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Found 11 results

  1. Inspired by a post last week by @I_gotta_rock, I decided to take a bit of an impromptu trek out to Centralia to add some of the famous white fern plates of the Lewellyn formation to my collection. I say impromptu because I was told I needed some pretty good rock climbing gear to be safe at the site, I ordered some pretty nice rock climbing gear too, still decided to go take a peek before everything arrived leading to one heck of an adventure that still has me smiling from ear to ear. We got our stuff ready to head out bright and early when I immediately hit my first snag, last week's adventure to the C&D canal left me with an absolutely lovely set of scars above my ankles from the thickets of exactly-the-height-of-my-ankles thorn burrs that had overgrown the spoil piles. Given that the scars were still healing, I decided to forego my normal high cuff desert boots that would surely rub against them all day for my trusty pair of low cut boat shoes. I'm pretty good on my feet right it'll be just fine yep. Off we went, excited to check out the mystery 'burning town' and the fossils said to be found there, a decent bit into our drive down 61 I noticed a billboard for 'Deer Lake Pub & Restaurant'. I thought to myself "wait didn't some guy find trilobites behind some bar in Deer Lake?" oh he sure did, queue "Hey hun, wanna have dinner at that nice little pub on the way back? maybe check out the rocks around the random excavator they have in the parking lot?". I got the go-ahead and gave a silent fist pump, two birds with one stone! We had barely any trouble finding the site out in Centralia, thanks to excellent directions from @I_gotta_rock and an encounter with a man and woman on the path out as we were headed in. He held a gigantic slab of black shale as triumphantly as any athlete with a trophy and she followed behind hefting a yellow 5-gallon bucket. Few words were exchanged but I do hope they browse this forum. Not too shortly after we arrived at the slope of scree and made our way to the top to survey the site. The view was breathtaking, overlying the subtle thought of "hold up it didn't look this steep in her photos" - though an adventure we came for an adventure we were going to have. We spent the afternoon slipping and sliding across the scree, maintaining a low center of gravity (butt-scooting) as we clambered up and down the slope. To say the site was plentiful would be an understatement, we were literally walking over layers of fossils. I decided to focus primarily on collecting small/medium sized specimens as the shale was quite fragile and dragging a 15lb chunk of rock up that slope would've brought me too close to my own mortality for comfort. We wrapped up our time in Centralia after collecting our fill and emptying my shoes of scree for the 10th time, leaving enough time for a short drive down 61 to Deer Lake. As the sun was setting we pulled into the parking lot at Deer Lake Pub & Restaurant, parking a stone's throw away from a freshly made cut into the Mahantango beneath a nicely perched excavator. We took a short look around the site, primarily shale/scree with plenty of good looking rocks to hit with a pick. Hoping for a trilobite we lost the race against the sun going down but did make out with a small bounty of brachiopods and a crinoid stem. All told, I couldn't be happier with the day's haul having just finished basic prep work at 10PM. I'd say the finds of the day were a mystery specimen from Centralia that i'm hoping is some sort of seed, a clean/closed clam like brachipod from Deer Lake and numerous well defined small to medium sized fern plates. Site view - Centralia Site view - Deer Lake
  2. I found this nice specimen while hunting for 'white fern' plates out in Centralia, PA. Based off of the size, shape and definition, I'm curious if its a seed of some sort? I left the seed un-prepped with the white silicate mix still present, would love help with an ID
  3. October Ghost Town Hunting

    Last fall, I drove out to Centralia, PA, the famous burning town. The coal vein below the town caught fire, creating random sinkholes filled with toxic gasses. The town was abandoned. The buildings were bulldozed. Only the most foolish set foot in the town limits. Today, however, the fires have mostly followed the coal vein out of town. I was out once in September, just to check the lay of the place, then returned in October to find fresh "No Trespassing" signs. Darn! Six weeks ago, I got a report that the signs were down. The person making the report said they double-checked with the locals in the next town and were told that yes, it was fine to go fossil hunting out there. So, today my hubby and I went to investigate. The signs were indeed own, replaced two with Keystone State logos. One banned motor vehicles. The other announced that the property owner agreed to allow game hunting but a permit was required. That was it. In we went. The fossil outcrop is part of the Lewellyn Formation, which also runs through the now-closed St. Claire site. Lepidodendron, calamites and cordaites cover almost every inch of the shale. The impressions are coated with shiny, black graphite, white pyrophyllite and kaolinite, plus some bits of other colored iron oxides and even some shiny pyrite. If you go, be warned that the slope is steep and treacherous. I used rock climbing gear so that the scree didn't slide out from under me, sending me sliding fifty feet or more down the hill. The woods at the base are navigable, if a bit tangled in spots, and are littered with everything that weathered off of the slope, including occasional large hash plates.
  4. Oligocene Intertidal Bonanza

