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Found 14 results

  1. High Desert Hiatus

    Often on The Fossil Forum you strike up an online friendship based on common interest, then build on it over time through field experiences enjoyed vicariously online, but it is a rare treat to finally cement that friendship in person through a collaborative field problem. After a couple years of threatening to do so, I finally saw a break in the clouds that afforded me the opportunity to burn rubber westward and follow in the footsteps of the Pied Piper of the Puerco, the Chancellor of the Cretaceous, our own PFooley. As a generalist filled with wanderlust, it is hard for me to find a venue these days I haven’t yet sampled, so if you’ll forgive my verboseness and loquaciousness, I think this adventure warrants the long cut of yarn I’m about to spin, complemented by a montage of photos to capture the spirit of our high desert excursion. I had set aside 4 days for this adventure; 2 for driving and 2 for collecting. ‘Twas a long haul from San Antonio to Albuquerque, probably 14 hours with stops, but satellite radio helps knock the edge off the monotony of the yellow line, as did a quick stop at the Lubbock Lake Paleoindian site to stretch my legs. If you are interested in evidence of interaction between the ancients and late Pleistocene beasts, as most of us are, this was a worthwhile side track when in the area. While flat as a tortilla in places, the West Texas experience brings with it its own brand of sensory overload. High winds blew a huge red dust storm and innumerable tumbleweeds in my path, while driving gritty dust into my teeth. The building adventure was palpable. New Mexico terrain along my route also begged to be clipped off at 100 MPH, so in places, I indulged. Then dust storms gave way to sleet squalls just as I got to I-40 near dusk. With higher elevation I began to see lingering snow on the north facing slopes, and feelings of trepidation ensued with regard to what the previous night’s rain and snow had set up for us at the hunting grounds both in terms of road access and perhaps snow covering the exposure. I calmed my nerves by realizing that conditions in Texas weren’t particularly favorable for the same weekend, so I had made a good decision to hedge on New Mexico for the new experience. At long last, on Friday night I arrived at Casa Fooley. And quite a fun bee hive of activity it was. After some handshakes and back slapping with Mike, I met his lovely wife and beautiful daughter. But the fun didn’t stop there. Los Fooley are animal lovers, so I was greeted by quite a procession of curious pets. Rabbits, dogs, a cat, chickens, a tortoise and a turkey all took turns checking out the new guy. All lived in happy community, for the most part. While one Chihuahua quickly took up residence across my legs, another troublemaker puppy started a fight with my new little friend, and they nipped and yapped at each other on the battleground of my lap as the other critters looked on in nonchalance. Shifting alliances rose and fell between animals, a 3 year old ran through the big middle at will, and I found all of this activity to be rather entertaining. But perhaps the most enduring encounter was with the huge pet turkey following me around in the front yard, stomping its feet and strumming its feathers. Finally I turned around and it let me pet its head, which reminded me of a melted red and blue candle. I was a changed man, having pet a turkey for the first time. Having raised it from a chick, Mike showed me that he could pick up and hold his full grown, feathered friend. To boot, it roosted on a fence by the window where I slept that night, literally 3 feet away from the bed I slept in, silhouetted and standing sentinel.
  2. Peace River Camping?

