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Past Adventures

Dinosaur Valley State Park 2003

The sights include : The ancient footprints of monsters past.

Star Date : 3/23/2003 (As always, click on the picture for for a larger image and click on the links for other photos and surprises.)

        Earlier last week, I convinced buddy Bill to go on another expedition with me, but this time to Dinosaur Valley.  I found out about this Texas park on the Internet and told him it was perfectly safe.  

        Bill arrived early and I showed him some of my latest rock and fossil acquisitions from the Tucson Rock Show.  He gave me a couple of big Pelecypods that he found on his land.  These are actually ancient oysters.  I would later see more of these at the local Glen Rose Museum.

        We headed out early and finally arrived at the park station.  We received instructions from the staff and a map to go by.  Unfortunately, we were low on money and had to pay our fees by helping them round up two dinosaurs that got away.  Just kidding,  these were models used in the New York City's world fair in 1964-1965 and donated to the park in 1970. 

        We then headed to the park gift shop to park the truck and hike to Track Site # 1.  We hiked down the bank of the Paluxy River and found an ancient dinosaur foot print.  Then we found another one.  The Theropods were definitely here.  Just missed them by 105 million years.   We looked up the river and noticed a few thirsty deer.  

        We then proceeded to Track Site # 2.  It looked like that we would have to cross the river.  Oh well, we knew we might get wet, right Bill.  The river was crossed and the same 3-toed foot prints of the Theropods were discovered.  We also discovered that the bigger footed Sauropods were here.

        We continued to hike along the river to Track Site # 3 but, the trail was lost.  Well the lady at the station did say it would be slippery while walking along the bank.  I am pleased to tell that I was not the one who got wet.  We finally trekked back to the truck and took a safer route to Track Site # 3. 

        We finally arrived to Track Site # 3.  We looked through the fist view station and saw nothing.  Then we took a view from the second view station.  Once again we saw nothing.  Therefore, we took a hike down for a closer view.  Again, we saw nothing.  I guess it might have been better if we had first took the time to read the Track Site # 3 Information Board 1 and Information Board 2 first.  It would have saved time and effort.  Apparently, the tracks just eroded away.

        We then proceeded to the camping area to check out Track Site # 4.  From the map, the 4th site near Camp Site # 1.  So we parked the truck at the nearby parking lot and donned on our Camelbaks for another hike.  Once we arrived on the bank below Camp Site # 1, no tracks could be found.  We proceeded down stream for almost a quarter of a mile and finally found them.  They were more of the 3-toed Theropods.  We really had to get into the water to take pictures of them.  We proceeded back upstream of the river and missed our trail back up to Camp site # 1 and wound up at Camp Site # 17.  Another long hike back to the truck.

        On the way out, we stopped by the gift shop for the souvenir junk. On the way out of the park by the station, we found more dinosaur foot prints on display.   At the gift store we were told about a rock shop close to the entrance to the park.  Unfortunately, it was closed and decided to go into town for some grub and come back to the shop later.  We hit the town square area, but no food.   We did find Glen Rose's museum with antique artifacts that belonged to the earlier settlers of the area.  Yes, we also found more dinosaur tracks.  However, these were discovered while building a nearby nuclear power plant.  We finally found a place to eat and returned to the rock shop.  Unfortunately, it was still closed so we decided to head on back..

        We took a different route back as to go through Clifton, TX to pick up some alabaster from a friend.  Before we got that destination, we stopped by Garage Sale Lady, to check out any new antiques or other crazy stuff.  Apparently she had been waiting for me to stop by to sale me a 25 pound hunk of Rose Quartz.  She made me an offer I could not refuse.  More lapidary work for the next 5 years!!!  Finally back home and unpacked.  This next weekend's adventure will either be Cleburne State Park or nearby Cedar Hill State Park.  We will just have to see.  Also, Garage Sale Lady has some more great stuff from Alaska.

       So, until next time, take care and I'll  See you... on the road, or in the workshop, (which is really just my garage) !!!!

                                                     Francis                        

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