If you’ve been following the ongoing “2012 Road Trip Photos” series and/or the original “2012 Road Trip Notes on the Go” series that the former supplements, you may recall one of my descriptions of our family’s stubborn decision to view Dinosaur Ridge independently and at our leisure, without benefit of shuttle bus or tour guide. As described in Day Three of the Notes:
…we made the mistake of taking a self-guided walk up the ridge rather than taking the optional shuttle bus with a helpful, informed tour guide.
Without the bus or the guide, our experience amounted to an uphill one-mile walk to view one set of dinosaur footprints, several examples of variegated stratification, some plant fossil imprints, and one or two very tiny, singular fossils embedded in the cliff walls, no full sets of skeletons. After missing out on whatever the tour guide told the paying customers, we found the subsequent one-mile downhill walk back to the car a little disappointing. The healthier, better equipped bicyclists zipping past us up and down the route each added just a few grains of salt to our wounds. That salt was then washed away when the rain returned for a few minutes. This was not our finest hour.
As recounted with the Photos:
No cars are allowed up the ridge except the official Dinosaur Ridge shuttles. The shuttle ride is free, as is their tour guide who elaborates on any points of interest and keeps you focused on the marvels you’d hoped to witness. If you’d prefer to chart your own destiny, pedestrians and bicyclists are permitted to traverse the ridge as they see fit. Our family policy is we prefer to set our own pace and avoid trapping ourselves in other tourists’ schedules or paces. In some situations this can be advantageous if you know what you’re doing and have all the same exhibit access that the tour groups do.
In this situation, it meant a stubborn one-mile walk uphill… Open highway plains to the left of us, rough terrain to the right.
I chose not to expand too much on that thought at length in either entry, but I was reminded of it, and of our family policy in general, by a series of incidents that occurred over the past twenty-four hours.