Along the Natchez Trace

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Dinosaur State Park

A few days after becoming Texas residents, Bill & I got our Bluebonnet State Park passes.  The card itself is free to senior citizens and gives us a discount into state parks and other Texas events.  

Our daughter's house is located less than a half mile from Dinosaur State Park and the road we drive getting to her house abuts the park for about a mile long stretch.  We knew there were 10 geocaches hidden in the park so yesterday we decided to head over there and see what we could find.

Although Celeste lives less than a half mile from the park, that's the backside.  You have to drive a few miles to get to the entrance.

The entrance fee was $4 each, which I think is kind of high.  That's for day use.  There are several campgrounds (or one campground with several loops) and quite a few miles of hiking trails.  I think the concession store is closed for the season.  

The Paluxy River makes a huge loop in the park and if the river is high you'd be limited in the trails you could hike.

 You have to cross the Paluxy River to walk on some of the trails.  
Right now the water is very low so crossing is fairly easy.  These 2 guys were heading across just as we started on this trail.

 I did say that this is "Dinosaur State Park", didn't I?
There are lots of honest-to-goodness dinosaur tracks throughout the park.
These are of Jurassic Age....  there are lots of signs and informational kiosks about the place throughout the park.  I'll have to admit that my main interest was in finding the hidden caches and I didn't spend much time reading about the tracks.

 That's Bill up ahead of me.  Somehow we missed the real trail and ended up bushwhacking our way to the top of the hill....  probably a rise in elevation of 200' or so.
Doesn't sound like much of a walk...  but we climbed rocks...  we zig-zagged back and forth...
 We stepped over fallen trees...
That's Bill...  working his way up the hill...
(very steep incline!)
You can see the river far below...
I had chosen a different route so got up there a little quicker than Bill.
YES!  We made it to the top!
I see that my camera has the wrong time ... probably from a different time zone and I forgot to change it.  I think we started from home around noon and got back around 3pm.  Really great day for hiking!

 Another view of the Paluxy River....  far below.
This part of Texas is fairly flat.  The hills aren't high by "Ohio" standards, but here they're called mountains.
This is cattle country and there are a lot of goats here as well.
Most of the trees are cedars, oaks and some cottonwoods.

 I have my trusty walking stick....  and I really needed it to help me up and down these hills.
You can see the place where we crossed the Paluxy River near the top center of the picture.

 There is a scenic overlook at the very top of the hill.
If you look over the valley, you can see daughter Celeste's house.  That flat, white roof is her garage and to the left of it is a slanted roof  (about center of the picture).... that's their house.  Our motorhome is parked somewhere in that clump of trees between them.
That tall electric pole is one of many in the area.  The Commanche Peak Nuclear Power Plant is located just a few miles to the right.  
 What goes up must come down...
We're crossing back over the Paluxy River to our car.
Yes, we found the cache at the top of that hill.  It was cleverly hidden in a small bottle that had been inserted into a hollowed out place in a small log.  I should have taken a photo of it, but didn't.

We had one more cache (of the 4 that were on our list) to find.  It was located a half mile in a different direction.
We walked along the powerline stretch....  alongside the Paluxy River again.

Saw more footprints....
Not nearly as ancient as those dinosaur tracks....
These raccoon tracks were heading to the river.....

We found that cache and headed back.. 

There are 6 more caches located in the far reaches of the park.  One is a 3 mile hike, I didn't check out the others.  We'll leave them for another day.  

The nights have been very cold, but the days are great to be out walking and seeing what's about.

We were treated to a fantastic sunset last evening...
 That's the same white roof that we could see while up at the scenic viewpoint in the park.

What gorgeous colors!
Not the end of the world, but the end of a great day!

That's All For Today!


  1. What a wonderful hike. Texas is full of beauty.

  2. Not being into geocaching, I would have enjoyed the dinosaur tracks the most. :)

  3. What great fun for you! That's a beautiful sky in that photo at the end.

  4. Looks like a fun day and you found the geo caches. Some day we will do that, we keep saying that. Hopefully 2013 will be the start. I loved the dinousaur tracks. Enjoy your holiday with family!

  5. Merry Christmas to you and yours! Enjoy a day filled with love, joy and laughter. A little sunshine is always welcome, too. (it's raining here, but we're enjoying the day together.)

  6. Christmas is 2012 is passed for us and your's will soon be gone.

    Thanks for the joy sharing your photos and experiences bring.

    Wishing you a very Happy and prosperous New Year with lots more wonderful photos.