealing certain acts,” may help offer more access to the considerable private land most of us can only drive by and admire. Hikers and wanders still would need permission, but maybe without the need to travel from one side of the county to the other to find a tree.

And that would be a good thing for would-be dinosaur seekers.

John Messeder is an award-winning environmental columnist and social anthropologist, and lives in Gettysburg, PA. He may be contacted at

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