Saturday, March 19, 2011

March 16-19, 2011 Glen Rose

In my last post I put that we were going to Palestine for Seth's birthday.  Well, plans changed.  The Texas State Railroad was going to be VERY expensive and Seth was ok with not going.  So we decided to go to Glen Rose.

The RV Park
We wanted to be able to stay at Dinosaur Valley State Park but it was booked!  We checked several other state parks in the area and they were all booked as well.  We finally found an RV park in the town of Glen Rose that had space available.  It was an ok park.  I don't want to give them complete bad marks because they were super friendly and helpful.  It is under new ownership and you can tell that they are trying to make some good changes...they are just not quite there yet.  But everyone staying there was nice and friendly and it was pretty quiet.  The things we didn't like the most was how close together the RV spots were. We were right on top of one another.  And they are apparently still learning the ropes of running an RV park because they weren't very organized.  They actually placed us in a spot that was already occupied by a van/camper that was just out for the day.  Needless to say that camper wasn't too happy with the facility when they came back in and saw us in their spot.

But it could have been a lot worse!  At least this place was not right off the major highway and it wasn't all concrete!  It has a HUGE swimming pool that they are working on getting ready for Summer.

But the kids loved it!  They loved the fact that they could ride their bikes!  We got Seth's new bike for his birthday on the way down and he loved it!  (after seeing other kids we realized that we might have gotten one a bit too big...but oh well, he will grow into it!)

Seth's Birthday Celebration
Since this was Seth's birthday camping trip I let him pick out what he wanted for a birthday dinner.  He decided on grilled bbq chicken and broccoli and rice casserole!  I also made him a birthday cake - he wanted a Buzz Lightyear cake.  Seth and Aaron both immediately made friends and soon as we got there and Seth invited them over to share his birthday cake with him!  One friend even brought a $5 bill for Seth.  I told the mom to not do that but she insisted!

 (thankfully this first night we didn't have anyone in the spot directly next to us so we had room to put a picnic table right outside the camper door.  The next night there was a camper where Seth is sitting)

 (If you know Seth then you know he loves candles!  LOL!  He was only turning 6 years old but he wanted all the candles from the Buzz Lightyear kit on the cake LOL!  Sad thing is that the wind was blowing so hard we couldn't get them all lit.)

River Fun
On Thursday we ventured over to the Dinosaur Valley State Park.  We LOVE having our state park yearly pass - we didn't have to pay anything to get in - WOO HOO!!  We originally started on a hike for a geocache (which I will talk about more below) but quickly realized that the ones hidden inside this state park were not good ones to start with - it was going to be too much of a hike to get too!  So we headed off on an easier trail and ended up at the Paluxy River!  The kids LOVED it because they got to take their shoes off and play in the water!  Alyssa, who cried the ENTIRE hike, was all of a sudden a happy little camper when her feet hit that water!)  The only problem about this park was it was so crowded on this day!!

 (a pretty view of the river from one point of our hike)

(Aaron decided to drop his pants and wade around in his underwear! By the time I saw what he was doing it was too late - the pants were off. LOL!)

Big Rocks Park
This park was right across the street from our RV park.  This was the neatest park and probably one of our funnest spots of the whole trip.  It was free (we love that).  It had huge rocks that you could climb on and also a spot in the river where you could wade and play in (the kids loved that).  This is also where we found our very first geocache (more on that in just a bit).

In fact we had so much fun there the first day that we went back the 2nd day.  On that day Alyssa had fallen asleep just before we got there so I sat in the truck with her while the boys flew their kites.  We then all went back into the water again.

We discovered a new hobby on this camping trip - geocaching.  For those who might be unfamiliar with this here is the description from the website - "Geocaching is a high-tech treasure hunting game played throughout the world by adventure seekers equipped with GPS devices. The basic idea is to locate hidden containers, called geocaches, outdoors and then share your experiences online. Geocaching is enjoyed by people from all age groups, with a strong sense of community and support for the environment."

I had actually heard about this and have wanted to try it for some time now - just have never "took the plunge".  We finally did this week and discovered that this is a fun family hobby that usually costs no money and will take you to places that you would otherwise probably never find!  As the kids get older it will also be a good educational fun as well in that it will help the kids learn how to read maps, use a compass, and at times will also involve some math as well!  We loved it so much that we are even thinking about heading out later today and search for some that are close to our house (we discovered that there are about 20 within 5 miles from our home!

Our first find was at Big Rocks Park!  I was actually the one who finally found this one!  It was a good size ammo box with lots of treasures for the kids to choose from!  They all 3 each got a trinket and we replaced them with 3 rubber bouncing balls!

Our next find was kind of by accident.  We had gone over to Meridian State Park to drive around and check out their RV sites.  (which by the way it is a very small park with very few RV sites but the ones they do have are really nice!  We will hopefully be camping here one day!).  On our way back Daniel pulled in to a rest stop wondering if maybe there was a geocache there.  Sure enough there was!  In fact while we were searching for it another family pulled in searching for it as well!  Daniel was the one that found the buried bottle on this one!  (which by the way according to the logs this one has been here since 2005!! WOW!)

We decided to look for a couple of more before we headed in!  Both of these were really close to the RV park!  One was a cammoed egg on a roadside rest stop.
 The other one was off the side of the road.  Daddy decided to stay in the truck with Alyssa while the boys and I found this one.
 The next day we headed out again in search of more treasures!  We found one near a really cool playground!  After finding the treasure the kids had fun playing around on the playground.

The next one was at a very pretty overlook of the town of Glen Rose but was a hard one to find!!  Daddy finally caught sight of a pile of rocks that looked out of place!  The only bad thing about this one is that there were cacti everywhere! It was hard to maneuver around them.  But the container was cookie-jar size full of goodies! 

 Since Daddy found this one we let him have the prize.  Here is what he found:
(It is a multi-tip screwdriver if you cannot tell from the picture.  The paper reads: "I know this will come in handy because every geocacher has a few loose screws.")

Those were the only two that we actually found that day even though we searched for several more.  In fact our next search is what I think really hooked us in on this hobby!!  It was off of a County Road that actually crosses a point in the river!  A very beautiful spot of the river at that (and hardly no other person in sight!!)

Here was our view when we came upon the river crossing.  At first Daniel wasn't sure if the truck would make it (the geocache was on the other side) so we decided to walk the river over.

Of course the kids loved wading in the water!!

Once we got to the other side we realized we were going to need our shoes.  Daddy decided that the truck would make it and went back for it to drive it through the river.
 But like I said we looked and looked for the cache and never found it!  There was an awful lot of sawbriar in the area and my legs got pretty beat up...but we didn't consider that search a failure because that spot was just beautiful and we would have never known about it any other way!

We also found a couple other county roads that crossed over the river!  But apparently I didn't get any pics of those :-(.

It was an awesome, relaxing, fun camping trip!  We are definitely ready for our next one!

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