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Barely a month had gone by since my last trip to New Mexico and Colorado, but I already had plans for this trip in the  works. Primary focus this time, which was a solo trip, was fossil collecting, visiting well known sites that have been on my radar for quite some time. I flew out to Salt Lake City and drove directly to Kemmerer, WY. My first stop there was Fossil Butte National Monument: Here is a view of the visitors center (free admission) and the surrounding barren, but awesome landscape that surrounds it:

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Inside the visitors center is a large display of Green River Formation (Eocene) fauna and flora. The diorama of the lake shore was especially cool: There were, of course fish fossils on display as well as other rare and interesting things:

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The next morning early I was out to the American Fossil Quarry, one of the Green River Formation commercial quarries. This one is located about ten miles outside of Kemmerer, mostly on dirt roads. The Chevy Malibu I was renting had no problem negotiating this. The quarry operators had numerous fresh slabs of limestone out and ready to split. 

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I spent a day and a half splitting the limestone slabs. I was able to collect a number of complete specimens of the two most common fish species; Knightia and Diplomystus:

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In the afternoon of the first day I split a slab of limestone, revealing this nearly complete Phareodus, a predator. Check out the sharp teeth. The following morning another split revealed this mostly complete Mioplosus with both scales and bones preserved. Unfortunately there was a crack running through the front of its head I was mostly able to repair. It's also missing part of its body and tail:

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From the American Fossil Quarry I drove directly to Salt Lake City, stopping at a UPS store where I shipped out most of my Green River finds. From there I drove to Delta, Utah arriving just before nightfall. The next morning early I drove out to U-Dig, a commercial quarry of the Middle Cambrian Wheeler Shale located about fifty miles east of Delta. The vast majority of fossils there are trilobites:

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This was my best specimen: A complete Elrathia kingi. Some of the landscape near the U-Dig Quarry. The dry lake bed is more 20 miles distant. 

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From U-Dig I drove to Ely, Nevada, again arriving just before nightfall. The next day I drove across Nevada on the "Loneliest Highway" Route 50, finally arriving at Lovelock, Nevada. The next morning I met up with Fossil Forum member ynot and two of his friends.  We drove out to a remote site, Fossil Hill, a marine site of the Prida Formation, Middle Triassic. This is a photo of the site and ynot. 

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Here are some of mine and ynot's finds he was generous enough to share with me:

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We weren't the only ones there. We also saw a herd of wild horses:

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I drove back to Salt Lake City and sent another shipment of fossils through UPS. The next day I visited the Utah Museum of Natural History: 

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There were more fossils from the Green River Formation as well as many dinosaurs. Most were found in Utah:

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I'm envious of those Fossil Hill ammonites.  :wub: :wub: :wub: That site has been on my wish list for a long time.

 

Don

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I'm home in New York now still awaiting my last shipment of fossils via UPS. I feel very fortunate I was able to visit three amazing fossil sites that have long been on my wish list and glad the I was able to make some excellent finds. The large and desolate landscapes of the West, though, were one of the greatest benefits. I like to thank ynot for showing me the incredible Fossil Hill site and also the staff at American Quarry and U-Dig for their generous help. 

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All great stuff, but I also noticed those ammonites... I can't remember the last time I saw such nice ones from the Triassic.

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Great report, pics, and finds Jeff! Congratulations on a wonderful trip!

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nice!!! Great finds - thanks for sharing! I was at U-Dig a few years ago. I negelcted to get any pictures of the site. Glad you did! The road up there was pretty rough! 

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Looks like a great trip. Envious of those ammonites, I was lucky enough to hit Kemmerer and the wheeler shale a couple summers back but I have yet to manage to get to an ammonite local and I love those.  Congratulations on a successful hunt

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Congratulations on a successful trip out there, Jeff. :) 

Glad you were able to strike three more sites from your list! 

Looks like I missed out on a great adventure. 

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