First, praise. I'm really glad that Somervell County made, in 2010, a side road to Fossil Rim to get traffic off the road and into the park. For some years, particularly around spring break, we'd come down CR 2008 to go home and couldn't get past a line of cars waiting to turn in and get parked. Now, there is a spur that lets people get off the road so that residents can get around.
What I'm going to whine, yes, whine, about today is that it doesn't appear to be clear to Fossil Rim tourists where the park begins and ends. For some reason, Fossil Rim, on someone's private property (maybe they bought a teeny little piece), put up a professional looking rock sign at the beginning of CR 2008 and Highway 67 that says, in a difficult to read yellow print that the park is 2 miles that way with an arrow). It's such a nice sign that it certainly is understandable that some people might think that that is the entrance to Fossil Rim. After all, it's not a billboard or road sign. But it's not. It's s very small piece of land unconnected by any land mass to the park itself. The houses and land after this sign belong to private property owners who are not affiliated (unless they are employees) and use CR 2008 to get places.
One day we were driving down the road and a car was stopped by the sign with a family taking pictures. They were parked, if you can picture this, off 67, on 2008, but in such a place that it was really dangerous for people who would be turning off Hwy 67. Since they were facing down 2008, I believe they thought they had arrived and were memorializing the event. But it was dangerous. Residents who live here know that that corner can be dangerous. It's why the state put in a turning lane of sorts. Just yesterday there was a big wreck at that corner that required EMS to come extract someone from a smashed up vehicle, with the other vehicle spun out into the ditch on 67.
When we drive to town, a certain percentage of people don't bother to stop at the clear stop sign that displays opposite Fossil Rim's entrance on 2008. Since I am typically, if with hub, on the passenger side coming back, it doesn't make me feel good to see people ignore the stop sign and think that I would be injured. So, we have taken to driving the back way to and from town, even though it's longer. But why should we have to? We pay taxes to the county to maintain public county roads.
Today we were going to town in the afternoon and a number of people were leaving from Fossil Rim. Two cars were ahead of us heading down CR 2008 towards 67. Both were driving in the middle of the road, as if this were somehow not a county road but part of Fossil Rim. Then, the car in front of the one in front of us just up and stopped. In the middle of the road. I assume the people in the car were looking at the buffalo on the left hand side. We had to pass them on the right (with some honking) because they made no effort to get over to the side of the road. There were other cars behind us coming out from Fossil Rim, so I would imagine they might not have been pleased with the behavior of that guy either. If you know the road, you also know that coming from beyond Fossil Rim the other way, the road winds sharply, which also creates a hazard for people coming out FROM Fossil Rim. Quite a few people drive right down the middle of the road on 2008, causing me some anxiety when I see the same people doing it coming up to a hill where a car might be coming the other direction.
Hub had a great idea, which is to put a sign on Fossil Rim property AS people are leaving that says "You are now LEAVING Fossil Rim". Then, of course, there is a stop sign that is big that still some people ignore but maybe, IF somehow people think that they are no longer on Fossil Rim property, they would stop hogging the road and drive more carefully, including not driving in the middle of the road. I also think that the arrow on the rock sign at 2008 and 67 should be more prominent in some color other than light yellow, maybe with a shadow to make it stand out, so that it was clear people were NOT AT FOSSIL RIM YET.
Another aspect of this that is not even on Fossil Rim property is that for some reason some people, when they get on Hwy 67, which is a state highway, drive really slowly all the way to the Paluxy bridge. I believe this could be fixed by TXDOT putting a speed limit sign near the intersection of 2008 and Hwy 67 so that people realize that the speed limit is NOT 35 (or what feels even slower.). You can't pass these people because it's no-pass UNTIL the outskirts of Glen Rose. It's a huge pain.
Adding that I talked with Warren Lewis of Fossil Rim this morning as well as John Curtis, who is the Somervell County precinct 2 commissioner.
Don't get me wrong. I love living around Fossil Rim. In the fall months, I can step into the yard and hear red deer making their calls, and I like the fact that people enjoy coming out to see wildlife as well as support the tourist industry in Somervell County. But those of us that live here could feel a lot safer and be more happy with tourists with a couple of informative changes that could help drivers who may still be enchantedly in a trance from all the animals they saw.