Search and Rescue Report

10/13/2006 to 10/15/2006
Central Oregon - Clarno and Hudspeth Formations
Bill Sullivan

Motoring east toward Pendleton and the Blue mountains, we could not help but wonder if we might have some of the same good fortune fellow NARG members enjoyed at this locality a few weeks earlier.

We were in quest of plant remains, particularly palm fronds (Sabilities eocenia). We arrived at our campsite about 6 PM. Our campmate Robert was already relaxing and thinking about dinner. We made short work of setting up camp, scrounging for firewood and preparing dinner. Enjoying a pleasant evening around the campfire, we discussed the geology fieldwork Robert had completed during the course of the day. The plant remains are have in the past been classified as belonging to the Clarno formation members, but subsequent study indicates the material could be included in the older Herron formation strata.

There is something about the smell of pine trees and a star filled sky that makes for a refreshing sleep. We awoke to frost covered ground and hot coffee. Since dawn comes so late this time of year, we did not arrive at the digs until about 8 AM. We went right to work prospecting and in short order we were finding plant material. Since these specimens are large slabs; (most times several hundred lbs.) it pays to bring large pry bars, muscle and sweat to the party.

We found 3 good specimens of Sabilites and numerous outer deciduous and conifer species by lunchtime. Robert located a great specimen that had been pushed over the edge of the road during roadwork. Or course the downside is: that now you must hoist the slab uphill and into your truck.

Mission accomplished, we journeyed through the mountains toward Mitchell to hunt for ammonites. Arriving at camp just before sunset, we were rewarded with a gorgeous sunset. Sure enough, the weather guys were right! Rain: 6:30 AM. Hardly got the soil wet! We scoured around and located 3 or 4 suture specimens, then moved up the road to dig in a cut bank concretion locality. Robert discovered some nice small crab remains. Jim and Michael found some well preserved ammonites.

Moving to another locality, raincoat weather, we located a small number of ammonites and Robert located a small Eurocrystes crab specimen. OK it is raining, time to head home. A good trip and fine company!

Members present: Robert Rose', Michael Santino, Jim Scheirbeck, Bill Sullivan

Trip Pictures