Prehistoric Texas

About 1 1/2 hours South from Dallas, on highway 67, we came to Glen Rose Texas.  Our first stop, Dinosaur Valley state park.  

The park is known for dinosaur footprints found in the rock of the Paluxy river bed.   The state park has a number of hikes, all less than a mile long.  Though the short, well cleared trails, are suitable for all ages, they are still rocky and have a number of stairs.

With summer in full swing it was HOT. Stretching our legs after the drive, we appreciated that the first hike took us to the Blue Hole, a swimming hole from the 1800s.  Near the edge, were 3 clear footprints. Hidden in the winter, the lower river level in the summer exposes them, in about 4-5 inches of water.  We left our shoes and socks in the bank and waded in to get a better look.  Boy took the opportunity to go for a full swim and play with some other kids in the cool, clear water.

Other short hikes took us to the Ballroom site and the main site where tracks were first discovered. The Ballroom has hundreds of footprints.  When we were there, they were in about 2-3 inches of water, so we waded out for a good look.  Boy loved splashing through the shallow water and Mom slipped and managed to get quite wet, as well.

The next day, we returned to the area for a stop at Dinosaur World, a series of nature trails enhanced by lifesize statues of dinosaurs.  There is also a dinosaur themed playground and a small museum with fossils and animatronic dinosaurs.  The highlight for Boy was the fossil dig.  Included in the child admission, the fossil dig is a sandbox, studded with real, small fossils.  Children are given 10-15 minutes to dig through the sandbox and choose 3 fossils to keep.  The trails in Dinosaur World are paved, and it is an easy stroll for strollers or wheelchairs.  It would have been a big hit with our boy at 5 or 6 years old, or if we had a wider variety of ages and mobility in our group, but at 11 years old, the admission, at almost $13 a person (in 2017) was a bit steep for the excitement level.  Dinosaur World is across the street from the Creation Museum, according to its website, a museum dedicated to the story of biblical creation and a place to see how dinosaurs and humans lived side by side prior to Noah’s flood.  We did not visit.  

On our way back to Dallas, we drove through Waco for a stop at the Waco Mammoth National Monument.  Declared a National Monument in 2015, the park has had lots of new construction of a visitors center and signage from the National Park Service.  The enclosed dig site shows the excavation of a number of mammoth fossils in situ, where the animals were buried after a flash flood.  We checked out the Junior Ranger program and had a chance to touch and examine skulls and teeth models with rangers at the visitors center.

The Junior Ranger guide

The dig site

Our fossil identification guide, and a snack:


Dried Fish Markets and Escalators

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Through the crowds of Hong Kong pedestrians, we wove our way to the metro station taking us across town to the western districts. Leaving the Sheung Wan MTR, we walked along Connaught road to the tram stop. The two story tram took us the last few blocks to Kennedy town where we began our walk through the herbal medicine traders and dried seafood shops. The buckets of dried sea cucumbers and sea horses gave off a strange fishy smell. We stopped for lunch at the Western Market, admiring the stacks of cloth, ready for suit and dress making. Continuing on, we wandered through the antique shops on Hollywood Road before peeking in the historic Man Mo temple.

The next day, we walked a few blocks from our apartment, climbed the stairs of an office building, and found a restaurant for traditional Dim Sum. The menu was all in Chinese, and there were no pictures to help us point out dishes, so we checked a few boxes, took suggestions from the diners sitting nearby, and crossed our fingers. The selections were tasty and mostly recognizable. Boy even found a few he liked. The BBQ pork was a big hit.

We also decided to check out the worlds longest escalator. The Central-Mid-Levels Escalator and Walkway System takes pedestrians 800 meters uphill, from the harbor up to the residential areas, halfway up the peak. It takes about 20 minutes to get to the top, and we were glad the walk back was all downhill, as it was quite a steep ride up.