The Paluxy River sits two hours' drive southwest of our home, in a land of small trees and gently sloping hills
known as central Texas. The Paluxy flows a bit in winter, and subsides to a largely charming shallow sheet of flow in the Summer.
When the Summer waters subside to a gentle sheet of transparent joy, the dinosaur footprints are most visible.
Three kinds of dinosaurs inhabited this riverbed and left their prints behind. One was nearly as large as a brontosaurus, and left round-ish footprints like a post-hole digger's assistant auditioning for a part as the Sinclair dinosaur in Ghostbusters IV. One was a thirty-foot-long carnivore who no doubt answered to the name "Spike" and left rather menacing large sharp toeprints which vagely called up memories of Tweetybird run amok.
The diagram of the third one posted in the ranger station assumed what I interpreted as a rather puzzled attitude, rather like a Benny Goodman fan just soaking in her first listen of Sun Ra when she realizes that comet is about to obliterate Guatemala, and touch off a sub-prime climate and investment crisis.
My young friend and I waded the very shallow Paluxy, where small fish nibbled at our toes while songbirds sang. We watched vultures fly, and crossed a genteel old metal highway bridge over the larger Brazos River, where we could look down and see dozens of people engaged in float trips on this river better known as a star of so many western movies than as an inner tube mecca. We ate bbq at the "Ranch" place in tiny Glen Rose, population 2,000-ish, which proved delightful, and looked for fossils in stray ground rocks.
Because we arrived before the Smmer heat turned oppressive, and departed before noon, we had a perfectly charming time. There is something very affirmative to be said for wading in a river looking for allosaur-ish
footprints. We did not stop at the nearby Creation Evidences Museum, where human footprints next to dinosaur footprints are displayed as flawed "proof", nor did we take the time to see lovely Cleburne State Park, a gorgeous lake with a small park where I have spent many happy hours in the past.
What does one say when everything is lovely and every prospect pleases? I tend to say "what a good time!".