Regular Life

Regular Life

In three words I can sum up everything I've learned about life: it goes on. – Robert Frost

Spontaneous Cretaceous

Opportunity. She knocks, yet too many don’t bother looking through the peephole, and spontaneity isn’t even given a chance.

And to think, they could have walked in the footsteps of dinosaurs.

At 8:30 on Saturday morning, Benjamin and I had spent about an hour and a half building with Wedgits, eating breakfast, and just hanging out.

“Would you like to go hike a trail?” I said. It began innocently enough.


“Please go tell your mommy it’s 8:30.”

He did, and then complied with the same action at 8:40.

Then I got an idea, and showed Benjamin the introductory video on Dinosaur Valley State Park’s website. “Cool, Daddy,” he said.

Shannon, only partially recovered from a nasty cold, listened patiently to my plan at 9 a.m. We would drive to the park and spend some time there, then stay at a hotel using the HHonors points I had earned on business travel, and go back for more of the park on Sunday.

She didn’t even blink before agreeing. What a cool wife.

Yes, camping would have been more memorable, but our spontaneity has its limits. Even without that additional complexity, we didn’t set any efficiency records preparing to leave town.

We showered, ate, packed, and dropped our dog off with Shannon’s encouraging mother. On top of everything else, she’s a fun-loving lady. Departure time: 1 p.m.

The park’s entrance featured two large dinosaur replicas commissioned by the Sinclair Oil company back in the 1960’s — an Apatasaurus and a Tyrannasaurus Rex. As we climbed out of the van, Benjamin informed us that he was bringing his first aid kit, contained by a metal Spiderman lunchbox.

“In case somebody gets hurt,” he said.

We walked to the next parking area, where from the cliff’s edge we saw a small river. Benjamin led the way down a steep hillside of boulders and scree — and a set of stairs made of railroad ties — but not before handing off his first aid kit to his mommy.

About a dozen people stood on and near large rocks lining the shore; one of them waded in the shallow water. By the time we reached the water’s edge, we saw our first set of tracks through water clouded only by the wading.

We saw three more sets of tracks before tacking back up the hill by a different path, and finished with a climb up a small cliff. With a small taste of the park’s offerings and an idea of what we still wanted to do the next day, we left to find our dinner destination.

Next: Benjamin and I cross the numbing water and see how his foot measures up to that of Acrocanthosaurus.

2 Responses to Spontaneous Cretaceous

  1. “Benjamin led the way down a steep hillside of boulders and scree”… see, I learn something new every time I read you Mark… “scree”.. a new word for me!

    Sounds like everyone’s doing well. Hope that Shan was/is feeling better.

  2. Is there a single kid that doesn’t just love dinosaurs? I have yet to meet one. Especially boys.


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