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Michael Barnes

Texas River Tracing: Paluxy

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We had stumbled on the Paluxy River on a previous trip.

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Paluxy River near Bluff Dale, TX.

The main attraction back then was Dinosaur Valley State Park, where one can, when the water is low, see distinct tracks made millions of years ago. The place was the site of a hoax that attempted to prove humans and dinosaurs lived at the same time. Nearby is Dinosaur World, a commercial outlet exhibiting life-size models, and the Creation Evidence Museum, which self-evidently attempts to refute science.

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Paluxy River near Tolar, TX

Now we returned on this West Texas tour of shorter rivers to pay closer attention the the Paluxy itself. The29-miles river rises northwest of Bluff Dale and tumbles rapidly and clearly through a green, gentle valley lined with hardwoods. We followed it through some rugged hills along winding roads to the vicinity of Glen Rose, then backtracked to the park.

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More Paluxy River in Dinosaur Valley State Park. Water levels up from recent rains.

There, an alert ranger warned us about higher than usual waters. That didn’t bother us much. We scrambled down to the lovely stream and wondered how it had remained so pristine. The ranger told us the flow was controlled up at Possum Kingdom Lake, but that’s on the Brazos River, and the Paluxy is a tributary of that muscular waterway. He must have been confused.

We headed into Glen Rose next, noting the summer cottages along the smaller river, which joins the Brazos nearby. We also spotted again the ominous warts of the nuclear power plant that helps prop up the local economy, along with the vacationers along the Paluxy. The Brazos, by the way, is still quite gorgeous here. Still gotta read John Graves’ “Goodbye to a River.”