Saturday, April 13, 2013

In the Land of Dinosaurs

If you think that officiating the occasional high school mountain bike race is a humdrum affair, you may want to rethink: When was the last time you saw a ferocious Tyrannosaurus Rex by the side of the road? Ha, just what I thought: You haven't! But I did, today, just a bit east of Solavaca Ranch, the venue for race #3 of the Texas High School Mountain Bike League.
More than 100 life-sized dinosaurs on display ...
As it turns out, Dinosaur Valley State Park, just outside of Glen Rose, has spawned the appearance of a whole slew of ancillary businesses, among them Dinosaur World (open daily!!!!) and the Creation Evidence Museum right next door, about which Wikipedia currently has the following to say:
The Creation Evidence Museum, originally Creation Evidences Museum, is a creationist museum in Glen Rose in Somervell County in central Texas, USA. Founded in 1984 by Carl Baugh for the purpose of researching and displaying exhibits that support creationism, it portrays the Earth as six thousand years old and humans coexisting with dinosaurs, disputing the scientific consensus that the Earth is approximately 4.5 billion years old and dinosaurs became extinct 65.5 million years before human beings arose.
You gotta love kooks! Generally I don't provide links since they will lead you astray, off my page, but in this case the hocus pocus won out.

Anyhow, it was a pleasant 6-hour drive from Lubbock, where just on Wednesday we experienced another return of Old Man Winter. My mint took a beating, and there were a reported 200 traffic accidents in our fair city. Twenty-four hours later we were back to Speedo weather.
My backyard, on Wednesday morning, April 10, 2013
But today, I was able to drop the roof on the trusty old Miata and enjoy gorgeous countryside in perfect spring weather. The bluebonnets were thick and plentiful between Sweetwater and Abilene, only to really gather steam on the way to Eastland. Gorgeous. Equally heart-warming were those bucolic scenes of calves and kids frolicking alongside their mothers in pasture after pasture. It was a beautiful drive.
Outside of Desdemona, TX

A few miles the other side of Stephenville I spotted a few Longhorns at a certified ranch. They are beautiful animals, if you forget about the fact that they really are just cows with long horns. Why they have such interesting hides, I do not know—I suppose I could just Google it. I'm sure it has something to do with Noah's Ark and the fact that the Earth is all of 6,000 years old, mas o menos.
That Lonhorn needs to get some meat on its bones!

Another emaciated (effects of the lingering drought?) Longhorn in the background
It wasn't all just wildlife—I spotted at least one throw-back to the past, when I drove through Stephenville. Anybody remember these?
It was Robert Shaw who sang Piggly Wiggly (Got Groceries on my Shelves)
Eventually, I made it to Solavaca, another new venue for me. The 4-mile course that we will be using for the race tomorrow is in part reminiscent of the old X-Bar course in Eldorado (I sure miss the annual trip to see the Meador family) wit all its rocky looseness. And the wide, sweeping turns in the meadows on the backside also reminded me of X-Bar, but this time of the area that I always compared to riding through an African safari landscape.
When cows don't eat enough ...
Quite likely we will break another attendance record tomorrow as this race is close to the metroplex and we may have more day-of registrants than usual. We'll see; I know I will enjoy myself.


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