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Upcoming Trip To Calvert Cliffs And Aurora Fossil Festival - Trip Report Update


Hunt4teeth

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Hello Everyone,

The family and I are preparing for a return trip to New Bern, NC and the Aurora Fossil Festival, because we had so much fun last year. On the way, sorta, we decided to make a stop at Calvert Cliffs. This will be our first time there and we will be staying at Matoaka Beach cabins from May 17-19. After that, we head to New Bern until the 25th. If anyone will be collecting in these areas, around the dates I listed, feel free to shoot me a PM and maybe we can collect together. I will have my inflatable kayak, and hope to get some use out of it while on the trip. Also, I hope to collect at Green Mill Run ( water level and weather permitting), as I missed out on it last year. We met a lot of great people last year, and hope to meet even more this year. I know Don (sixgill pete) mentioned maybe FF members getting together for a meet and greet at the festival. So if anyone will be attending the festival and is interested in getting together, feel free to post here and we can decide on a day and time to meet.



Kind regards,

Jay

Edited by Hunt4teeth
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I haven't been there for a couple years now but the last time I saw the cabins they were in really rough shape. I heard that after Mrs. Smith passed the family was trying to renovate the site but just be prepared to camp in a "rustic" environment would be my advice (i.e. lots of bug spray and bring pretty much everything you might bring if you were camping in the woods). Could be much improved so maybe others can chime in that have seen them or stayed recently. That said the entire property itself is gorgeous and the beach there is great. For the price of admission/camping you can't beat it imo. Hit or miss on big fossils (go north) but I have my share of megs/makos from the general area. The kayak is a good idea too. PM me and I can offer some more specific advice if nobody takes you up on going out with them.

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I know quite a few members on here who will be attending the Aurora Fossil Festival. I'll post a discussion topic in the NC section. It would be nice for all of the fossil forum members to meet up some time during the festival.

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As hokie says go north, WAY NORTH. Been a while since i been there but if i remember the cliffs will drop down for a bit and then rise back up for a bit before hitting a bunch of rip rap, This is where i have had my best luck, once again years ago

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Recommend you bring a back pack and/or bags to put shells in if you like to collect shells as well. I have found some nice ones there.

Daryl.

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Thanks for all the responses guys, it is very appreciated!

Hokiehunter - They told me when I booked it that it was very "rustic" and there was no AC and to bring our own linens. The wife and kid are not in to hunting for fossils (though I'm trying), so I booked it more for them (so they are not sitting in hotel while I'm off looking for fossils) then the fossil hunting, as from what I read on the internet, it seems it is not the most productive area. I'm going to send you a PM to get some advice on the kayaking.

Brian - I know last year we talked about all the members who were going, but never set a day and time to meet. I would think Saturday is the day most people attend. Unfortunately I came late thinking the festival would go into the night, but was very surprised how early it ended. I will be checking the NC forum for updates.

Carl - Thanks for the advise, but when you say way north, do you mean way north of Matoaka Beach, or north of Brownies?

Daryl - Thanks, this may be a great way to get the wife involved in hunting for fossils, ha! Last year while in New Bern, we drove over to North Topsail Beach, so I could send time with the family and still look for shark teeth. The wife really liked collecting the moon stones on the beach and even helped me look for teeth for a while (like I said, I'm trying).

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HI to all of the FF members that are going to the Aurora Fossil Festival on May 24 I will have an 18 foot long display of shark fossils at the Festival and anyone that would like to come by on Sunday the 25 to see my Fossil Museum at my home just let me know by the fourm or call me at 252-756-8039. I have around 100,000 fossils that I have collected over the years and I like letting folks see them. See ya all at the Festival. George

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Hey George,

I will look for you at the festival and if I make it out to Green Mill Run (that is my goal this year), I will give you a call, as I would love to see the museum.

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We are going to be at the festival Saturday. :) Planning on staying in New Bern Friday and then driving south to Florida afterwards. I would love to meet more members on here. Aurora is a first for me and we are really looking forward to it. Hoping to see you guys there! :D

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Jay, I am looking forward to meeting as many members as possible at the festival. I will be displaying fossils this year, for the first time, with the NC Fossil Club. I will be somewhere close to George's display. Hope everyone stops by.

