Search and Rescue Report

5/13/2004 to 5/15/2004
Lincoln Creek Fromation, Wahkiakum County, Washington

Thursday May 13th, NARG members traveled to Wahkiakum County in SW Washington to search for Eocene marine fossils in the Lincoln Creek formation. We tried a new entry point into a mountainous drainage system. In an attempt to save time and effort we came in from above, off of the end of a closed logging road, instead of the usual four-hour hike up the creek. The first mile was an easy downward walk to the end. From there on we had to bushwhack 1800 feet down a very steep ravine, covered in dense brush and tangled, felled trees with running water and slick rock underneath. It was a trial, even the three dogs whined as they struggled to get through. We did get down though, and after a short sit in a chair, some cold libation, our sense of humor and energy came back. We saved about an 1 1/2 hours in time, but we agreed that the long walk in from the bottom was preferable.

Our campsite was on a flat shelf of rock at the base of a 10 foot high waterfall with a deep pool at its base. The cliffs all around were festooned with vibrant green plant life of which I could only identify some. When the sun came out and back-lit them it looked like some primordial jungle. Few people have been in here judging by the lack of any trash or fire-rings. After a good meal we filtered water from the creek to replenish stores. We hit the sack early and slept like logs with the "white noise" of the falls in the background.

Friday May 14th- Morning temperatures: air=42d., water=45d. After breakfast we climbed around the falls and dug reworked concretions out of the creek bed and cliff exposures. Some of these were as big as basketballs and difficult to split with many blows from the crack-hammers. At the base of one 200 foot cliff, nearly every concretion had a Ranina ranina crab. Also found were clams, gastropods with barnacles attached, dentaliums and petrified wood.

We had a great dinner around our campfire with members sharing gourmet treats they had humped in. We talked about our day's finds and the beauty of this remote mountain area. The dogs seemed to be enjoying themselves and were our constant companions.

Saturday May 15th-Morning temperatures: air=46d., water=45d. We had a light breakfast and broke camp. We sorted the fossils into those we wanted to pack out and others we cached. This is the first time my backpack was heavier coming out then going in. The route out is a wandering path crossing and re-crossing the creek around and over logjams, mudslides and dense underbrush. In the creek below more Ranina and Pulalius are found. There are many "rub" trees along the banks, where Deer and Elk have polished their antlers. With slick-rock and mud underfoot, some members used two walking sticks for stability. It is hard enough traveling through this area without the heavy packs. Fortunately, nobody was injured and we were out to a road in good time.

Humans in attendance: Bill Sullivan, Jerry Rawdon, Steven Bland, Andrew Bland
Dogs in attendance: Frank, Victor, and Steve

Trip Pictures

View of camp from above the falls.
Lincoln Creek exposure with large embeded concretions.
Steven and Andrew digging for concretions.
Large concretions rolled out of the stream.
Steve and Frank
Frank and Steve getting ready to head out.
Victor (7 months) .
Bill, Steven, and Andrew
Bill, Steven, and Andrew packing out but still continuing to search.