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Who's going to Mazonia-Braidwood/Pit 11 Opening Day 3/1/20?


deutscheben

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Who is going to be heading out to Mazonia-Braidwood State Fish and Wildlife area for the start of the Pit 11 fossil hunting season on Sunday? They are forecasting a high of 58 degrees right now, practically t-shirt weather! (but watch out for those ticks) 

 

I am planning to be there Sunday and Monday, my first time trying two consecutive days. I hope to run into some other fine forum members out there. :hammer01: 

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I’m planning on going Sunday. My only concern is that despite the high temp the snow might now be melted. 

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I’ll be there at 6:00 am. When the park opens. Parking at eagle lake lot, or up closer to the mining road that leads back to monster lake. I’ll be walking all the way back to the “tip or toe” of monster if anyone’s up for the hike. I’m pulling a wagon. 

Hope to see some of you out there!  

 

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This is something I would love to do. MC material is among my favorites 

Not really an option for me. I live too far away . :shakehead:

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6 hours ago, Rob Russell said:

I’ll be there at 6:00 am. When the park opens. Parking at eagle lake lot, or up closer to the mining road that leads back to monster lake. I’ll be walking all the way back to the “tip or toe” of monster if anyone’s up for the hike. I’m pulling a wagon. 

Hope to see some of you out there!  

 

That is bright and early! I have to rent a car so I won't be able to get there before 10:30. 

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Thomas J. Corcoran

I am possibly heading there on Sunday, I am not 100% yet though, I will probably be searching around monster lake.

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I would have been there, but my father in law passed away in Puerto Rico yesterday and I am here now- everyone have a great hunt and hope you find some nice things.

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Tidgy's Dad

Good luck tomorrow, everyone! :Luck:

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10 minutes ago, Nimravis said:

I would have been there, but my father in law passed away in Puerto Rico yesterday and I am here now- everyone have a great hunt and hope you find some nice things.

Condolences, Ralph.

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I'll be there tomorrow, too! Hope to meet some of you. You'll know me - just look for the guy holding a Tully up in the air and screaming for joy... :heartylaugh:

Chris

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32 minutes ago, JohnJ said:

Condolences, Ralph.

Thanks much John

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The best to you and to your wife, Ralph. 

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deutscheben

I'm so sorry to hear that, Ralph, my condolences as well. 

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3 hours ago, Nimravis said:

I would have been there, but my father in law passed away in Puerto Rico yesterday and I am here now- everyone have a great hunt and hope you find some nice things.

Sorry to hear of your loss, Ralph.

 

Cheers,

Rich

 

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2 hours ago, bigred97 said:

I'll be there tomorrow, too! Hope to meet some of you. You'll know me - just look for the guy holding a Tully up in the air and screaming for joy... :heartylaugh:

Chris

Not if I get there first... good luck tomorrow!

 

Cheers,

Rich

 

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Sorry for your loss Ralph.

 

I am waiting for the esconi hunt, and hoping it's not one of my work weekends.

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6 hours ago, stats said:

Sorry to hear of your loss, Ralph.

 

Cheers,

Rich

 

Thanks Rich- good luck.

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deutscheben

I was happy to see a fair number of people out at the park today, including a number of families with kids. It was my pleasure to run into and spend some time collecting with @connorp as well.

I did not find a great number of concretions, although I did come across a good handful of well-shaped ones, and one giant Essexella that was already split- once I get it cleaned up I'll post it. Here is my bucket at the end of the day.

 

5e5c4caca901d_2020-03-0117_45_35.thumb.jpg.3c9b7f655fe6dbbc65e3a19c321c0e71.jpg

 

And here is a scenic shot of the Mazonia landscape, looking back down a slippery brush-filled slope I had just climbed. It's not easy hunting, but I can't deny the allure of the mysterious concretions. :zen:

 

5e5c4d5602def_2020-03-0117_45_05.thumb.jpg.009eec531859179df785ddf208c94c07.jpg

 

I'm going out again tomorrow to try a few other areas in the park and see if I can fill my bucket up a little more- every concretion counts.

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Tidgy's Dad

Looks pretty cold, but at least you've found a fair few concretions. 

Good luck with those and good luck tomorrow.:)

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23 hours ago, Nimravis said:

I would have been there, but my father in law passed away in Puerto Rico yesterday and I am here now- everyone have a great hunt and hope you find some nice things.

I'm sorry to hear of this, Ralph.  I hope you and your family are OK.

 

Don

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1 hour ago, Tidgy's Dad said:

Looks pretty cold, but at least you've found a fair few concretions. 

Good luck with those and good luck tomorrow.:)

Actually it was quite warm – almost 60F. Which was nice, save for the snow melting and creating some very slippery hill slides.

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deutscheben

Here is the big Essexella I found on the first day- in fact, it's actually is the biggest  one I've found yet, nearly 5 inches tall! I was only able to find one half of the concretion, though. 

 

5e605a9b5fd2e_2020-03-0416_21_11.thumb.jpg.fdac2d980954119ff96576d0c19bc091.jpg

 

The second day of collecting on Monday was even nicer than Sunday, with clear skies and things starting to dry out. I only saw two other cars in the South Unit all day, although the parking lot at Braidwood Lake was packed full of folks there to fish in the beautiful weather. 

 

I decided to hit up some spots at the park that I hadn't collected from in 3 years. While hiking to them, I saw a few sets of footprints heading in the same direction and I worried I might have been beaten to the punch. Even though I have been collecting from Pit 11 for 5 years now, my repertoire of successful sites is limited- I just don't get up to the park as much as I would like in order to scout out new spots. But my worries were unfounded- even though there were footprints near the spots, I quickly found easy-to-see concretions out in the open that would have been difficult to miss. 

 

After searching for 5 hours, I was able to double my finds from the first day, and the concretions were much more consistently large and well-shaped. 

 

5e60fc32e9dd8_2020-03-0416_24_12.thumb.jpg.35415778af822080a31332457e091aae.jpg

 

I'll share some in situ photos in my next post. 

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deutscheben

Here was a nicely positioned concretion from the second site- this spot had great views and some excellent sun exposure. 

 

5e60fdd94a562_2020-03-0507_25_20.thumb.jpg.c665ebd09ae62594f5dfdecedfaef912.jpg

 

Both spots featured very steep slopes, so I got a great workout climbing and pulling my way up (and often sliding back down!). Here are the results of one such slide from the first spot I stopped at. 

 

5e60fefdb2125_2020-03-0416_22_31.thumb.jpg.31e1dddf72850ede814842a82445411c.jpg

 

And finally here is little sample of the experience of searching for fossils at Mazonia-Braidwood  - can you find the 2 concretions in this picture? 

 

5e60ffa274dfa_2020-03-0416_21_55.thumb.jpg.e50a9c2d4353bb722a8a32a66852ff54.jpg

 

 

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Nice report @deutscheben! I was one of the other cars in the lot on Monday. I agree it was a nicer day for collecting. I actually thought Sunday was a little too warm for all the protective clothing I was wearing. I walked all the way around Ponderosa Lake on Monday, checking for new places to find concretions but I had very little luck. Around 1pm I was thinking the day would be a bust but then I found a nice little gully that was productive. Of course it will be weeks or months before I really know if it was a good day or not, from a fossil standpoint, but it was a beautiful day to be out in nature so I have no complaints either way. Chris

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