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Shark Tooth Hill And Other Sites In Bakersfield


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#1 Megalodon_hunter

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Posted 26 December 2010 - 07:43 PM

I am trying to plan a trip to Bakersfield, CA to hunt for Shark Teeth.
According to my Research Sharktooth Hill is the closest place to hunt for mid to large sized teeth near Phoenix, Arizona.

I've read several forums on folks hunting at Sharkstooth Hill. However after searching for awhile I've come up empty handed for contact information or alternate sites.

My nephew is really gifted and I'd love to leave a lasting impression on him. This trip is really important to me and my sister.

We'd love to pass the Fossil bug on to the next generation of my family.

Any help finding a public or private location to hunt would be most appreciated. I plan on doing this sometime in 2011.

Edited by Megalodon_hunter, 26 December 2010 - 07:52 PM.

"One of these day's I'm going to find a tooth over 3inches."

#2 Megalodon Man

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Posted 26 December 2010 - 09:37 PM

ive never been there but have heard of anthill as a location. try watching the videos on youtube of people sifting in bakersfield. That should give you a starting point on trying to pinpoint a locality in Sharktooth hill. lots of luck to you on your quest.

#3 FossilForKids

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Posted 26 December 2010 - 10:04 PM

I am trying to plan a trip to Bakersfield, CA to hunt for Shark Teeth.
According to my Research Sharktooth Hill is the closest place to hunt for mid to large sized teeth near Phoenix, Arizona.

I've read several forums on folks hunting at Sharkstooth Hill. However after searching for awhile I've come up empty handed for contact information or alternate sites.

My nephew is really gifted and I'd love to leave a lasting impression on him. This trip is really important to me and my sister.

We'd love to pass the Fossil bug on to the next generation of my family.

Any help finding a public or private location to hunt would be most appreciated. I plan on doing this sometime in 2011.

The public sites are pretty well dug up. There may be another pay to dig weekend coming up in either Jan or Feb. I'm looking into it. If there is I'll PM you and post it on the forum
If only my teeth are so prized a million years from now!

#4 wally

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Posted 27 December 2010 - 08:18 AM

Somebody here at The Forum, a while back, mentioned that they'd been able to venture to a productive private area (owned by the late great Sharktooth Hill Bone Bed collector Bob Ernst) in the Sharktooth Hill district under the auspices of the Buena Vista Museum in Bakersfield, California. World famous Sharktooth Hill, proper, has long been (since May 1976) a registered national landmark--ergo, it's officially off-limits to unauthorized collecting.

Several folks here probably know of specific, accessible sites still open to hobby collecting. Perhaps they'll let you know where to look in the Sharktooth Hill area via a private message, or email. Anyhow, I'd first contact the aforementioned Buena Vista Museum, which houses probably the single largest collection of fossil material from the middle Miocene Sharktooth Hill Bone Bed (occurs in the Round Mountain Silt Member of the Temblor Formation). You may still be able to sign up in advance for a scheduled dig sometime in 2011. My recollection is that there's a reasonable fee involved to participate in such a museum-sponsored field trip activity.

Take a look at my page "A Visit To The Sharktooth Hill Bone Bed, California" over at http://inyo1.110mb.c...arkbonebed.html for a virtual field trip to an extension of the world famous locality in the vicinity of Bakersfield.

One word of caution, though. I notice that you're based in Missouri. But, if you've visited Phoenix, Arizona, you might have been fortunately pre-exposed (and probably rendered--though not 100 percent reliably--immune to future infection), already, to a potentially virulent fungal disease called Valley Fever, or scientifically Coccidioidomycosis, caused by the inhalation of infectious spores that reside in the uncultivated soils of many portions of the southwestern United States. And the Sharktooth Hill and Phoenix areas contains high concentrations of the fiesty fungus.

It should be pointed out, of course, that the vast majority of infected folks recover without even knowing that they'd caught a case of Valley Fever. On the other hand, a small percentage feel like they've been hit with a mild case of the flu (and they, too, recover without complications)--although, unfortunately, an unlucky tiny fraction of those infected with Valley Fever go on to develop grave symptoms that can advance in rare instances to debilitating and potentially life-threating meningitis. All folks who venture to California's southern San Joaquin Valley district in search of fossils must be aware of the risk of contracting Valley Fever there.




He Inyo,

Is there no medicine or treatment to prevent the valley fever?
Or can you protect yourself against?

