Every Saturday, myself and 3 other girls would go hiking. Earlier in the week, we’d discuss where to go and we’d always choose a Texas State Park, usually within a few hours driving distance of Dallas. Much to the dismay of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, we chose Dinosaur Valley in Glen Rose, Texas which is situated about 1 1/2 hours Southwest of Dallas.
Dinosaur Valley contains some of the best preserved dinosaur tracks in the world, which are located mainly in the riverbed. Just to build up the hype, there are fiberglass models of a 70-foot Apatosaurus and a 45-foot Tyrannosaurus Rex located near the entrance. I know what you are thinking, but no, they are not real:
It was a typical sweltering Texas day and midway through our hike along the river, I had run out of water. I was miserable and sweating like a whore in church.
My friend Tammie (wondering out loud): “I wonder how close the car is?”
Me (pointing to the top of the cliff): Should be right above us, if the map is correct.
Tammie (leaning her head back and looking up the cliff): We can climb this shit.
Not to be outdone, I was up for the challenge.
Looking at the picture (it’s deceiving), it doesn’t look that high up, but I assure you that it was about 30 feet above us. That cliff was daring us two idiots to continue. We did.
Tammie: I’ll beat you to the top.
Me: I don’t think so.
I’m about 1 foot from reaching the top and Tammie is not far behind me. I grab onto a tree root sticking out from the cliff so that I can hoist myself over the edge and claim victory. Today was not going to be my day. As soon as I grabbed the tree root, my foot slipped. The tree root couldn’t hold my body weight and I started to fall, except my ankle caught on another tree root and flipped me upside down.
Now, if this was someone else hanging upside down from a 30-foot cliff, my first thought would have been, “Where’s the camera? This shit is about to get good.” But, no. Nobody pulled out a camera, so I don’t have a picture. Sorry.
I’m still hanging upside down as Tammie makes it to the top. She sounds somewhat worried and I’m trying to stay calm and work through the situation, wondering how in the hell I’m going to fix this. All I hear below me are the voices of my other two friends, whispering, “Oh my God.” The tree root didn’t give me time to think and snapped. I fell all the way down to the riverbed and landed on my back. I couldn’t catch my breath and my other two friends were standing over me. Their mouths were agape and they were speechless. So was I.
Tammie (hollering from the top of the cliff): Did you survive?
Me (giving her the One Finger Salute): F*** off!
Tammie: I’m going to go get the park ranger.
30 minutes pass. An hour. No park ranger. No Tammie. No violins playing at my pity party.
Me: We’re going to have to hike around the bend to get to the car.
Other two friends (in unison, but still stunned to say much else): Okay.
I try to stand up, but my ankle had swollen to the size of a softball. Hiking back was not an option, so I started to crawl, thinking it couldn’t be that far to the car.
It was. About 2 miles. OF CRAWLING! Have you ever tried crawling on your hands and knees and suddenly, your knee cap finds the only pointed rock within a 10 mile radius? Yeah, it hurts.
After a few more hours, we finally reach the parking lot and where is Tammie? Her ass is sitting at a picnic table eating a sandwich. Her legs are crossed and she’s holding out her pinkie like she’s the damned Queen of England (totally out of character for her).
I’m laying on my back on the ground trying to catch my breath. I slowly turned my head toward her.
Me: So, Tammie…
Tammie (chewing her sandwich): mmmm, hmmmm?
Me: Did you find the park ranger?
Tammie: Sure did! Even told him what happened.
Me (in my best English accent): And, what? Did you two share a spot a tea?
Tammie: Don’t be silly. They said you weren’t a priority because some little boy fell and broke his wrist.
Me (still glaring at Tammie): And you figured it would be a good time to have lunch?
Tammie (licking her fingers): Yep, I was hungry.
Moral of the story? Never, and I mean NEVER go hiking with royalty!
* no dinosaurs were harmed during this incident. But, Tammie was!