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Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Road Trip, Day 1 and 2; Glen Rose, TX (Updated)

We headed out on our road trip around 1am on Sunday, May 8th. Our first stop was Glen Rose, TX, where Charles wanted to go to Dinosaur Valley State Park. Home to some of the best-preserved dinosaur tracks in the world, they're fossilized in the bed of a river that runs through the park. Unfortunately I don't have photos to share, since I'd deleted them from the memory card after downloading them to my laptop, which died the very next day (go figure.) I'm going to bring the laptop to a techie friend to see what he can do.

Update, Jul. 12, 2011; My laptop's a goner, but my friend got my photos back. Here are a few;

Apatosaurus and tyrannosaurus models.

Dinosaur tracks (left by the hunter, Acrocanthosaurus.) The prey dinosaur's tracks are just kind of circular, so I didn't include them here. They were made by Paluxysaurus (named in '07 after the river in which these tracks lie. Also now the official dinosaur of Texas.)


In Glen Rose, we stayed at an Americas Best Value Inn, which was nice enough. The man at the desk was professional, but never quite warm or friendly. I wondered if the company motto was; "Americas Best Value Inn. Don't let the door hit you in the ass on the way out."

Before hitting the road to Carlsbad, NM on May 9th, we wandered a bit and stopped by Big Rocks Park, which we'd accidentally discovered not far from our hotel the previous day.

The rocks here are, indeed, big and some had strange pits in them. It was fun wandering around here. At one point we thought we caught a glimpse of a big cat, but in retrospect I think it was just a really large, domesticated one.

My first sighting of a green heron. There was also some kind of sandpiper.

Somehow I'd gotten my polarizing filter stuck on my camera lens at the park. Neither of us could get it off, so we went to a local hardware store to look for a tool to aid the process, but an employee there was able to get the filter off with no problem. Evidently Ace really is the place with the helpful hardware folks...thankfully!

Not far from our hotel we also came upon this quaint, dilapidated building. I have no idea what it once was, but it was cool all the same.

Part of what made it cool (and appropriate to the ruined setting,) about a dozen black vultures were in the trees nearby.

We also went by Dinosaur World. Although we didn't go in, I had to get a picture of one of the statues outside.

We'd bought a GPS to help navigate, which gave us questionable or downright bad directions from time to time (fortunately I also brought directions from Google Maps and a road atlas of N. America.) Leaving the Americas Best Value Inn (not letting the door hit me in the ass on the way out,) despite knowing we had to go left, I followed the GPS's direction to make a right. It then told us, "In 400 yards, make a u-turn." Stupid GPS!

Much of the rest of the day was spent driving across Texas, heading to our next destination; Carlsbad, NM. We checked into a hotel (where my laptop died,) then had dinner at a Chinese restaurant that boasted the "best Mexican food" on a large banner outside. I should have taken a hint from that. Although my food was alright, Charles really didn't enjoy his meal & if the place had an atmosphere, it was "suicidal." Things only got better from there, fortunately, so stay tuned!

Next stop; Carlsbad, NM.

27 comments:

Charles Gramlich said...

Just about as I remember it. :)

Cloudia said...

Jamaicans call the turkey buzzard "John Crow." Cool strange (to me) heron!

You were wise to dissemble regarding your trip - very savvy and understood!

Professional but not warm is a BIG problem. Nothing ruder than cold professionalism: "Sir exit the car with your hands UP!"


Aloha from Honolulu

Comfort Spiral

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Lana Gramlich said...

Charles; I remember it being bloody HOT too!

Cloudia; Interesting about the Jamaican name for the turkey vulture...

*Honest Abe said...

I suspect the trip had a lot of bonuses. Nice Photos.

laughingwolf said...

cool beans, lana...

i've been told a garmin gps is the way to go

Heather Landry said...

My GPS and I don't see eye to eye. I have a Garmin and it hates me. I make common sense choices like turning left when I know that's the way to get out and it says "recalculating" and complains. I end up fussing at it and my kids totally crack up. They've even named it "Pedro". "Don't yell at Pedro!"

