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Heffalump

Hi! My son (10) has been very interested in Mazon Creek fossils for years, and has been asking to go down and try to hunt for fossils there. He’s quite serious, knows a lot about Mazon Creek for a kid, and has experience with both all-day hiking and moderately successful fossil-hunting. Is there any chance that someone does (or would do) a guided trip there? I would feel so much better trying the trip if we had more expert help. I know he can handle a long day in the sun hunting - but I honestly don’t have the skill to be 100% sure of what I’m doing, and I certainly don’t know exactly where to look, especially if the fossils might already be picked over by now.  Do you know of any organized trips, or anyone who might be willing to take us out there for a fee? Thanks in advance!

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minnbuckeye

There is a organized hunt scheduled in August that is done in a stream in the area. One of the sessions is for beginners. I wish I could remember who to contact for this. maybe someone can chime in. They do charge for this but it comes with a dinner!! 

 

Mike

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connorp
1 hour ago, minnbuckeye said:

There is a organized hunt scheduled in August that is done in a stream in the area. One of the sessions is for beginners. I wish I could remember who to contact for this. maybe someone can chime in. They do charge for this but it comes with a dinner!! 

 

Mike

https://iandmcanal.org/event/mazon-fossil-tour-new-collectors-day/

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bigred97

Another good option is ESCONI, go to esconi.org. Pretty inexpensive for a 1 year family membership (I think it's $20) and they run various field trips that you don't pay extra to join. One is to an old shaft mine spoil pile (a big hill) where you look on the surface for concretions (fossils can be found inside) and you can also dig to find them. They typically do a Sat/Sun in May and another in Sept. The nice thing about either of these 2 guided trips is that the guides are very good and especially with kids.

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Heffalump
4 hours ago, connorp said:

Thank you! This is so helpful!  We may try to go down there on our own sooner, but we may do this regardless. 

2 hours ago, bigred97 said:

Another good option is ESCONI, go to esconi.org. Pretty inexpensive for a 1 year family membership (I think it's $20) and they run various field trips that you don't pay extra to join. One is to an old shaft mine spoil pile (a big hill) where you look on the surface for concretions (fossils can be found inside) and you can also dig to find them. They typically do a Sat/Sun in May and another in Sept. The nice thing about either of these 2 guided trips is that the guides are very good and especially with kids.

Now this is very exciting. It's not clear when they're starting field trips up again, but I sent an email to see if there are any in the works.  Even one field trip or junior event would be more than worth the membership fee!  It seems like at least before Covid they went to a lot of interesting places. 

 

I may try to take him down there in a couple weeks, just to try our hand at it solo.  If there are any good tips for people trying it for the first time - what to look for, how to remove things safely, etc - I would love to see them!  

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Nimravis
On 3/25/2021 at 2:26 PM, Heffalump said:

may try to take him down there in a couple weeks, just to try our hand at it solo.  If there are any good tips for people trying it for the first time - what to look for, how to remove things safely, etc - I would love to see them!  

When you select the weekend that you plan on going down, you should re-post on this thread and maybe someone who is going during that same time can hook up with you guys and can show you around.

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On 3/25/2021 at 2:26 PM, Heffalump said:

Thank you! This is so helpful!  We may try to go down there on our own sooner, but we may do this regardless. 

Now this is very exciting. It's not clear when they're starting field trips up again, but I sent an email to see if there are any in the works.  Even one field trip or junior event would be more than worth the membership fee!  It seems like at least before Covid they went to a lot of interesting places. 

 

I may try to take him down there in a couple weeks, just to try our hand at it solo.  If there are any good tips for people trying it for the first time - what to look for, how to remove things safely, etc - I would love to see them!  


I agree with doing the esconi trip if you’re unsure about doing the hike. I’ve taken my kids a couple times, one as young as 4 before they changed the age requirements. I’m not sure with covid what the plan is. I didn’t go last year as I’m a healthcare worker and avoided people other than my family and needs at the store in case I was infected. It’s super easy, and you don’t need much for tools. Some bring shovels or rock hammers. Many times there are volunteers who give the kids free fossils as well. For a first time fossil hunt, you can’t go wrong with it. You get a monthly newsletter as well via email. I just got it yesterday and it says they are still trying to figure out about the trip in May. 

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