Greetings,

Walter

#5 Megalodon_hunter

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Posted 27 December 2010 - 10:00 AM

He Inyo,

Is there no medicine or treatment to prevent the valley fever?
Or can you protect yourself against?

Greetings,

Walter


I've heard of Valley Fever. I've been to Phoenix and SC before and had no issues.
I'm a big man with an Iron constitution.

My only worry is $.. I've committed a lot of $ to my fossil endeavors this year.
"One of these day's I'm going to find a tooth over 3inches."

#6 Nettuno

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Posted 27 December 2010 - 11:29 AM

Shark Tooth Hill 2011 dig flyer is attached

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  • Flyer-for-Digs-2011.jpg


#7 John

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Posted 27 December 2010 - 02:19 PM

He Inyo,

Is there no medicine or treatment to prevent the valley fever?
Or can you protect yourself against?

Greetings,

Walter


No, there is no prevention/vaccine for Valley Fever. I contracted a severe case of Valley Fever myself from a trip to Sharktooth Hill a number of years ago. Having an "iron constitution" is not going to matter. I've dug in the southland for years and assumed I must be immune since I never got sick, but when I finally did it was extremely serious.

Public health organizations here in California estimate that as many as 40% - 50% of California residents have contracted Valley Fever and brushed it off as a severe flu or cold, but in severe cases it is VERY dangerous and persistent. It mimics pneumonia, but cannot be treated with antibiotics which is among the first signs it is a fungal disease. Later, a bright rash appears around the neck which is the distinctive indication of this disease. Treatment generally involves taking oral anti-fungal medications for 3-4 months and these meds are both dangerously hard on liver function as well as costing about $500 per month. In rare cases it can cause a fungal meningitis that is usually fatal.

The fungal spores are inhaled when the soil is disturbed or otherwise vaporized as in grinding or percussion breakdown of sandstones or other porous materials the fungus inhabits. The fungus causes especially large outbreaks in seasons that are abnormally wet, followed by very hot and dry conditions as are typical in Bakersfield (Shark Tooth Hill is practically ground zero for the stuff) and the tar seeps around McKittrick and elsewhere. I think everyone here should be aware that the huge rainfall in southern California this winter is exactly the precondition for heavy spore growth so it may make 2011 a high risk year for Valley Fever.

I actually contracted Valley Fever myself in 2005 and it was the most severe medical problem I have ever had. It took me down for 3 months, making me so weak friends had to bring me food because I couldn't get out of bed. I was eventually given anti-fungals, but it took the quack doctors several weeks to admit that they weren't dealing with a bacterial issue. The "Fever" in Valley Fever was a bizarre rise and fall of body temp on about a 14 hour cycle. It would rise to as high as 104.5 degrees and you sweat like you are in a sauna, then your temp falls and you freeze in a puddle of your own sweat until the cycle starts again. You risk dehydration if you don't push fluids constantly. It's gross and scary, especially since you have an unstoppable, disgustingly productive cough combined with unrelenting muscle weakness. This continues nonstop for close to two months when the anti-fungals finally kick it back to the point that your immune system starts to mop it up. In x-ray it shows as a fabric of fungal hyphae which is especially spooky when you realize it is consuming you as if you are blue cheese.

It's worth noting, too, that I have dug in that region for decades and never previously got sick, so I assumed I must have been exposed at some point and contracted a mild version. I was VERY wrong. You do get a lifetime immunity once you contract and, hopefully, survive the disease, but Valley Fever is not something to take lightly. It can be an extremely serious disease. I know. I had it and it was very costly. My lungs are permanently scarred by the disease which has made me more susceptible to respiratory illnesses that I NEVER got in the past.

One last note. Evidence suggests Asians and African-Americans have a higher susceptibility to Valley Fever, although I don't know if this is a sampling bias or a real epidemiological difference.
When you're riding in a time machine way far into the future, don't stick your elbow out the window, or it'll turn into a fossil. - Jack Handy

#8 wally

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Posted 28 December 2010 - 08:50 AM

Thank you John for the reply.
I hope one of the next years to go over there,maybe there is at that time already a treatment!

Walter

#9 Megalodon_hunter

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Posted 28 December 2010 - 08:55 PM

Well I can't make it out there Jan/Feb. :(

Unless $ falls in my lap.
"One of these day's I'm going to find a tooth over 3inches."



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