Your trip sounds absolutely amazing! I'm looking forward to seeing more photos. I'm so sorry that your computer died and took some of your photos with it. I hate when stuff like that happens.

Erik Donald France said...

Cool beans. Agreed on GPS -- sometimes it's better to go "freestyle," sort of like writing with a pen instead of keying into a computer with automatic spellcheck and "autocorrect" that is sometimes all "autowrong."

Must check out the Glen Rose area, for sure. . .

Erik Donald France said...

Funny, that's a double and now a triple "cool beans" ~~

Michelle Basic Hendry said...

Fabulous images... It's funny how vultures group in trees like that.

Lana Gramlich said...

Abe; Thanks. Yes, there were some really nice surprises!

laughingwolf; Thanks. We were running out of time & the Sylvania was all we could get. Ultimately no GPS is infallible, of course. Fortunately I'm a wizard with a map!

Heather; *LOL @ Pedro!* That's hysterical! Yes, our trip was pretty epic. I'm glad we went--we're certainly not getting any younger, after all. I appreciate the sympathy for the computer death. I'm just glad it happened on day 2 and not day 10!

Erik; Thanks--I'll take all the cool beans I can get. :) *L* Technology certainly has it's ups and downs. <:\ The main road through Glen Rose was really generic & "meh," but going down to the old part of town by the river was pretty cool.

Michelle; Thank you. Walking through our neighborhood a couple of years ago we found ourselves among a huge flock of vultures in the trees. It was pretty cool. It was neat seeing them all by that old building in TX!

eileeninmd said...

Nice post, I like road trips. The Big Rock park looks neat. And I love the Green heron and the Vulture shots. I've never stayed in the Americas best Value, we usually like the Best Westerns, La Quinta and Comfort Inns. Whichever one is cheaper at the time. My hubby really wants to go to Carlsbad. Looking forward to hearing more about your trip.

Lana Gramlich said...

eileeninmd; I took more close-up shots of the big rocks, but they really didn't portray the real scale. The park was very cool, though. We stayed in a Best Western in Sedona that was absolute heaven, but overall we ended up liking Holiday Inn Express for the value and amenities. Y'all really MUST go to Carlsbad. It's absolutely fantastic!

nina kuriloff said...

Lovely shots!
I love the first one! :)

Lana Gramlich said...

Thanks, Nina. :)

Bird said...

Wow, I LOVE the vultures and the dinosaur is incredibly cool! It all comes across as faintly weird in an excellent, best road trip kind of way :)

eric1313 said...

Love the old building pic! I like how warm it looks in the picture too. I'm a fan of big heat. Kind of a bit too cold, wet and moldy up here in the D as of late.

Glad you 2 both had such a wonderful road trip.

Lana Gramlich said...

Bird; Thanks. Some of our off-plan wanderings ended up in interesting discoveries!

eric1313; Thank you. We both really liked the old building, too. Sorry you're having crappy weather. <:(

crayonsencore said...

The green heron made the trip worth it for me. Also the vultures! I've only seen them in flight. That old building is a treasure, but who knows what it was. A gas station?

Lana Gramlich said...

Caroline; I guess we'll never know what the building was, but it was really cool.

letspaintnature.com said...

What a cool building...I wonder what that was? Nice close up on the flowers too...always wonderful pictures :D

Lana Gramlich said...

Christine; Thanks. I thought that the building, restored, would've made a pretty cool little art gallery.

Kate Sterling said...

Lana, your photos (and all your artwork) are always so beautiful.

I was just looking at some land for sale around Carlsbad the other day - I think I'd rather go now and just stake a claim in that old building! :)

And when I'm done, the vultures can have me. Just recycling... :)

Lana Gramlich said...

Kate; Thanks, hon. ;) Carlsbad Caverns was fantastic, but the town of Glen Rose was much nicer than the town of Carlsbad, I have to say. I hear you on the recycling, however. ;)

Rico Swaff said...

Awesome!

Lana Gramlich said...

Rico; Thanks! :)

Larry said...

Always nice to see the vulture culture and that building has such interesting detail.

Lana Gramlich said...

Larry; Yeah, the building was really cool, as were the vultures! :)

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