Return to Glen Rose

Our mid-February camp-out brought us about an hour’s drive outside of Dallas to the tiny town of Glen Rose, where we joined about 20 other Airstreams from our Heart of Texas Camping Unit at Oakdale Park, one of only four original motor courts in Texas. Our previous visit to this park was in November 2016, so the time was right for a return.

Developed in 1924, Oakdale Park was built on land where early tourists camped in wagons under trees around a flowing well. Motels didn’t exist before the 1940s. So in the 1920s and 30s, roadside camps, such as Oakdale Park, offered places to stay but with very few amenities. Among the original structures are a number of bungalows, cottages, campsites, and a pavilion, and the “Oakdale Plunge,” one of the largest swimming pools in the state even to this day.

Situated along the Paluxy River and adjacent to Big Rocks Park, Oakdale Park is just a short drive from the historic downtown area with its Somervell County Courthouse (a Romanesque Revival structure built in 1892).

In addition to the courthouse, Glen Rose is home to the Creation Evidence Museum, an “educational” establishment dedicated to displaying exhibits of documents, fossils and artifacts that support the Biblical version of creation. It also houses a 25-foot replica of Noah’s Ark. A short distance away is Dinosaur World, a 20-acre theme park featuring more than 100 life-sized replica dinosaurs along a winding walkway. Apparently, the actual dinos failed to board the actual ark in time, which may account for their extinction. While in Glen Rose, visitors will want to see “The Promise,” featuring a cast and crew of 150, along with a menagerie of live animals, who bring to life the story of Jesus through music, dance, and drama. Or they might want to tour the Fossil Rim Wildlife Center, a 1,700-acre animal conservation facility that provides an Africa-like experience. More than 1,000 animals, representing 50 species, can be seen up close and personal.

A highlight of our weekend was a Saturday supper at Loco Coyote Grill, an authentic Texas honky-tonk located in a rustic shack with sawdust floors a dozen miles west of Glen Rose. The mascot pictured with this post should give an idea of why the place has a reputation for its biker- and dog-friendly atmosphere. Cliff ordered the Howling Coyote Burger, slathered with cheese, chili, bacon, peppers, and grilled onions on a half-loaf of French bread, which he enjoyed along with a defibrillator on the side. Jon opted for the sliced beef brisket plate with potato salad and pinto beans. The portion sizes were so enormous that both took home enough for another meal or two.

After a somewhat chilly start, Sunday’s weather turned out to be perfect, with clear skies and mild temperatures. Despite the initial disappointment of having our Big Green Egg Mini Max stolen at our storage unit, Cliff was able to grill inside using our ceramic griddle. A less optimal alternative, we know, but the electric version will have to suffice until we can replace the Mini Max. After napping away a lazy afternoon, we enjoyed a dinner of lemon chicken, asparagus and cob corn, all while continuing our binge watch of “The Americans.”

On Monday, Presidents Day, we stayed well beyond the 11 a.m. checkout time because we couldn’t force ourselves to leave. A few work tasks, some cleaning chores, and Bloody Mary’s with brunch brought us to the dreaded hour of departure. Despite our efforts to stay just a little bit longer, the call of the workweek eventually pulled us back to Dallas.