of NATURAL SCIENCE
McFADDIN BEACH TRIP
April 3, 2004
LOCATION: McFADDIN BEACH is roughly that area from High Island, Texas
East to Sabine Pass, Texas along the Texas
We will meet at the PMNS Office, 630 Uvalde Road, Houston, Texas 77015-3766
DATE: Trip was taken on Saturday Morning, April 3, 2004
PLACE: We met where Texas Hwy 124 hits the Beach. When you arrive at the point where Texas Hwy 124 runs into the beach, which is where this highway used to run into Texas Hwy 87, there is a kinda circle. The main road turns to the right toward Bolivar Point. There is a road which goes to the left toward Sabine Pass. You can get to the Beach several places in that area, so just try to be where Texas 124 would hit the Beach if it went straight through. There are no obstructions, so it should be easy to see each other here. You follow the Beach East, closing your eyes as you go through nude beach, and continue on to about 3 miles on and you will see where the sand has eroded off, leaving the 'Beaumont Clay'. It is in this clay that Pleistocene fossils are found.
WHAT TO TAKE: You don't need much in the way of digging tools. Carry something like the Home Depot orange bucket, i.e. something which water won't damage; is easy to carry; is easy to sit down; and is very visible.
WHAT YOU WILL BE LOOKING FOR: This is an alluvial area from prehistoric times. That means that rivers washed debris down from the more recent Pleistocene epoch and on into the present, Holocene epoch. There are some Indian artifacts. The July, 1996 issue of Texas Highways Magazine and other sources credit McFaddin Beach with having had more Clovis Points found on this Beach than any other location in North America. The Clovis Points were the spear points used by ancient Indians dating as far back as 14,000 years ago or so. They are unlike the fluted points of more modern Indian arrows. Even then, these are extremely rare, so don't expect to find one. A member of Houston Gem & Mineral Society has found two Clovis Points here.
There are also Pleistocene mammal fossils and invertebrate fossils to be found here. Your curator has found about three Pleistocene Bison teeth, a portion of a Pleistocene horse's jaw with four teeth and a few other bones, both Pleistocene and some which are probably recent and not actually fossils, although they can appear to be. There have been Mammoth fossils here along with horse and camel (Llama and camel were about the same thing so they are often interchanged in identification).
There are also nice shells on McFaddin Beach from time to time. One of the best times to hunt the Beach is after a big storm and especially after a Hurricane.
WHAT TO TAKE: Bring long sleeved-shirts and pants--avoid skin cancer by covering up, and that includes big hat to cover your face and the back of your neck. Sometimes insect repellant is needed, but most of the time not. Good walking shoes, preferable something that water, salt and especially tar won't ruin. You can clean the shoes later with a product called "Goo Gone" available at most drug stores, to get tar off the shoes.
Do take water or fruit juices so you don't get dehydrated. You will probably stretch your legs and muscles you forgot you had, but that won't hit you until you are back home on your own, so we can safely take no blame for that.
YOU NEED TO SIGN AN ASSUMPTION OF RISK FOR FOR THE PROCTOR MUSEUM OF NATURAL SCIENCE which we have created. A copy can be printed out when you CLICK HERE. Fill it out and bring it with you to the Beach and turn it in to your PMNS Curator.
This is a good exercise trip and you might find something very valuable. Most of the good stuff is around where the mud layer is. Bring a camera if you wish and if you get some good pictures, see that the Curator gets to borrow a print so we can put it on the McFadden Beach page on the PMNS website.
The folks who went on this trip were as follows: