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Texas, Part D

Sorry for the delay, but jaun’s been cray. Poetry, people. Make it happen in your life, today!

On Wednesday, we piled into the car with Grandma and headed to Glen Rose, Texas, to see Dinosaur Valley State Park, where they have some neat exhibits and several areas where you can go and look at petrified dinosaur footprints in small creek beds. Interesting and sad fact: the footprints are gently being eroded away by the same freeze/thaw cycle that tears up roadbeds and driveways, and will be pretty much gone in a matter of decades. They survived as long as they have by being covered by mud and silt, which gets washed away, exposing the soft limestone footprints to the elements.

After that we got great food at the Storiebook Cafe in “downtown” Glen Rose. They sell gourmet sandwiches and chips, along with used books and knick-knacks, and even have a small playroom chock full of toys for the children. I bought a book on Fermat’s Last Theorem, and nerded out on that a bit. Afterwards we returned to Waco, and Grandpa and Papaw and I hit a few hardware stores in search of a trap large enough to capture a squirrel, since they keep eating all of Grandpa’s birdfeed and he hates them.

For dinner, the whole Furrer clan (Sarah’s mom’s family) descended on the house for fajitas, and then we went down to Uncle Mike and Aunt Donna’s to look at their various animals, and got some nice fresh eggs for breakfast.
On Thursday we started our voyage home; spent the morning packing up the car, and didn’t end up getting on the road until close to 11:30. Having learned from our voyage down, I packed stuff in the roof carrier that we wouldn’t really need in hotel rooms, which made nightly stops easier. We also made sure to take plenty of long stops to stretch our legs and tire out the various and sundry children.

I hoped to make Little Rock, but didn’t want to go near Dallas, so we stuck to small roads, which mostly had 70mph speed limits but had to slow down occasionally for tiny towns. We made it into Arkansas by early evening and decided we’d had enough, so we stopped in Hope, the birthplace of one William Jefferson Clinton. I was very sad to discover that Hope is in a dry county, but managed to eat horrible Pizza Hut food while William yelled at us, and went back to sleep in a hotel room that smelt strongly of mildew. The next day could only be better, I figured.

On Friday we managed to get up and out super early, well before 7, and put a hundred miles behind us before stopping for gas and McDonalds breakfast. Rolled on through Little Rock and Memphis, and then stopped at a pretty shady truck stop (literally just a grassy place to park and a horribly foul bush that had been peed on by every long hauler in America, I suspect) to change William. In the early afternoon we arrived in Nashville, where we stopped at a Ted’s Montana Grill for steaks and mashed taters. We wanted to tire the kids a bit, so we found a McDonalds with a horrible, germ-filled play area, and got some coffee. Poor timing meant that we left Nashville during Friday afternoon rush hour, but that cleared pretty quickly and we finally stopped for the night just west of Knoxville.

On Saturday we were a little late going, but still put a few dozen miles behind us before stopping for breakfast. We continued up 81, finally heading east on 64 towards Richmond, but had to stop in Charlottesville to pee and get more fuel. We arrived in Richmond in the early evening and spent a nice night with Kyle and Kristy and their daughters, and got on the road Sunday afternoon for the last leg home. After doing almost all the driving up to that point, I stepped aside and let Sarah take the wheel, which was wise because we immediately hit horrible traffic precipitated by a bad accident around Fredericksburg, VA. We made it home around 7pm and managed to get the car unloaded and cleaned out before crashing hard.

Texas and back is a long way to drive, is all I’m saying.

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