Texas: Dinosaur Valley State Park

Hello again, delightful fellow bloggers and lovers of adventure!

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It’s been awhile since I’ve written anything, but here we are. Time to catch up on shenanigans.

First stop? Dinosaur Valley State Park.

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I know what you’re thinking…dinosaurs? YES! What on earth is possibly cooler than dinosaurs? (though I suppose the definition of extinct is “no longer on earth.” You get my point).

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As children, I think we all had an evolution of what we thought was unbelievably amazing. And I think it’s fair to say most of us started with dinosaurs (you know…little foot, the Great Valley?). Then ninja turtles or power rangers…or in my case rocks and NASA. Not much has changed I suppose, though NASA rejected my application to be an astronaut. Maybe I shouldn’t have used so many references to the Borg and Klingons. Sorry, tangent.

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Dinosaur Valley State Park is a Texas gem. As an official west coaster, hiking to me means huffing and puffing up a mountain, or sprawling ocean views, an infinite horizon shifting the light from blue to amber to the still violet of a starry night.

Imagine my surprise to find elevation and difficulty in the Texas State Park trail system. *Starts slow clap

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Our experience began with giant, fake dinosaurs. Now show this to me at Disney or Universal and I might roll my eyes a bit before secretly enjoying the hell out of the goofiness, but in the middle of a field, in the middle of nowhere, Texas? Hell yeah! Well done, Texas.

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We hiked as much of the park as possible before returning to the car for our packs and probably logged about 8 miles. Texas has such a unique beauty. There’s a quality of harshness to the land that is surprisingly appealing, in a sort of “cowboy riding off into the sunset” sort of way.

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Beautiful, rocky single track and jeep trails. Light filters through the sparse canopy, illuminating individual rocks.

Our  campsite was a bit farther from our car than we anticipated. But man, was it worth it!

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I was able to employ my new Tensile tent and slept suspended in the air. It was like sleeping on a cloud, if there were magical flying armadillos that crawled several feet below your cloud tent. Next time, my plan is to rig the thing a bit higher.

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In true Texas-fashion, we fell asleep to the sound of cows mooing. We hiked out the next morning, taking a quick polar bear dip in the river to wash off the “camp stank” that avid campers know all too well.

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Happy camping, sexy campers!

Xx,

Lauren

 

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