Monday, March 2, 2015

TEXAS: DINOSAUR VALLEY STATE PARK, THE FORT WORTH STOCKYARDS, AND THE Y. O. RANCH STEAKHOUSE IN DALLAS

A life-sized diorama near the exit of Fossil Rim got us ready for our next destination, DINOSAUR VALLEY STATE PARK, located just a few miles away.
Dinosaur Valley presents an epochal contrast to the living animals of Fossil Rim. This place is haunted by the ghosts of dinosaurs past who have left their heavy footprints in what was once mud at the edge of an inland ocean, but which has since become hard stone.
 The gloominess of the late afternoon added an appropriate sense of mystery.
 A flat rock bed just under the surface of the water contains the first sauropod footprints ever discovered. Sauropods are among the largest animals ever to live on land.

Well-placed stepping stones now make the shallow, slowly moving river easy to cross.
Mapboards show where to go and what to do:
We were drawn to the 150 million-year-old tracks,
My photos don't do them justice, but even standing next to them, it took some imagination to see them as dinosaur tracks.
How did these footprints last so long, and who was the first person who looked at these shallow indentations and saw them for what they were?
Why doesn't the water wear them away?

Two warriors duke it out in a nearby pasture:

From zebras to dinosaurs, it had been a long day of animal viewing, and it seemed appropriate to stop next at the famous FORT WORTH STOCKYARDS.
When the railroad came to Fort Worth in 1876, the city became a very important livestock center, and in 1890, 208 acres located north of the city's central business district opened as a gathering, selling, and slaughtering place for livestock--cattle, sheep, and hogs. By 1907, the stockyard was selling a million head of cattle a year.
This is the last standing stockyard in the United States, and while it is now filled with the obnoxious tourist-variety of animals, an occasional herd of cattle is still run through the streets for those tourists' entertainment.
Too bad we missed that and had to settle for these two horses being led down Main Street.
Texans are very proud of their cowboy background. Fort Worth's sobriquet is the town "Where the West Begins."
I think those cowboys of the 1880s wouldn't recognize their old stompin' grounds. For example, instead of a big, beefy steak, we purchased some really delicious infused vinegars to take home with us. Pansy stuff to a Texas cowboy. I'm pretty sure they wouldn't appreciate this humorous shirt or gussied-up pine tree:

Our final "animal-viewing" event of the day occurred at the Y. O. Ranch Steakhouse in downtown Dallas
My husband always has a hankering for wild game, and his research showed that this was the place to satisfying his craving. We ordered enough for four people and commenced to gorge ourselves.
Venison roll-ups
Lamb ribs
Tabasco goat cheese grits
Venison filet, quail medallions, and a buffalo filet
A 10-ounce buffalo filet
Our dishes were beautifully presented and very delicious, but pronounced "not the best I've ever had" by my husband. Still, the restaurant fits in well with all the stereotypes we had validated in Dallas.  It was a fun meal in this city of cowboys.

2 comments:

  1. What? No dinosaur meat on the menu? What a disappointment.

    Why DON'T those footprints erode away? I've always wondered that.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I'm still waiting for the opportunity to eat a woolly mammoth ribeye from one of those frozen carcasses found in the Siberian tundra, or perhaps from one of the cloned versions that may come about before I die.

    ReplyDelete

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