We stopped in Glen Rose, TX on the way home from Fort Worth. There is a state park, along with a few other attractions, that capitalize on the dinosaur fossils that have been found there. Apparently, Texas was a hotbed of dino activity!
We went to the state park first. We ended up parking about midway in the park and walking everywhere since our rig was too big for anywhere else. Note: where comfortable hiking shoes regardless of where you park, there’s a lot of hiking. There are three sites, of which we went to two. The third one is an overlooking view of the other two.
The first site we went to was on the riverbed. You cross over the river using the large boulders and the park had set up a bit of a protective natural wall for the tracks to keep them out of the river. However, this wall also acts like a tidal pool whenever the river floods. The day we were there, the rangers were all out trying to pump out the water and re-dig out the tracks. When we were there, they were mostly finished, so we got a good look! Note: the tracks are on a river….if you bring children, bring extra clothes and shoes…or make em strip first. Something about water that just attracts kids like moths to the flame!
The second site s a bit further down the river. The tracks are seen on a bit of earth that juts out from the river bank, underwater a few inches, before suddenly dropping off deeply into the lagoon it surrounds. The hike to that spot was a bit more treacherous than the first site. As we walked down the first little bit, we came to a landing in the path (I use that term liberally) where there was a sign saying something about the lagoon being very deep and to use the jugs for a flotation device in the event of an emergency. The jugs were two 1-gal jugs tied together with some string. Note: donate money to Dinosaur Valley State park….they are in need of some new equipment!
We walked up to the front of the park where there was a small museum with some cool info about dinosaurs. And right outside was a large dino-track area with real tracks. Kids had a blast laying in them. I took a pic with my feet straddling a carnivore’s track (which were much smaller than the herbivore’s). Being 5’8″, I don’t often say this, but my feet looked tiny! HAHA!
After leaving the park, we went down the road about 1/2 mile to Dinosaur World. It cost $13/per person for us to get in, and there was free fossil digging for the kids included. So we went in and got right to work where the kids found all sorts of sea urchin and shark tooth fossils. They loved it! I loved the benches! My feet were aching! The kids all got to keep three that they found and they were given a little baggie to put them in. Note: when you have 4 children with 3 fossils each, mostly shark teeth, some will eventually find their way onto your floor. This means two things. 1. Your child will start complaining loudly that they’ve lost (or someone has stolen) their fossils. (Yes, someone must’ve broken in, passed the silver, china, TV’s, video game systems, jewelry, and other high priced items and taken your fossil. Yup.) and 2. You will find said stolen item by stepping on it barefoot and realizing that the ocean is nothing to play with….those shark teeth are SHARP!
After digging, we went through this huge looped walkway that leads you past over 100 exhibits that they’ve created to look like what scientists currently agree that they must have looked like. It was pretty cool, but once again….wear good shoes! OMG there’s a lot of walking involved in seeing dinosaurs!
After leaving that area, we went down another 1/2 mile or so to the Creation Evidence Museum. This is a place that states the evidence of a young earth and dinosaurs roaming with people. I was eager to go and see what they had to offer. Unfortunately, it wasn’t much. They had a few items, the most notable a dino track and a sandal print found in the same piece of rock. They also have this “hyperbaric chamber” in which they hope to be able to simulate the pre-flood atmosphere/earth. There was something about how they’d done a smaller one and used a rattlesnake from the rattlesnake guy down the lane (Note: if you want to be taken seriously, maybe you shouldn’t buddy up with the crazy guy down the way with all the rattlesnakes in his house.), and that by putting the snake in this small chamber for awhile, they managed to change the venom at the metabolic level and it wasn’t as poisonous, or something like that. The theory being that pre-flood, both animals and humans weren’t as prone to violence, thus dinosaurs are really just reptiles who’d been allowed to grow for a really, really long time. I personally have trouble believing that pre-flood animals and humans were so much nicer than they are today because I believe there was something in the Bible about how God detested their evil ways and all that. So, even though God said he’d never flood the earth again, wouldn’t He have done something else if the earth is so bad rattlesnakes must defend themselves with poison? Yeah, you get my drift.
I’m Christian, and I believe what I believe. I like science to back up my beliefs. I love apologetics. But here’s the thing, you’ve gotta be believable. And have some sort of proof. And not be boring (don’t get trapped into watching the movie if you ever go there). I don’t know if dinos ran with people. It’s possible. I don’t know that the age of the earth has much to do with my faith as a whole, since God could’ve just as easily created the Earth and waited awhile to put people on it. Maybe it was too hot for us. Maybe that’s why the core is still so hot. It’s still technically cooling off. And if you can’t eat cookies straight from the oven, maybe you can’t colonize a brand new planet. And for that matter, maybe God put dinosaurs on the earth to come before us for some other completely practical reason. When you need a field cleared and readied for sowing, it’s fairly common to let the hogs loose on the land. They’ll clear it, fertilize it, till it up, and get it all nice and ready to plant. So maybe dinosaurs were God’s hogs…..just getting the earth nice and bountiful for the rest of us. And then of course, He had to find something to do with them because you can’t just have the hogs running wild in your wheat field…they’d destroy it. I don’t know. I wasn’t there. All I’m saying is, dinosaurs are not pivotal to my faith…just something interesting to ponder and learn about. And I personally don’t feel the need to put God in a box. His ways are mysterious. And here’s one more food for thought….if matter cannot be created nor destroyed….where the heck did all these layers of earth come from? Did they come from underground like lava? If so…..are we one step away from some huge sinkhole? Just food for thought. Or maybe someone out there is really smart and knows the answers to these questions, and even though they are that smart, they are still reading my blog…..you, my friend, write a comment. Let me know the ways of the world!