On Sunday morning we bade our hosts good-by and headed to Southwestern Adventist University. Their Archeology lab is amazing! They actually have a whole Triceratops skull with its 3 horns! It’s huge! There were many bones from other dinosaurs including T-Rex which made for a fascinating tour! From there we went to the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History. We were able to see a full-size skeleton of Paluxysaurus Jonesi, the State Dinosaur of Texas, and a single bath-tub-size footprint of it was tempting to sit in. At least we didn’t have to worry about getting stepped on! The Mammoth tusks there were impressive as well. And the 4-D theater was fun, too. Getting sprayed by water seemed to get the most reaction from everyone! Some of the Pathfinders enjoyed going to the DinoDig and “practicing” unearthing dinosaur bones. Though it was a little frustrating to dig them up and then not be able to pick them up. The whole weekend was a great experience and a good time was had by all!
Anticipation was running high as we finally arrived at the Dinosaur Valley State Park on Sabbath Jan. 24. The sun was shining after days of rain and it was crisp & beautiful. After a picnic lunch, we met up with the Joshua Crossroads Wranglers Pathfinders and hiked down to see the famous dinosaur prints in the riverbed. They were mostly underwater, but it was clear enough that we could see the evidence of those huge creatures that had walked there so long ago! Central Texas Area Coordinator Mr. Rodger Baker guided our way with lots of wonderful information. He even braved the freezing water to compare his footprints with a dinosaur’s footprint! It was a very enjoyable hike and we learned a lot!
The leaders and Pathfinders of the Joshua Wrangler’s Club were warm and friendly hosts. We enjoyed getting to know them as we hiked. After a group picture, to commemorate the event, we loaded up and headed to the church where we participated in some lively songs and worship. After supper we learned more about dinosaurs by doing some great works of art in teams. (Did you know a T-Rex could look like a teddy bear?)
All good things must come to an end, and so did our wonderful day together. Everyone found their rooms and rolled out their sleeping bags. Lights went out and the girls giggled themselves to sleep while the boys enjoyed a friendly pillow fight before settling down. We thoroughly enjoyed making these new friends!
It was a cool, misty morning when the SAIL Pathfinders headed out to Arkansas Bend Park to take part in their sixth year of volunteering in the Lake Travis Clean-up. Rain is a natural part of SAIL Pathfinder outings, so the new members of the club got introduced to what to expect on future outings. It made for a perfect day to hunt for trash! Everyone was eager to get started and see what treasures lay out there waiting to be found. With bags and trash grabbers in hand they set off. What would they find? Half of a flip phone, a plastic salad bowl, a pair of sunglasses, a table, a mask and snorkel. The usual find of boat anchors brought smiles to the faces of those who had a plan to put them to good use. But the super find was a demolished boat house! Using teamwork and tag-teaming the pile of vinyl siding, large pieces of Styrofoam and miscellaneous pieces of rubber and wood was moved from the lake bed up the steep hillside to the waiting trailer to be hauled away. In the end 20 bags of trash, 4 boat anchors, 2 large pieces of Styrofoam and a boathouse were removed from the park. The final assessment of the experience was summed up by one young Pathfinder who said, “I didn’t know work could be fun! I had fun!”
More opportunities await these young people. In October the club will be handing out bags to the community for the purpose of collecting non-perishable food items for the Capitol Area Food Bank. In November a banquet is planned for a group of Senior Citizens. And, in December the plan is to take part for the third year in the reforestation efforts at Bastrop State Park following the 2011 Labor Day fires.