Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Days of the Dinos

We've been here in Glen Rose, Texas, exploring.  What an adventure for a four year old boy and his parents.  We passed through Clifton, which bills itself as the "Norwegian Capital of Texas".  I found that odd--you would think that a Norwegian town would have a Norwegian name!  I was also pleasantly surprised to find that there is a town named Eulogy in this part of the state; I've always thought that would be a cool name for a town!  Glen Rose has a population of around 2500 people, and Larry and I were shocked that there were only EIGHT Baptist churches in the directory.   

We found a park, of course, the aptly named Big Rocks Park.  Why is is called Big Rocks, you ask?  Good question!

There was an extremely shallow river to explore as well, but we didn't hang out there too long.  It seems that amoebas had been found in some of the stagnant pools in the river, and there was a warning regarding the brain eating properties of said one-celled creatures.  

Then we were off to one of the main reasons for our visit to Glen Rose.  Zane could barely contain his excitement!  The also aptly named Dinosaur World was created specifically for kids.  Or couldn't you tell from the sign? 

They had some fossils and a few skeletons in a small museum, and a small area where the kids could have their own "fossil dig".  Zane mostly loved scooping up the sand and grabbing all the fossils that he could, even though he could only bring home three of them.  He chose a shark tooth, a fossilized shell of some sort, and a fossilized plant/unidentified thing.  Then we went on a hike, along a path where there were tons of dinosaurs, just hanging out.  

Uh, I'm a tree.  Really.

Pay NO attention to that T-Rex sneaking up behind you!

Thankfully, the park also had the names of the dinos, so we could look to see how the names were pronounced.  Because Zane asked, every single time, and I get my Greek and Latin roots all mixed up. I took lots of pictures of lots of dinos, and I am going to try and put them into a book for Zane to look at.  That is, if I can remember all the names!

Then, it was time for the BIG DEAL, whole reason we came to Glen Rose:  Dinosaur Valley State Park, where you can actually see the tracks of dinosaurs from when they wandered by here during the Cretaceous Era.  There are lots of places in the park where you can see the tracks, and we went to a couple of them.  You can also hike, and bike, and camp all over the park, and there are two places set aside for bird watching.  The Golden-Cheeked Warbler and a breed of Vireo do some nesting here.  But it was tough crossing that river bed, so I had to take a rest in the middle.  

To be fair, the temperatures down on those rocks had to be close to 110 degrees, and we had to hike down to the river.  So I think that a rest was in order!  Zane got to "make" his own dino track with the help of a park ranger and some plaster-clay-stuff.  He, of course, chose to make the tracks of the predator in this park, the Agrocanthosaurus, or something similar to that which starts with an A.

I think that if we return here, it would be better in the fall or early spring.  July is really too hot to be outside all day.  I think that we would have probably seen more of the wildlife in the state park if it had been a little cooler.  I was a bit disappointed in the choice of eating establishments, but since we live in the 7th largest city in the nation, I may be a little spoiled.  This town didn't even have a Wal-mart, why would I expect a Taco Cabana or a Denny's?  See, I'm spoiled! 

More adventures as I can get them posted!  The internet is a chancy thing in this part of the world.  I miss my connections!

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