Well, it was a great trip, despite several setbacks.
My son, Aidan, and I were on track to be at the site by about 8:30 am, when the monkey wrenches started to hit!
To begin with, I had a blowout on the NYS thruway, about 40 minutes from the site. Had to change the tire (after emptying the trunk of cooler and fossiling gear.) Got it changed to the spare donut in about 15 minutes, but had to double back to Albany for a new tire. Or 4.
(The whole tire incident threw me for a loop, and I regretfully never even got my camera out of the car. When you have limited time to hunt, you end up forsaking certain things.)
So, two hours and 4 new tires later, we were back on the road, and met up with the gang on Creek Road around 10:45 am.
Gus and his kids are the nicest people, and his kids are fantastic fossiliers. They did not stop the entire time, and Gus was great, bringing loads of rock back to the car for them. His sons were very knowledgeable about what they were finding, and had eagle eyes on the ground and rocks at all times.
Carmine I already knew, but it was nice to get to meet his girlfriend, Michelle. It was a new experience for her, as she was more used to surface collecting devonian spots of Western New York, and so shale splitting was a different experience, altogether. Unfortunately, the Utica shale is not as fossiliferous as the Windom shale!
Here we found a crew working on the road, as it had been damaged by recent floods, and access to the main fossil site (down the road a ways) was blocked off by heavy machinery. You can see alot of debris stuck up under that bridge - and flood damage was visible on the other side for about 100 yards from the top of the creek bank.
Carmine and Gus wisely chose to hunt the immediate area. We persevered, though, and were able to hunt under the bridge, and the other side of the creek not too far from the bridge.
The bridge had limestone blocks underneath it (that had been transported and put there by road crews) that were filled with Isotelus trilobite parts.
That was the good news. The bad news was these blocks were some type of dolostone, and very, very hard to break up, and extract fossils.
We decided to try to get to the main site, as they were letting some local traffic through. No dice! But we were able to spot shale beds in the creek, accessable from the other side of the creek. We decided then and there to get across, and hunt that area.
The trilobites were elusive, - we found some cephalons here and there, but they were sparse. More commonly found were some nice graptolite plates, some gastropods (I think,... not sure) and orthocone cephalopods. Some of these were pyritized.
At this point, around 1:30 pm or so, MikeyMig and his crew showed up.
Mikey is a great guy, and if you get the chance to hunt with him, I highly recommend it.
We spent the afternoon, hunting the far side of the creek, and made some cool finds. There were several large orthocones found by Gus and Mikey, and carmine found a graptolite plate that was as big as a dinner table!
Gus's kids were eagle eyed powerhouses, and found some nice trilo bit plates.
Around 4:30 or so, Mikey and Carmine decide it was time to hit the road. We spent a few minutes discussing the day and saying good bye. My son and I stayed with Gus and the kids for about another hour, and then made our way home - with a thankfully uneventful trip.
All in all, a nice meet up, despite some obstacles and the shyness of the Triarthrus trilobites.
I have yet to take pics of most of my finds, but I will include a few here:
These black shales are not the best to be able to photograph, but here ya go.
Graptolite - Climacograptus sp? You can make out the thecae and stipe.
Graptolite and gastropod:
More to come.
Thanks to all those who showed up.
We'll have to do it again.
Thanks for looking.