A polar vortex struck Texas in July. Temperatures during the day dropped all the way into the 70s and 80s during the day. Temperatures at night dropped into the 60s. Texans learned how those crazy northerners survive their summers.
Visitors to Mineral Wells Fossil Park may hunt for fossils from the Pennsylvanian period for free. Visitors may keep their finds. I don’t think I drooled in anticipation but I may be mistaken.
Paleontologists are just as nerdy. There’s an earthcache here! A geocacher may choose to either answer a few questions about the area or may post a picture of his or her fossil finds.
My advice for those choosing to visit the park:
- Plan to stay only 1-2 hours.
- The road isn’t paved all the way. Drive in a low gear and slowly once you leave the pavement.
- Bring water and a cooler filled with ice. There’s no water available.
- Wear close-toed shoes and jeans.
- Bring sunscreen. There’s no shade.
- Bring a hat. There’s no shade.
- Wear sunglasses. There’s no shade.
- There’s a port-a-potty if you absolutely need to go. Personally, I’m terrified of finding a snake, spiders, or scorpions basking in the shade of the port-a-potty. Go to the restroom before visiting the park.
- Bring plastic baggies to store your finds.
- Bring knee pads. You may spend time on your knees.
- Be aware of the wildlife (see bullet above).
- Read the information board. It’ll help you identify your finds. (We found lots of crinoids.)