    Hello All, I would like to take a group of families camping somewhere along the Peace River in Florida to hunt fossils. Does anyone have a suggestion for a campground, or even just a great spot for finding fossils? We don't necessarily need to camp. Thank you for any suggestions!
  3. Hello everyone!! I have picked a couple of locations around Lake Texoma on the boarder of Texas and Oaklahoma. Dose anyone have any good advice for the area? This will be our first trip their and everything I’ve read and researched on the area is roughly 3-4 years old. So I’m looking for some current info. Thanks so much for any help you can give us.
  4. We finally got a chance to make it to Penn Dixie this year. Met up with Jay and had a good time. I made a short video of some of our adventures. I'll be posting a bit more fossil pictures. The brother found several roller trilobites out of the matrix in full condition.
  5. After all of my Nebraska Badland posts, you would think I am a paid promoter for Sioux County and Dawes County, Nebraska. I am not. This area of the panhandle of Nebraska and Southwest South Dakota probably made the biggest impression on me as a teenager, Geology University Student and a parent of two daughters. THIS vacation will make a lasting impression on everyone who enjoys natural history and the Sioux Indian Wars of the 1870's. There is biking, horse back riding, camping, Fort Robinson Playhouse, a Rodeo in Crawford and Harrison, Nebraska, Scottsbluff and the Oregon Trail history, a restored/original Calvary Fort Robinson where you can rent rooms or a building for 12 or more visitors. An Olympic swimming pool. A golf course in Crawford. A huge swimming pool and slides at Hot Springs, South Dakota... The Black Hills... should I go on? Yes... do not forget Chadron, Nebraska to the East of Crawford. Again... do not forget Agate, Nebraska where Red Cloud use to visit, near the Agate Fossil Bed Monument. Also you can find the Buffalo Bill Ranch, North Platte, Nebraska to the South near the North Platte River! I have scanned some brochures I use to give out to friends thinking about a true adventure. This is an area that is wide open. Elevations run 3500 to 3900 feet elevations in the general area. It is DRY but not so high, like most of Colorado, where "flat landers" will need to catch their breath. I have always considered 3000 feet elevation and above the best dry air and cool evenings during the Summer months in the WEST. The air will "pop" with a window slightly open... do not believe me... listen if you live under 1000 feet elevation to the sound of the wind from your car window while traveling, then you will understand. The facilities at Fort Robinson will overwhelm you! The kids will love it. The RV Park is modern, showers at the Camp Ground, Art classes for the kids, Tennis court, Swimming, Biking, Horse back riding, a "kids" Rodeo... TWO museums at Fort Robinson! Crazy Horse was murdered at Fort Robinson. You can stand at the site of his murder... and the restored jail cell he had been held. This IS in the center of the Sioux Uprising, the Indian Wars and near Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota... and go to Wall, South Dakota to Wall Drugs. The BIG Badlands are not too far away in South Dakota. Crazy Horse's grave site has never been discovered... There IS one unusual grave site on a Ranch in the Panhandle that would have taken many people to stack the amount of stones required. It IS Indian... but who might be interred, no one knows as it has never been excavated. Maybe Crazy Horse? Maybe Yellow Hand? History lives in these enchanting Pine Ridges, Bluffs and Grass Lands! It is hot in July, but cool and dry in the evenings. High time for tourists would be the mid June to mid August. Check with Fort Robinson as to when they are open this year and close. Also, ask about the Playhouse that has excellent melodrama shows... great for the entire family to participate! If you have any questions... ask. I have been camping on the National Grasslands to the Northwest of Toadstool Park. You can easily take a car or pickup pulling a camping trailer. They are posted as "Pasture (number). You may be sharing the pasture with grazing cattle as the ranchers will lease these productive grasslands for long term grazing.
  6. For those of you who have dreamed about Middle and Upper Cambrian trilobites in western Utah, this is the publication that will open the door to exploring. The Utah Geological and Mineralogical Survey has printed many well done booklets and books on Millard County, Utah. The intent was to draw in Petroleum Geologists to explore the general areas, but also provide a wealth of information to those interested in Paleontology and Cambrian Stratigraphy. To the west side you can even be directed to Triassic Ammonites, with Pennsylvanian and later outcrops also in the vicinity. The camping possibilities are everywhere. Some box canyons are wonderful... but trying to find a flat spot can be challenging. When I say flat... everything is either up hill... or down hill. You have the Topaz Mountains to the north, Dugway Geodes (good luck finding one...) and Pioche, Nevada mining areas further to the west. Excellent cheeseburgers in Pioche, by the way. The area is... wide open and lacks facilities. So gas up, water up, block ICE and get groceries in Delta. It might be 45 miles to this area... you can check it on the road map... but you cannot miss it. But... finding the right road(s) can be tricky as they split and take a different course quickly. My recommendation... look for the 100 foot power lines strung over the flat country and once you intersect them near shale outcrops... you have arrived. To the north is the U Dig site which is marked along the way as well, and cuts off to the right from some popular Middle Cambrian exposures. Geology of the Canyon, House and Confusion Ranges, Millard County, Utah by F. W. Christiansen & others, 1951.
  7. DSCN3022

    From the album Adventure is an individual thought!

