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Experiment: YOU pick the location for my May 2021 Fossil Excursion


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LabRatKing

Okay gang....let's have some fun....a contest of sorts...

 

As an experiment, I'm going to have you folks here at the TFF choose the location my fossil hunting/camping excursion for May 2021...

 

There are a few minimum requirements, however:

Will take place over the Last Weekend in May, 2021 so I have up to 5 days available. Keep in mind, I allow a day to get there and a day to get back)

Location must be no more than a ten hour drive from Omaha, Nebraska. (You can use Google maps or the like to figure drive time from Omaha)

Primitive/Disbursed/Car camping must be available in the vicinity (Prefer no franchise campgrounds or RV parks, and I do not do hotels)

Must be accessible to the public AND fossil hunting must be legal. (Though access fees if needed are OK)

Please, no urban sites...the whole point is to get away from the city! Prefer to avoid Bear Country, but other critters are not an issue.

 

Folks are welcome to join me, but prefer not to have the added hassle of kids and pets!

 

 

"Contest" ends Saturday, May 8th at midnight, Central US Time Zone

Trip may be delayed on short notice due to extreme weather or pandemic restrictions.

 

I'll post up a way for folks to vote from all of the viable submissions on May 9th...and then I'll find out what sort of trouble you folks got me into!

 

Winner gets a bunch of specimens from the site shipped to them- have to do your own prep work though!

 

 

OK! Go go go go go! Where do you want to see me brave the elements and bust open some rocks for dead stuff?

Edited by LabRatKing
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daves64
21 minutes ago, LabRatKing said:

Location must be no more than a ten hour drive from Omaha, Nebraska. (You can use Google maps or the like to figure drive time from Omaha)

So I guess Mars is out of the question then... :D

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FranzBernhard

Nice idea, very generous!

I think, St. Leon, Indiana, with this famous Ordovician road cut is within 10 hours. So, sent me over a few of those nice hash plates ;):DOH:.

Thank you! :D

Franz Bernhard

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daves64

There's the Ashfall Fossil Beds State Historical Park in Royal. 12 myo ashfall fossils.

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LabRatKing
5 minutes ago, daves64 said:

There's the Ashfall Fossil Beds State Historical Park in Royal. 12 myo ashfall fossils.

Fossil Hunting is not legal there.

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LabRatKing
22 minutes ago, FranzBernhard said:

Nice idea, very generous!

I think, St. Leon, Indiana, with this famous Ordovician road cut is within 10 hours. So, sent me over a few of those nice hash plates ;):DOH:.

Thank you! :D

Franz Bernhard

This could be a contender...however there appears to be only Recreational Vehicle Camping in the immediate vicinity....I will have to research more!

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LabRatKing
27 minutes ago, daves64 said:

So I guess Mars is out of the question then... :D

Can't go that long without a smoke break!

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Lot of good stuff in your general vicinity. What sorts of fossils are you most excited about?

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LabRatKing
23 minutes ago, jdp said:

Lot of good stuff in your general vicinity. What sorts of fossils are you most excited about?

I'm down for anything fossil-wise. For me it is more about new places and new experiences. My collection is pretty Paleozoic heavy, but I'll take any excuse to NOT be in suburbia!

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minnbuckeye

Camping: Forestville/Mystery Cave State Park. Or Carley State Park 

 

 From there, many opportunities exist to hunt Ordovician fossils in SE Minnesota and NE Iowa. Forestville is a popular site. I live right across the road from Carley State Park. Maybe 15 primitive sites here. If you wanted to be even more primitive, You could camp on my property and have 60 acres all to yourself. There is a fire pit and I will mow a spot for you right next to the trout stream. 

 

Mike

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DPS Ammonite

I see that you are slightly under 10 hours away from north Texas. Visit one of the most diverse Pennsylvanian sites around in Jacksboro. The site and camping is in Fort Richardson State Park.

 

https://tpwd.texas.gov/publications/pwdpubs/media/park_maps/pwd_mp_p4506_025k.pdf

 

DPS list of fossils and articles from area:

https://www.dallaspaleo.org/Jacksboro-Study-Group

 

Plus local Forum members might be able to act as guides. 

 

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LabRatKing

Looks like we are getting some great contenders! Keep them coming!

 

Looks like all kinds of future trips are possible!

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Thomas.Dodson

10 hours gets you a lot of good places in any direction. Probably not any public sites in North Dakota worth the trip over other places and it pushes the time constraint (10 hours to Bismarck for example) but if you end up passing through sometime there are some worth a stop at I could advise you on, or get permission for some properties. Certainly lots of good campgrounds here.

 

There used to be a really nice Pierre Shale ammonite site literally across the road from a great primitive campground in the Sheyenne River Valley but it was covered and planted by erosion netting and soil. :shakehead: I never actually got to hunt it before it got covered either.

