Search and Rescue Report

10/14/2004 to 10/17/2004
Central Oregon Campout
By Andrew Bland

Departed Thursday afternoon from Oregon City and picked up Steven on our way to Mitchell, Oregon. Stopped for grub in Madras and after another 1.5 hours of driving found our campsite near the Painted Hills Unit in Mitchell.

Friday AM we headed to check out a new location North of Mitchell. This was the first time we've ventured into this area mainly due to most of the land is private property. We found several exposures of the Cretaceous Hudspeth Formation down a gravel road several miles. We decided to head back to the nearest house and find out what the property ownership was. We stopped a farmer out plowing his field and he pointed out a nearby hill where ammonites have been found and indicated it was his property and was nice enough to allow us to collect. Bill and I headed up to where he pointed out and Steven took off to check out other exposures nearby. It was obvious this are hasn't been collected in years as Bill and I picked up many concretions containing ammonites. In addition to many different species of ammonites we also found wood, gastropods, and various species of bivalves. Steven wasn't having as much luck. The hill he walked up took him out of the Hudspeth formation and into the Gable Creek fm., which is conglomerate formation created by an alluvial fan.

We headed back to camp for a quick lunch then returned to the new site. Before we reached the new site we stopped along the road at another exposure, which only produced a couple of partial ammonites. We stopped at the ranch house and introduced our self to the lady of the house and let her know we where out collecting on their property.

Again we surface collected the hill and did about as well as earlier in the morning. The shadows where getting long, making it hard to surface collect so we headed back to camp and picked up some wood along the way for a campfire.

Saturday AM we headed back. Since we pretty much picked up everything on the surface we started to pick through the formation using screwdrivers. There was much to be found in the way of ammonites, bivalves.

After lunch in camp we decided to check out a site we've collected in the past Southwest of Mitchell. I took off over to see what was over the next ridge. Although there was a lot of Hudspeth exposure it didn't produce any fossil. I worked by way back to a couple of hills that produced in the past and found 2 claws from a Callianopsis (mud shrimp) and picked up a couple of ammonites.

Luckily we setup a tent for this trip. It was primarily used for storage and we slept under the stars on our cots. Early Sunday around 2AM the clouds moved in and it started to rain. Up to this point the weather had been fantastic with sunny sky's and temperatures in the 70's. We cleared out the tent and tossed in our sleeping bags for the remainder of the morning.

After we broke down camp we headed West and checked out a few exposes as to traveled up to the Ochocoo Forest. We stopped briefly at a Clarno Formation flora site but didn't find anything worth packing out.

Trip Participants: Steven Bland, Andrew Bland, Bill Sullivan

Trip Pictures

Ammonite in Hudspeth Formation
Ammonite insitu
Bill doing some surface collecting
Home sweet home
1st days bounty
Fire by night
Hudspeth Formation
Looking over collecting area
Steven working on his tan
Steven and Bill
Steven and Bill looking over roadside exposure
Knobby ammonite
Typical find
Heteromorph ammonite
Heteromorph ammonite