Search and Rescue Report
6/3/05 to 6/13/05 - Western USA: 9 states in 9 days
|First I want to thank everyone who helped me put this trip together. Without your help we would have just been driving blindly around Western USA.
The two sites we decided on for this trip was Pierre Shale ammonites near Glendive, MT and White River mammals near Crawford, NE. We departed from Vancouver, WA on Friday, June 3rd at 11 PM. The first leg was the longest and after 1100 miles we rolled into Glendive, MT around 9pm Saturday.
We really didn't know much the Glendive area but before the trip I downloaded a few geologic maps and did a little studying. We headed out bright and early Sunday and the first place we stopped produced several very nacreous ammonites. We checked out another site that also produced before running into an oil field worker. He pointed us to a ridge in the distance that he heard was productive. Boy was he right. We spent the next day collecting this small locality and came away with some outstanding ammonites, baculites, nautiloid, and various mollusks. Most where found in massive concretions that we pried up and cracked. In all we found well over 400 specimens with the ammonites ranging in size from 1/2" up to 5". The majority of the larger ammonites are Jeletzkytes and so far all the nautiloids are Eutrephoceras dekayi
Next stop was Crawford, NE but first we visited the South Dakota School of Mines and Tech for a personalized tour the paleo facility by Dr. James Martin. It was a great "behind the scenes" tour.
We rolled into Crawford, NE late Tuesday and setup camp for the night. Wednesday we headed to the ranch and paid our fee to collect. They pointed us to an area on their 5000-acre ranch but it only produced a few bone fragments. After lunch we checked out another area where we found several "turtle kits". In addition to turtles (Stylemys nebrascensis) we found numerous bone fragments and the lower jaw to a titanothere. Most of what we found in this area we believe is from the Chadron Formation of the White River Group but since a good portion of what we collected was float it was difficult to determine.
The next day we drove to another area of the ranch and were surprised to see so many turtles ranging in size from 18" - 24" across the carapace. They where broke up and needed more time than we had to recover so we continued on to another site where we found better preserved and smaller turtles. I think we each collected a couple plus 2 Oreodont skulls. Most of the fossils collected in this area are from the Brule Formation of the White River Group.
Next stop was Rock Springs, WY where we purchased numerous unprepared fish plates from a quarry owner's warehouse. We planned on collecting in their quarry but decided to head back to Oregon to another ammonite site.
We rolled into Burns, OR Saturday AM and collected an area we've visited before. I found a great 5" ammonite as well as a 3" vertebra from a marine reptile.
NARG Members: Andrew Bland, Steven Bland, Aaron Currier, Bill Sullivan
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