January 1, 2017. New Year’s Day means First Day Hike! Many State Parks had Ranger lead First Day hikes available, but the kids and I decided that we would go our on our own. They picked Dinosaur Valley State Park, one of our favorite parks! There is lots to do and explore there, and some dinosaur footprints to walk among. While we were pulling in, we saw signs for a Dino Dive. We inquired with a park ranger about it and they were raising money for improvements to the park with the Dino Dive. It is in correlation with the Polar Bear Plunge where you swim in freezing waters, but better. 😉
The kids asked to do it, but we were unprepared to go diving in fridged waters. We had no towel, no change of clothes, nothing. Just lunch. They were adamant, so we decided to do it anyway, only without the dive. We would just wade in the water.
They had many activities for the kids and served hot dogs cooked on a campfire. There was even a costume contest we were totally unprepared for.
The water was icy at first, but we got use to it after walking down to the dive site. Most people did dive, and my daughter slipped and fell up to her chest in the water. She was wearing a tee shirt that was not going to dry quickly, and I knew that she would stay rather cold with it on as the temperature was in the mid 50s. Luckily, the sun was coming out warming it up a bit. I had on layers, so I was able to give her my tee shirt. Her shorts were hiking shorts and dried quickly by the fire.
After much hot chocolate to warm the bones, we finally made it on our First Day Hike. It was a short hike what with the afternoon actives in the river, but it was still a pleasant afternoon with the best company in the world.
Later we learned they were able to raise $555! We will be going to the Dino Dive next year and we will be more prepared!
We will bring:
- Beach Towels to dry off with
- Our Hiking Sandals, because walking on those rocks barefoot hurts! Ouch.
- A change of clothing
- Bathing suits to dive in – maybe a cover too?
- Plan a costume for the contest.
How did you spend your First Day of 2017?