    The last couple of weeks I've been hitting a sandy shale bluff by the Chehalis River, just west of Centralia Washington. My latest expedition proved to be the most fruitful yet. A leaf impression, found on a big boulder that had broken off from the bluff. I left it where it was. Splitting it off from the boulder seemed unfeasible for the most part.
  5. More Long Cylindrical Shells

    A little while back I made a trip to the Lincoln Creek formation in Centralia Washington and came back with some strange cylindrical shells. Some folks on the forum suggested that they might be ship worm burrows, but I found some more today on a follow-up expedition. I can now safely say that they are all fairly straight, and narrow down into a sharp point towards the end. I found a picture labeled as "Cenozoic Shells of Washington State" on the internet, and one of the shells in the picture seems to be a dead ringer for the things I've been finding. Unfortunately, none of the shells in the picture are labeled. Does anyone know what kind of mollusk they might be from? Edit: Might have just found it! Scaphopods?
  6. I have been slacking in my posts the past couple of trips, so I figured I would catch up. First up are carboniferous plant fossils from McIntyre Mountain, PA:
  7. Centralia's Bright White Ferns

    Deep in the heart of Pennsylvania's coal country runs the Carboniferous Lewellyn Formation. Once a vast tract of swampland, the area was home to 100 ft. tall Calamites (an extinct relative of modern herbaceous horsetails), giant tree ferns and other enormous plants, plus proportionally large insects. The conditions during the intervening millennia were just right for the plants to break down into iron-based minerals, including pyrophyllite and kaolinite, leaving a coating of white powder over the impressions in the rock. In rare spots, the iron minerals come in yellow, orange or red, too. All this makes the fossils stand out in sharp contrast to the dark, gray shale matrix. This is not a place for the timid. The shale is on a steep, slick slope covered in loose scree. The trees that look like good hand-holds are dead and rotten. Below the surface, fires burn in the coal veins, creating a sinkhole hazard all over the ghost town and on to the neighboring towns. However, the place I was hunting is definitely a beaten path these days, so there is probably a low risk of invisible disaster. I always say that no rock is worth your life, but that doesn't stop me from living a little dangerously. I went there for the first time last month. It was a short stop close to dusk. The fog was thick and the rocks were wet. The white powder was hard to make out in the gloom. Today, the light was good, the rocks were dry and the hunting was good!
  8. Got excited by some of the recent (and recently revived) threads on Centralia so I decided to take a ride over last weekend to take a look around. The graffiti highway was packed and there were a few ATVs riding around the dirt trails but I had the strip mine to myself for the afternoon with the exception of a couple families exploring the area that stopped by to chat. It was very warm on the exposure, but I look forward to getting back there as it cools down so I can try to find some premium specimens as the white ferns were just as bright as any I previously saw at St Clair. Here are some of the finds:
  9. First trip to Centralia, PA

    I had my first taste of the Carboniferous period. I made the trip to Centralia PA for a look at the fossils there. I went to coal deposit up the road from the cemetery on 2nd street ( pic below ). Centralia was not a "ghost town" not when I was there. There was a lot of people around. Many looked like they where their for the Graffiti Highway and other for some kind of four wheel event across the street from the spot I was at. The Shale was very soft and I had a hard time picking up anything bigger than 2 inches. I pulled away 3 layer but still had the same problem. I don't know if it would be them same if a kept going. Over all the sit was easy to find, and had a good view. With many fossil to pick from.
  10. So I found these fossils around Tukwila Washington. I'm not looking for an ID but I'd just like to share with you some of the gastropods and bivalves I found along the way And for all you Washington fossil hunters, don't listen to people who say you need to be in Utah to find fossils, they are everywhere here (Information: These come from the Eocene time period 40 million years ago. Some of these fossils are Turritella Uvasana (Identified by Professional) some gastropods, some pecten looking shells (still not sure) and bivalves of unknown species.)
  11. From the now ghost town infamous for underground coal fires. Id's welcome. Gordon Id's welcome.
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