    These are the most unusual chalcedony forms to find in the World. Here is one laid upon some pine needles. Some spots will have so many, you will have to pick only the most interesting ones! Have a collecting bag around your neck to put them into it. Have a walking stick to hike with, do some prodding in thick pine needles. We have seen some rattle snakes, actually one, but it was nearly five feet long a Basalt ridge. Just be aware. Wonderful camping. Well maintained roads. Gasoline, groceries and water to be found in Reserve. On a map draw a fifty mile circle and you are just beginning to find places to hunt. Most are to the north, east and west of Reserve. The locals will help you figure out where to begin.
  8. DSCN3021

    From the album Adventure is an individual thought!

    This is a typical flat to find loose chalcedony. There are areas of Basalt and Rhyolite that you will find the sources of all of the agate and chalcedony. Once you understand lava flows from the Oligocene volcanics... you are on your way to finding the most unusual chalcedony in the world. Step into a Forest Service Office, get the large scale Forest map(s) you need, inquire as to where a good area to begin looking might be... and you are on your way. Make sure you mark where you camped... so you can find it next time and finish looking over the beautiful hillsides.
  9. DSCN2675

    From the album Adventure is an individual thought!

    The area around Reserve, New Mexico has unlimited camping and hiking opportunities. It is very remote and so rugged, that you should mark your campsite with a GPS so you can find it again. Also when you drive to prospect canyons for agate, opal and chalcedony... mark where you parked your vehicle. You CAN easily get lost here. But, there is so much to hunt that a week is not even enough time to begin to know the area. NO camp fires please. Lots of Elk and Deer, some bear. Bring WATER. Bring FOOD. Bring a FLASHLIGHT. You will need it... or travel with us and stretch out and make the best of retirement!
  10. DSCN0799 1

    From the album Adventure is an individual thought!

    Have your dogs pack the water into the back country and pack the finds back to camp. There are so many areas to find agate and opal that you just find a nice camping spot and begin to prospect by walking... and walking... and walking. Even "Apache Tears" can be found north of Snow Lake. Bring a bag to carry them. These are the size of a dime to quarter. The dry creek beds and hillsides are a good place to start... north of Snow Lake are some nice camping spots and the hills further north have the Apache Tears washing out in the dirt roads!
  11. DSCN2829

    From the album Adventure is an individual thought!

    Great spots are hidden from tourists in small National Forest lands. I am metal detecting a local party camp site with the Grand Tetons behind me. Found lots of loose change. Crazy kids must have holes in their pockets. No fossils or rock to find, but a great inexpensive way to visit the Tetons and Jackson, Wyoming... on the way to Yellowstone country to the north.
  12. DSCN2680

    From the album Adventure is an individual thought!

    Sometimes before you go into civilized towns... you have to clean up after a long week of prospecting. Dogs... included. This area is in Irish Canyon, to the north of the entrance of another Dinosaur National Monument access. Rugged, rough and wide open for camping and hiking.
  13. Hi - first post! A friend and I are taking our three kids (ages 6-8) to the Peace River this weekend. Our plan is to screen for fossils all afternoon Saturday, camp in tents at Brownville Park Saturday night, and maybe do a little more screening on Sunday if everyone is up for it. I hope the water won't be too cold for the kids to last for at least a few hours. A year ago my son and I camped at Pioneer Park and did well with small shark teeth and many other fossils in the Wauchula, Zolfo, and Gardner areas. I've never stayed at Brownville, but based on my reading it might be more fun than staying at Pioneer Park in terms of being on a more remote stretch of the river and possibly nearer to good fossil-hunting. It would be awesome to find a small meg tooth or two, but we're not counting on it! For those who know the area, are there decent gravel beds that we can actually walk to from the Brownville campsite, or should we drive to other locations? I've done a lot of searching on this forum and it seems that just about anywhere on the river can be good, but we'll have better chances of finding meg teeth or "rare" stuff the further we go from access points (and of course the deeper we dig). Just wondering if it's worth our while to spend our limited time looking near Brownville Park (upstream or downstream)? Again, we are foot-based for this trip. So excited for this trip - hope to post pictures soon after our return. Any tips appreciated!
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