Bulldozers and dirt Bulldozers and dirt
behind the trailer, my desert
Them red clay piles are heaven on earth
I get my rocks off, bulldozers and dirt

Patterson Hood; Drive-By Truckers

 

image.png.0c956e87cee523facebb6947cb34e842.png May 2016  MOTM.png.61350469b02f439fd4d5d77c2c69da85.png.a47e14d65deb3f8b242019b3a81d8160.png.b42a25e3438348310ba19ce6852f50c1.png May 2012 IPFOTM5.png.fb4f2a268e315c58c5980ed865b39e1f.png.1721b8912c45105152ac70b0ae8303c3.png.2b6263683ee32421d97e7fa481bd418a.pngAug 2013, May 2016, Apr 2020 VFOTM.png.f1b09c78bf88298b009b0da14ef44cf0.png.af5065d0585e85f4accd8b291bf0cc2e.png.72a83362710033c9bdc8510be7454b66.png.9171036128e7f95de57b6a0f03c491da.png Oct 2022

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Hey Lissa, New Bern is a really nice area, which is why we are going back. The festival and Aurora Muesum are nice as well, and they treat kids really good there, so your daughter should have a lot of fun. Too bad you did not have more time, but I'm sure your trip to Florida will be great. I hope the water levels stay down so you get a chance to hit the Peace River. If I see you at the festival, I will make sure to say hello.

Don - I will make sure to look for the NC Fossil Club display. I saw your picture on the "Let's Put A Face To Your Text" thread, so I will keep an eye out. I posted a pic of my family as well, so if anyone recognizes us, please say feel free to say hello.

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Good luck on your trip Jay! :)

Every once in a great while it's not just a big rock down there!

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What day are you coming into town Jay?

Bulldozers and dirt Bulldozers and dirt
behind the trailer, my desert
Them red clay piles are heaven on earth
I get my rocks off, bulldozers and dirt

Patterson Hood; Drive-By Truckers

 

image.png.0c956e87cee523facebb6947cb34e842.png May 2016  MOTM.png.61350469b02f439fd4d5d77c2c69da85.png.a47e14d65deb3f8b242019b3a81d8160.png.b42a25e3438348310ba19ce6852f50c1.png May 2012 IPFOTM5.png.fb4f2a268e315c58c5980ed865b39e1f.png.1721b8912c45105152ac70b0ae8303c3.png.2b6263683ee32421d97e7fa481bd418a.pngAug 2013, May 2016, Apr 2020 VFOTM.png.f1b09c78bf88298b009b0da14ef44cf0.png.af5065d0585e85f4accd8b291bf0cc2e.png.72a83362710033c9bdc8510be7454b66.png.9171036128e7f95de57b6a0f03c491da.png Oct 2022

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Unfortunately I won't be able to get away from work those days. I will send a PM with some info. Good Luck!

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Hey Lissa, New Bern is a really nice area, which is why we are going back. The festival and Aurora Muesum are nice as well, and they treat kids really good there, so your daughter should have a lot of fun. Too bad you did not have more time, but I'm sure your trip to Florida will be great. I hope the water levels stay down so you get a chance to hit the Peace River. If I see you at the festival, I will make sure to say hello.

Don - I will make sure to look for the NC Fossil Club display. I saw your picture on the "Let's Put A Face To Your Text" thread, so I will keep an eye out. I posted a pic of my family as well, so if anyone recognizes us, please say feel free to say hello.

Oh definitely say hello! :) And do you have a recommendation on where to stay in New Bern? Originally we were planning on staying there 2 nights. We have to be in Jacksonville the 30th though and the extra day gives us more time with my family in Melbourne before then. My daughter is really close to my cousins kids and despite the distance we try to get them together as often as we can. Hopefully next time we won't be so rushed! I am still hoping for the Peace but not banking on it. It would be a first for me! Hope to meet you at the festival and I have an Aunt and cousins that live near Columbus. I lived not far from Cleveland in Willoughby and Willowick not too many years back.
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What day are you coming into town Jay?

I will be in New Bern from the 19th (late) to the 25th, so if you want to hunt let me know.

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Oh definitely say hello! :) And do you have a recommendation on where to stay in New Bern?

We stay at Candlewood Suites because we bring our dog and I think there are only two pet friendly hotels in New Bern. It is nice and fairly inexpensive for New Bern, but does not have a pool, if you are looking for that. We enjoyed it last year, so we are going back this year. There are two resturants that we really liked, and are going back to this year, Morgan's Tavern & Grill and MJ's Raw Bar. Have fun, and make sure to check out the Aurora Fossil Muesum while at the festival, very cool place. Hope to see you there!

