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Second Trip to the Green River Formation in Kemmerer, WY

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With my wife still out of town for a couple of weeks and the kids back in college, It somewhat frees up my routine of family life and I get to be spontaneous with my schedule.  So a second road trip up from Salt Lake, UT to Kemmerer, Wy. A beautiful drive of 155 miles which supplies enough scenery to enjoy every mile. Red rock canyons, granite canyons, terrain change for high mountain desert to higher elevation, very treeless and windy with cooler temps.  And definitely less crowded! The quarries are at 7300 feet above sea level which makes a bit of an affect on the human body coming from lower elevations, even my altitude of 4500' ASL.


Upon arrival at a different quarry than my first excursion I felt ready to go at it. The crew gave me the orientation- the do's and dont's and set me free.  And off I went into the splitting rows of rock. About 10 vehicles with solos or couples were already on site by 9:45am when I started my session. As expected, the common finds were knightia and diplomystus with a few  mioplosus, cockerelites and priscacara  found now and then among the fossil enthusiasts.


I chose a 4 hour session so I got busy. Three hours into it I realized I wasn't needing a bathroom break and began to feel gassed out. Dehydration just kicked my backside. Stupid me. I took a break and started drinking and eating some fuel. I slowed down for the last hour but was still lagging. My storage rack was full and another pile beside the "harder" rock plies away from the easy stuff were ready to load.  Both rock supplies were pretty much equally productive. One was just harder = big hammer, big chisel to get them started cleaving.


The highlights of the trip: Being there!, seeing families and couples enjoying their adventures, meeting a capable, attentive manager & crew of the quarry, the squeals from the kids who found a fish!, talking with the other fossil hunters, and off course finding more than plenty of fish to take home. Oh, and two stingrays and a gar fish were found while I was there. Not by me ...but everyone celebrated. Especially, the second stingray found by a lady in her early 90's.  She said she had waited 30 years to do this.


The lowest points: time raced by which led to my bout with dehydration. One plate broke on the way one = fixable, but as you can guess right on the fish, and not taking many photos, 


I ate an apple, PB&J sandwich, two Capri Suns, a soda ( yeah, bad for dehydration, oh well ) and a Gatorade, Then stopped in town and bought Advil, another soda, ( bad Steve ) a Cranberry juice and felt the rehydration take effect. 


While in town I followed up with a recommendation by Kris -aka - Ptychodus04  to stop by In Stone Fossil shop. So glad I did. A total ball out of the park homerun. The proprietor was incredible and we hit it off. Especially as soon as I mentioned Kris from Texas. She lit up with enthusiasm and praises about him. And there on the wall was " The Bird"! WOW! is all I can say after having seen the prepping thread images here on the forum, there it was less than a foot away. Amazing prep work in every aspect of the bird. The hostess said let's get a picture of you with it. Okay...I was dirty and tired still recovering from the dehydration and nausea. Being in the shade and down almost 500' in altitude helped a lot. 


 The Bird



The Gar Kris prepped. Incredible presentation...I think he said he logged 107.5 hours on it..



And the Gar fish proper without the derelict old guy running on steam and adrenaline...lol




The palm fronds were among my favorites in this candy store. Amazing!


A table top.



A massive 45 X 67 inch gorgeous Sabalites powellii, palm frond.



And to top off the visit/tour of the fossil shop, the proprietor, out of the blue says. Let me show you something. Since you know who Kris is ( i clarified that our relationship is via an internet forum about fossils, not a face to face personal acquaintance). She said that's okay, follow me.

Through a couple of doors and I'm in the prep room and there in front of me is the 13 foot crocodile on the table. 

Wow! this beast is insane! Looks ready to bite your head off, I mentioned that the bone is like milk and dark chocolate in color and she said we call it mahogany. It does look like the mahogany obsidian chunks I have in my rock garden...only in the shape of a prehistoric reptile. There were chomp marks on its mouth and scutes on its back. Something bigger and badder got ahold of it at some point. Probably a bigger croc or mating partner. croc.




A view into the air abrasion box.







And...the Gar fish and a stingray found at the quarry.









Well that's a wrap on this part. I gotta get to the airport to pick up a daughter flying in from Nash-Vegas. All my finds are in the man cave and I'll start going through them soon enough and add a few pics of my finds. 


I have one more free weekend coming up....wonder what I should do for 3 days?...hmmm. Go hunt Ammonites, Trilobites  or Green River fishies?




Edited by SPrice
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Excellent report ! And what a pleasure to see the preparations of Kris exposed as well !



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Thanks, Coco! The Fossil Shop was indeed a highlight of the trip. Kris's work is an inspiration to motivate me up the preparation learning curve. Long way to go for sure.

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you were at the quarry with a friend of mine from here in Casper.  That stingray is now here with me for prep.  Funny to see it here on the forum as well. 


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6 hours ago, jpc said:

you were at the quarry with a friend of mine from here in Casper.  That stingray is now here with me for prep.  Funny to see it here on the forum as well. 


Small world, right? Best of luck to you prepping it. 

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Here's one of my favorite finds, unprepped thus far. And a few pics of the tubs of plates to prep.


This plate has a very clean fish at the top and another somewhat exploded on a layer many years apart.


Fun and easy prep job, methinks.




Another nice, easy prep. The fish was swimming off the rock.












Next Trip? Back to the Quarry?....or....maybe....right here....abundant palm trees and sequoias to be found.







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