Finding the Headwaters on a Rainy Day

Scott and I took a short adventure today.  We thought it was going to be to visit our home park, Dinosaur Valley State Park, but since all of the rain there were no trails to hike.  We stopped long enough to see how it looked from camp site number 17, where we stayed for our anniversary, and to see how the Paluxy faired.  It was up a couple of feet but nothing like it had been in May.

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At DVSP from campsite 17

We went to the main track site area and looked around a bit.  Scott was able to capture some very low clouds just past the ridge from the river.  It was such a unique site.  I hadn’t realized there were two ridges on the otherside of the river, but the clouds show this to be so.

A tale of two ridges.

You can see the clouds just before the second ridge.

It still amazes me how you can still see some of the flood debris in the bushes and trees five months after the flood.  To think three weeks prior we were wading around in the river.  I am in awe of this ever changing place.  Not only does the river stay in a state of change but the grass land prairie next to the parking area does as well.  One day it will be golden and the next it is brown and preparing for winter.

On the prairie.

The haze just enhanced this beautiful view.

We decided to drive around the park and see the park from the back.  Doing so we came across something amazing, White Bluff Creek pouring into the Paluxy River.  You can see where the river had cleared out a u-shaped area.  You can see it is a lot like how the Niagara Falls came to happen; only on a smaller size.

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A nice surprise!

Because of the water crossing the road and it was deeper than we felt safe crossing, we decided to explore.  We found the town of Paluxy, the first suspension bridge in Texas which was in Bluff Dale, the two creeks (North Paluxy and South Paluxy) that feed the Paluxy, and a restored log cabin!

The "town" of Paluxy.

The “town” of Paluxy.

 

First suspension bridge.

Suspension bridge in Bluff Dale Texas.

 

South Paluxy

The mother of the Paluxy River.

 

Father of the Paluxy

North Paluxy, Father of the Paluxy River.

 

Home on the prairie.

Driving in the back roads we found a restored log cabin.

It was such a wonderful trip today.  Yes, it was rainy, but still beautiful and full of surprises.  I love it when we have these unexpected adventures.

Keep exploring y’all.
Ren

She Said It Better Than Me!

Scott and I have really been visiting the Texas State Parks recently so we thought we would step out of my comfort zone and do something that Scott loves to do; we went to a Star Party a couple weeks ago.  The newest park, Palo Pinto Mountains State Park, invited guests out to star gaze during the new moon phase.  We were fortunate to meet up our good friend Kristi from Rambling Woolysheep.  She and her son were a hoot.

When the lunar eclipse occurred a month or so ago, we also met her and her two boys at Mineral Wells State Park & Trailhead.  It was fun as well.  I had never seen a lunar eclipse and was in awe.  Kristi wrote about her experience on her blog and I thought I would share it with you.  She has some wonderful photos a few telescopes and such that were there as well as the eclipse.

So here is Kristi’s post from her blog Rambling Woolysheep.

Thanks,
Ren

Happy Anniversary O’my Loving Dinosaur

Scott and I were married eleven years ago, October 4, 2004; Dinosaur Valley State Park became a Texas State Park today as well forty-five years ago.  Because of this similar day of celebration, we decided to spend the day searching out new-to-us things about this unique state park.  It was, as normal, a pretty spontaneous thing but we had taken time on Saturday to rearrange the storage unit so packing took no time at all.

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We did notice something quite interesting.  Even though we are trying to live the minimalist lifestyle, we do not camp this way!  There you see a kitchen tote, a bedding tote, everything else tote, a tent, tool box , suitcase, and chairs.  What you don’t see is the laptop, embroidery, and guitar!  Don’t worry they were in the back seat!

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Once loaded we headed out to Dinosaur Valley State Park to camp; the land of the Paluxy River and dinosaur tracks.  It isn’t a very long drive from our tiny apartment, only an hour plus or minus a couple of minutes.  The drive is really beautiful once you get off the highway.  Back road driving is one of our favorite things to do when go on trips.  We arrived, checked in, found our campsite then set up.  I love how quickly the tent and cots went up.  Scott put dinner together in the crockpot and off we went to hike a small portion of the Cedar Brake Outer Loop.

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I have found using a couple of hiking sticks, wearing a knee brace and good shoes help me have good hikes.  It is a lot of fun for sure and I find I push myself to get off my tailend and not feel sorry for myself.  This was a pretty easy hike, but it had a few moments of stress for my knee.  However, worth every minute.

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We were not very far from our campsite, but it was a bit of hike.  We were getting ready to descend down to the Paluxy River and enjoy some water, stones and dinosaur tracks.

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When we got down to the river to find a beautiful sight.  The water was extremely clear and just babbling; this was so different than the last time we saw it in May.  This had been during the extreme rain Texas had received causing all of the flooding.  Below you can see how flooded the river was and how quickly it was moving.  We saw trees being carried down stream towards the Brazos and it was truly a sight to see.

It was just crazy to stand beside such fast moving water knowing that only a couple of months prior it was much as it is today.  If you want to read more about the flood on the Paluxy River, you can visit Scott’s blog post “What a Difference a May Makes.”

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While we hiked along the river side, we saw all of the trash left from the May flood.  What surprised me most was that it was so high up in the tree.  Scott took this photo of me to show just how high up the water had been.  I am only 5’3″ tall, this is probably another six foot above my head.  It completely boggles my mind.

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There was quite a bit of walking in the water, but it wasn’t that big of a deal since I was wearing rain boots.  Unfortunately for Scott, his “ducks” were not as water friendly.

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But it was so worth every step!  We found dinosaur tracks that we had not seen before.

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They were so huge!

We finally decided it was time to head back to our encampment because we needed water (yes, I forgot to take some) and snacks.  The climb back up was steep and sandy with roots protruding  where the dirt had been recently washed away in May.  It made it easier to climb up, but it was interesting.  I so want to do some more climbing.

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At 3:00PM we met, Cathy, the parks Interpretive Guide, to see the newly found tracks of a dinosaur youth.  We found some of the most interesting things while we were there.  At this time, I cannot say anything about the future trail, but I can show you a fantastic find.  I found a fossilized oyster!  It was in such good shape.  Cathy was impressed by how preserved it was.

 

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By the time we finished the hike and returned to the camp it was dinner time.  The chicken soup Scott had made was ready and extremely delicious.  I decided I was going to take this time to write this blog post while listening to Scott play on the guitar.  He is being accompanied by crickets, frogs and the babbling sounds of the Paluxy River.  It has been a wonderful anniversary for Dinosaur Valley State Park and us as well.  I do hope to spend another anniversary someday with both of them.20151004_145000

Happy Anniversary and keep traveling,
Ren