Thursday, July 4, 2013

Number 24: Dinosaur Valley State Park

Dinosaur Valley State Park has been on the list of parks I was really looking forward to for a long time.

I know it's not the norm for me to post a picture of the welcome office, but isn't the stonework creative?

When we checked in I asked the Ranger for her suggestion on where to head.  She pointed us to the river bed and a route that was completely off the main trails.

In fact, we never walked any of the parks trails on this trip.  A first.  Can you see the dinosaur tracks here?

They could be seen all along the stony beds.

Breck saw a sign that helped us identify the meat eaters from the prey.

This was a relatively small print, but no doubt the sharp claws say meatasaurous.

It was fun to play detective and spin out our best guess at the story the prints told.

I have said before that I wish we had discovered the state park system when our kids were young.  I can imagine them with small shovels and brushes "excavating" footprints along the banks.  Many are filled with river silt from when the water is higher and then receeded.  This is the print of a Pleurocoelus, a dinosaur similar to a Brontosaurus.

Do you think these racoon tracks will be here in a million years?

We did see some wild life.  This lizard seems appropriate for a dinosaur park.  Love the camouflage.

And armadillos seem a bit prehistoric as well.

This snapping turtle also seems at place while looking for dinosaur tracks.

Dragonflies have been so prevalent on this trip, so I just had to include a picture of one here as well.

Such a beautiful, peaceful park.

My best advice:  wear shoes you don't mind getting muddy, plan on getting your hands dirty removing mud and silt to see the tracks, and stay off the trail.