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Another Alaska Talkeetna Mountain Hike


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I got a weather window and some time to get out for a hike to the Talkeetna Mountains near my home recently. It is an hour long flight to where I went this time and beautiful scenery on the way there.


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The Nelchina caribou heard uses this area in the spring through fall with their trails

from eons use evident in some areas like this mountain. 
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Alaska’s state flower is the Forget Me Knot with many in full bloom.

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This is at 5,000 foot elevation and the alpine flowers are just now greening up.


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The caribou trails are nice to use if they happen to be where you are going. 

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Bones from a likely wolf killed caribou.
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The formation in the background has abundant belemnites. 
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The spring melt with water erosion moves lots of the loose grey mudstone exposing concretions  with weathering, some fracture open. This large clam was laying on the bottom and next flood will be gone. 
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Fossil Dog (Kobuk) in action trying to get a parka squirrel who had been chipping at him. Entertaining but really we need to keep hiking as we’re 4 miles from the plane and have not gotten to where I wanted to look at another exposure. 

 

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The size if some of the ammonites is impressive with these being chunks at the bottom of the exposure I was hiking too. Kobuk is carrying my water which is something he can’t break in his pack. 

 

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Time to turn around and disappointed as this exposure had looked promising for the bigger ammonites with the float I was seeing in the bottom. 
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On the way back went a different way and found some small gastropods. 
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These slabs of clams were mixed in with conglomerate aggregate and I have seen these type of fossils in several other locations near by. 
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Mixture of fossils and rounded rock. 
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The weather really improved for the flight home making for another spectacular trip. The Talkeetna Mountain in the foreground and Chugach Mountains in the background. Rock glacier is in Hicks Creek valley. 

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Matanuska Glacier
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The area hiked on this trip is in Cretaceous rocks.

There are Jurassic exposures in the Talkeetna Mountains and will get to those sometime too. 
AK Hiker

 

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Great trip! That ammonite piece was HUGE! That would make for a plane load :Horrified:. How many loads would the whole thing take?!

I do love the back country! Glad you are able to get back out. 

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Hi,

 

What a nice adventure report !
 
2 hours ago, AK hiker said:


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Is the pink flower an orchid ? Do you know its name ?
 
Coco
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Great report as usual. Thanks for sharing.

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Havent seen your post for awhile.  Saw you name and knew apon opening it that it would be a great report. 

 

RB

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13 hours ago, Sjfriend said:

Great trip! That ammonite piece was HUGE! That would make for a plane load :Horrified:. How many loads would the whole thing take?!

I do love the back country! Glad you are able to get back out. 

Kobuk would squawk if I put that in his pack I’m sure. :)

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11 hours ago, Coco said:

 

Is the pink flower an orchid ? Do you know its name ?
 
Coco

The common name is Pink Plumes and scientific name is Polygonum bistorta and of the Buckwheat/Polygonaceae family. The leaves are edible per my reference. 

6 hours ago, RJB said:

Havent seen your post for awhile.  Saw you name and knew apon opening it that it would be a great report. 

 

RB

Thanks, I thought of you when I saw the big clam fossil.

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The most unusual and impressive atmosphere we've seen in fossil hunting:Smiling:

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Great report!

 

The large ammonite fragment reminds me of the Parapuzosia I find in Texas.

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Love seeing your reports! Always a joy to view your unique experiences in Alaska. How many of us can say we fly ourselves to our hunting sites in our own plane with a faithful companion in tow? Beautiful scenery, wildlife, and finds. Thanks for posting. :D 

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Uncle Siphuncle

Great trip.  Did I see a killer Neophylloceras in there?

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8 hours ago, JohnJ said:

Great report!

 

The large ammonite fragment reminds me of the Parapuzosia I find in Texas.

I’m working on identifying more of what I see but it is a slow process. As I read more I’m finding out how little I know about the geology and formations the fossils are found in. All very interesting to me and so much to learn. 

 

14 minutes ago, Uncle Siphuncle said:

Great trip.  Did I see a killer Neophylloceras in there?

Yes, this is one of the few ammonites I am able to identify on sight now. Killer is also appropriate for this one as I was distracted putting my phone away and my right foot slipped on the hard surface with my ice axe turned 180 degrees from where I needed to self arrest slid 25’ down the face. Normally I would have cut steps to go out on this face and have done so in the past but there was snow in the bottom so the drop was not that intimidating. My bad with no gloves on got a little scrapped up. Neophyllocerus ramousus I believe. 
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On 6/27/2021 at 5:06 AM, Ludwigia said:

Great report as usual. Thanks for sharing.

Welcome

17 hours ago, FossilNerd said:

Love seeing your reports! Always a joy to view your unique experiences in Alaska. How many of us can say we fly ourselves to our hunting sites in our own plane with a faithful companion in tow? Beautiful scenery, wildlife, and finds. Thanks for posting. :D 

Thanks. Summer finally here in Alaska and getting back out again with two trips back to back.

 

18 hours ago, RuMert said:

The most unusual and impressive atmosphere we've seen in fossil hunting:Smiling:

Thanks, I'm vert fortunate to live where I do and able to get out in virtually untouched areas to enjoy. I was over to eastern Russia several years ago snow sheep hunting in the Koryak Mountains and wilderness there much like Alaska.

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Love your trip reports

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