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06 March 2010

A trip to San Angelo State Park!

Some pictures from our trip we took on Saturday! It was a great day! We had a lot of fun!!! We went on a Prehistoric Permian Tracks Tour! The kids had a blast! The tour guide said that the total tour was 1/4 mile in and 1/4 mile out. It was longer than that, and not a single complaint was made! Everyone walked on their own. No one said anything about their feet hurting or being too tired! It was awesome!!!

Some of the tracks we saw:


Armadillo burrow:


Merged Trails:

This place was really neat. Pictures do not pay any justice to the size! Back in the 70's there were some trail bikers biking through Merged Trails. One of the bikers hit hard and ruined his tire. When showing park rangers where this happened, rangers realized that it wasn't a stump or boulder like they had thought it would be. It was the tusk of a Mastodon!!!  


What you are looking at is what is left of the archeological  dig of 1/2 a Mastodon! Early settlers killed and took the back half of this monstrous animal. By the time that they returned for the rest, animals had gotten to it. Back by the tree (center top) the ground elevates about 8 feet! That was where the rib cage ended!  Quite a bit of dirt has filled in much of this site in the past 20 some odd years! The kids were amazed!!! You could easily have fit 2 African elephants width wise (head to tail) and 5 or 6 head to tail to get the length of this hole!!

Little Foot Draw:


During the Permian Period, animals related to salamanders, crocodiles, and other animals that favor water, roamed the earth. Many fossilized foot prints have been protected! We got to to see some. Normally, we would have been given brushes to dust away dirt and given a map to try to figure out what set we had found! There are about 20 sets of these fossilized footprints here. Unfortunately, because of rains that have come in the past week, much of the prints were under water. Amazingly clear water! We were able to find some despite that fact!

 This is looking further up, where more tracks are under water.

We also found part of a deer carcass here at Little Foot Draw. Our guide said that he probably fell ill in the fall and died here along side of the draw. The kids thought that was an AWESOME find! There was some dried hide still attached, which totally made their day!Katie really thought that the teeth were cool! And the growth sutures I found to be an interesting shot!

We all thought that the layers in the earth were amazing!

Some of the vegetation along the way:
The park is also home to a herd of Texas Longhorns and a herd of Bison! We were unable to catch any pictures of the longhorns. Bison however, we tried....I should have taken along my other lens, and keep kicking myself because I did debate it before leaving the house! I'll go out again this next week to try again!

Can you see him???

How about the rest of the herd?
No? How about now? Here is cropped:

Like I said, still kicking myself!!


Letti said...

What a beautiful place. Your photos are amazing. It looks like there was something new around every corner.

Corrie Howe said...

I love the plains of Texas. They have a beauty in a class all by itself.

Cathi said...

Wow! Awesome animal tracks. I remember when I learned that armadillos were living with us when we lived in Florida and I was horrified. They look like little prehistoric critters! What a great family day you had.