Jay

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Hi Nando I sorry that we will not see you & Daina again this year at the Festival but mybe next year you both can make it. Thanks for the kind words. George

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We stay at Candlewood Suites because we bring our dog and I think there are only two pet friendly hotels in New Bern. It is nice and fairly inexpensive for New Bern, but does not have a pool, if you are looking for that. We enjoyed it last year, so we are going back this year. There are two resturants that we really liked, and are going back to this year, Morgan's Tavern & Grill and MJ's Raw Bar. Have fun, and make sure to check out the Aurora Fossil Muesum while at the festival, very cool place. Hope to see you there!

Jay

Thanks! Don told us that's a pretty reasonable place to stay as well. :) I don't think we will be there long enough to miss a pool. MJ's Raw Bar sounds like my kinda place! :) Appreciate the feedback.
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  • 2 weeks later...

Hello Everyone,

Just returned from my trip to Calvert Cliffs and the Aurora Fossil Festival, and wanted to add a trip report. I did a lot of fossil hunting and meet a lot of great people along the way. I will post the details following this post, but will need to break up the trip into a few different posts to make sure I can attach all the photos and not make one long winded post, enjoy!

Jay

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Calvert Cliffs

The family and I spent a couple days at Calvert Cliffs to start the vacation. I need to start by thanking both Kevin (obsessed1) and Jason (hokiehunter) for providing me with a wealth of knowledge of the area and recommendations on how to go about collecting fossils at Calvert Cliffs. Without their help, I would of never found such great fossils.

The first day, we did not get to town until the early afternoon, so I decided to hit Brownies Beach and try my luck. There were already several fossil hunters combing the shore when we got there, so the surface collecting was not so good. However, I talked to everyone I past, and they were all really nice, and willing to show me what they collected (Items included a 3" Meg, a 2" Meg, a few Makos between 1" to 2", and a couple whale verts). I even came across Daryl (cowsharks), who I had meet the previous year in Aurora, and talked to him briefly. I did have some luck at sifting and collected around 100 to 150 shark teeth in the time I spent there, including a couple shark verts. The next day, I took Jason's advice and headed out on the kayak. The area I went to, I did not see another fossil hunter for about three or four hours, and only seen two other collector's as I headed back towards my kayak. I only found between 50 and a hundred teeth that day (as well as some nice shells), but most were collected surface hunting, with very little sifting. I found six really nice Makos that day, with the biggest being just over two inches (hard to tell my the picture below). Attached below are a few of my finds during the two days I spent collecting.

post-10890-0-74712300-1401235578_thumb.jpgpost-10890-0-51115700-1401235614_thumb.jpgpost-10890-0-96048500-1401235644_thumb.jpgpost-10890-0-62765100-1401235742_thumb.jpgpost-10890-0-67876900-1401236521_thumb.jpg

In the last photo, in the bottom left corner, there is a broken vert (I assume shark). The vert is more rectangle shape then round. Is this a certain type of shark, position, or patho?

Here are a few area pictures of the cliffs, including a small wall collapse (which you would not want to be under when it happened) and a massive wall collapse (which if you were anywhere near, you would become a fossil, probably not being found for several million years). The picture does not show quite how massive it really is, but those who have seen it, know what I'm talking about.

post-10890-0-00703000-1401236421_thumb.jpgpost-10890-0-54484500-1401236350_thumb.jpgpost-10890-0-95868000-1401236374_thumb.jpgpost-10890-0-65668400-1401236403_thumb.jpgpost-10890-0-72427300-1401236493_thumb.jpg

Hope you enjoyed the report. I will post the my Neuse River (North Carolina) kayak trip tomorrow.

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Hi Jay, Thanks for posting. I was wondering how you did. That 2" mako is actually a really nice find for the area you were hunting. Not too many hastalis teeth over 2" come from there in my experience. Congrats! Sorry to hear you didn't score one of those nice megs but that is really hit or miss these days. It's not uncommon for me to got 3 or 4 trips without one and then get 2 or 3 on a random day with similar conditions. Still a nice haul though and looks like the weather really cooperated for you so glad to see that as well. Looking forward to seeing how the rest of your trip panned out. The Neuse is on my list of spots to hit one day. Congrats again on what looks like a fun couple of days.

Jason

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