Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Untold Story #5: Backyard Terrors

Not too long ago, I learned about a dinosaur park in Bluff City, Tennesse called Backyard Terrors. We camped in the area with my parents over Labor Day but didn't make it to Backyard Terrors, so I decided the little kids and I would check it out while heading south to my parents' house. I hadn't seen my high-school friend Matthew for something like seven years, and he lives near Backyard Terrors, so I asked him to meet us.

The experience was wonderful in every way. I slipped some money into a donation box, but there were no required, admission fees. The park is surprisingly big; we spent hours! Chris Kastner's dinosaurs are realistic and different from the concrete and fiberglass creations we've seen in the past; these are made from vinyl over wood and wire frames (source). The wooded setting is perfect. There are educational signs and even a little archaeology exhibit for kids. Much to Clementine's delight, there were free-roaming cats. Much to Chip's delight, there was a slide.

I enjoyed being with Matthew. We carried the party over to dinner, where his girlfriend Julie joined us. It was fun to watch the kids interact with them and especially fun to watch Charleigh with Matthew. I saw a side of her I'd never really seen before; she dialed instantaneously into who he is and subsequently fell in love with him in about five minutes. She gave him a hard time in much the same way I did when we were in school. He ate it up, of course. Little Brandee.

I blogged, once, about the time Matthew and I almost died together (<Click to read about it.), but I've otherwise been mostly remiss in blogging about him. I'll tell you more of our story, next.

Photo Credit: The Wild Orange

Photo Credits : (L) Random Photo Booth, (R) Matthew Byrd


  1. Now *this* is a very cool place! Much better than 'DinosaurLand' near Front Royal.

    Thanks for the article link, and I found some cool YouTubes about this place.

    You always seem to find these neat, out-of-the-way places...if you ever find yourself smack dab in the middle of WV, check out 'The Mystery Hole':



    1. Oh, I've been to the Mystery Hole. I've even blogged about it. I am passionate about these sorts of places and hunt them out strategically. Thanks for being here, Andy. I miss Jay.

    2. I love Dinosaur Land, by the way, and am a huge Mark Cline fan. Those dinos have really stood the test of time. The biggest leg up that Backyard Terrors has, imho, is the extremely wooded setting. So much more realistic.

    3. Looks like Mark has done lots of great stuff...didn't realize he did pieces for Dinosaur Land (nor did I know he lived in Md as a kid, and helped with Elioak Farm.)

      I miss Jay too. :-(