 

I'd second Minnesota and North Texas if you really want to make the most fossil hunting those 3 days. I'm guessing Braidwood is too close to the city/under it's influence for what you're looking for.

 

I've been looking at public fossil sites in NE Iowa for a trip myself (like minnbuckeye mentioned) but I can't speak of any from experience (yet). There seems to be a lot in the area and great access.

 

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Wrangellian

Some great ones already named... I'd actually like to see you hit any of those sites you were planning to take a group to in Utah/Nevada, but I could not name a specific one as I don't know much about the specific sites, I just know the formation names and that there are lots of interesting Cambrian (and Ordovician) goodies to be found. I've seen 3D Archeocyathids from the Poleta Fm but I don't know if that site is public or private.

Is Bear Gulch in Montana accessible to the public?

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Top Trilo
7 hours ago, Wrangellian said:

Is Bear Gulch in Montana accessible to the public?

Not sure but 10 hours from Omaha would just about take you to the southeast corner, its 12 hours to Billings and then longer the further west you go, almost 16 to Helena

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Wrangellian
28 minutes ago, Top Trilo said:

Not sure but 10 hours from Omaha would just about take you to the southeast corner, its 12 hours to Billings and then longer the further west you go, almost 16 to Helena

OK never mind that one, then.

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The Amateur Paleontologist

Castle Rock and the nearby badlands, in Gove County (Kansas) is well within the 10hr radius (roughly 6 hours travel). As long as you don't dig and shovel into the rock, and just pick up things that are loose/float, I think it should be fine to collect there. 

This is Castle Rock

image.png.a3b83a8f3994cedcf2da51eb76dce506.png

 

And there's some more extensive badlands (better collecting grounds) quite near, just south of that landmark.

image.png.21ac751b6a0e30bdc50e4a4d8a5d9fab.png

 

Basically you can find over there remains of marine creatures that existed in the Western Interior Seaway, which covered part of North America during the Late Cretaceous (roughly 80-90 million years ago). Things you might find include inoceramid bivalves, other oyster fragments, bits of fish bones, shark teeth, and small bits and pieces of marine reptiles if you're lucky.

Here's a link you might find helpful :) http://www.kansastravel.org/castlerock.htm

I might also suggest you get in touch with some TFF members who've done quite a bit of collecting in the Kansas chalk badlands: for instance @KansasFossilHunter @Xiphactinus @Castle Rock

 

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Hi,

 

I would have liked to offer you a trip to Florida for its tertiary shells, but it is well beyond the 10 hours of maximum driving...

 

Coco

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The best sites are the ones we research ourselves. :dinothumb:

I know for me I would feel really weird about pumping strangers for sites that I should be prospecting myself. That is part of the journey, after all. Up here, I can read geologic maps as well as satellite maps and make my own decisions of where I will go, based on what I want to collect. I suppose I might toss out a lure if I was clueless and without means to make that determination myself, but I usually do my homework so do not require that. 

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FranzBernhard
9 minutes ago, Kane said:

The best sites are the ones we research ourselves.

Indeed!

But I understand the motivation of @LabRatKing. Its some kind of bringing together fossil hunting and socializing. I like the idea very much. Especially if he is going to St. Leon...;).

Franz Bernhard

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6 hours ago, FranzBernhard said:

Indeed!

But I understand the motivation of @LabRatKing. Its some kind of bringing together fossil hunting and socializing. I like the idea very much. Especially if he is going to St. Leon...;).

Franz Bernhard

Not seeing much of the socializing bit here... :headscratch:Maybe if there was a planned trip, but so far this seems more a vanity thing to my cynical eye.

 

Anyone who has the means to determine viable spots can make their own decisions. I know I am not going to tell someone what to wear or what to select from the menu. 

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FranzBernhard
4 minutes ago, Kane said:

vanity

I don´t know, would be human, though :).

Franz Bernhard

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8 minutes ago, FranzBernhard said:

I don´t know, would be human, though :).

Franz Bernhard

Plenty of other opportunities for that here by posting great trip reports or galleries! ;) Our members have a lot to brag about! :D 

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Fossildude19
On 4/22/2021 at 1:55 AM, Wrangellian said:

Is Bear Gulch in Montana accessible to the public?

 

 No, it's not. 

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Jeffrey P
On 4/21/2021 at 1:47 PM, LabRatKing said:

This could be a contender...however there appears to be only Recreational Vehicle Camping in the immediate vicinity....I will have to research more!

I'm a tent camper and I've stayed at Versailles State Park campground less than an hour from there and I see there are other state park campgrounds even closer just north of Brookville. Besides St. Leon, there are other Ordovician and Silurian sites in that vicinity. 

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