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With today being a chilly (54 degrees) and rainy day, I decided to attend a dual club (ESCONI and the Rock River Valley Gem & Mineral Society) trip to a sand and gravel quarry near the Rockford, Illinois International Airport- the quarry at this location is aptly named "Airport Pit". This pit contains piles of sand and small glacial till cobbles. I have never been to this location and was not sure what to expect, except that fossils could be found there. The rocks at this location that contained fossils are smooth and roundish and though I found fossils, there was nothing great. Between the two clubs, I believe that there were about 12 participants, including our own Lisa @Mud Girl. Here are some pics of the area- Walking on these piles reminds me of scree fields- You walk up 3 feet and slide down 2 feet. What would this post be without a picture of an airplane. Here is a pic of Lisa checking out some pretty rocks. She was very happy with her new Pink Hardhat that she bought for this trip. Here are some finds- Receptaculites- When I first saw these next pieces, I thought that they were Bryozoan, but now I am not sure. Tony @Peat Burns and @Herb , what do you think? Or anyone else on the forum please chime in. Here are some other pieces that I found- Here is a pretty piece that Lisa found- Though we both had a lot of fun collecting at the Airport Pit, I do not believe that I would ever collect there again since I is not my type of collecting.
My kids and I made a trip to the Burpee museum in Rockford Illinois twice in the last 2 months. There is a children's museum that is housed in an interconnected building if you are visiting with children. We got in free to the Burpee museum with our Milwaukee Public Museum membership, so worth a check if you are a member of a museum. I try to find museums that are half price or free with our membership for our family to travel to, and the astc pass that comes with most museum memberships makes these memberships more than worth the money. The museum itself is pretty easy to find, with free parking, which is a nice change up from most of the museums we go to. The museum has a juvenile t-rex named Jane, which is what the museum is probably most famous for. I've included a pictures below of it(although it got chopped a little trying to fit in the nameplate). On this same main level there is a room filled with triceratops and related skulls, some real, some casts. There's also the typical set of chronologic fossils that one can find on the main and 2nd floor. The 2nd floor also has a bunch of minerals in a couple display cases. In the lower level, they have a pretty decent assortment of green river fish, as well as a prep lab, which one of the weekends had its window open with a graduate student explaining what he was doing. He was very friendly and we talked for a few about prepping of fossils. The upper level of the museum has a modern history area, along with a kids room that has a bunch of things like puzzles, dress up, etc for kids. The museum itself is probably a tenth of the size of the Field Museum, which is obviously the more famous museum in Illinois. However, if you're in the area and want to kill an hour or 2, it's worth checking out in my opinion.