A couple of TFF (thefossilforum.com) friends, Raggedy Man and Fossilized6s (read as “fossil success”), and came over from Wisconsin on Saturday to fossil hunt. They set up their tents in my yard by the trout stream and camp fire ring – great place to camp!
We poured over Dr. Sloan’s book:
This is the one “must have” book if you are hunting fossils in Minnesota. Information on how to get the book is on the “Fossil Facts” bar of my webpage. For faster shipping use a money order, not a check. 🙂
These guys are trilobite hunters, so we were checking out Sloan’s trilo info:
Just tap on the image to enlarge it. They bought the 3 maps I have of area hunting sites and off we went.
Our first stop was S-1 on the Spring Valley map. They actually went back there 3x and even found a trilobite layer!
Contemplating the rock at S-1.
From there we jumped to S-2
and then S-6, where Fossilized6s was pleased to find some unusual trilo molts and Raggedy Man found a geodized ceph while exploring further down the cut.
Then we went to a site I only take real trilobite hunters too.
We were surprised to see these toys set on the rock!
At that point I was exhausted so they struck out on their own.
The next day TFF member PapaDave joined us. They were comparing notes, finds, prep tools, and deciding where to go.
We started with the fossil literature famous Rifle Hill Quarry.
Then moved on to the Maquoketa Shale site F-12.
We stopped briefly to overview sites F-10 & F11.
Then we hit site F-9 and turned a far amount of rock.
Wild flowers in the wind.
Then off to sites F-7 and F-8 where Fossilized6s found his trilobite!
Then we hit site F-15 where PapaDave got an awesome trilo imprint, shell intact, that I would be proud to have found!
And Fossilized6s worked site F-14.
The trilobite hunters finally conceded that we could go to my favorite site.
PapaDave got some great cephs and gastropods. I got a couple of nice gastropods and Raggedy Man landed himself the Ordovician Index Fossil (Index Fossils only lived in one time period, so when you find them you know absolutely what time you are in.) Maclurites.
My favorite fossil for this hunt was this Hormatoma sp. gastropod – Stewartville member of the Galena Formation.
We headed back to Whispering Winds where PapaDave said goodbye, I collapsed from exhaustion, and Raggedy Man and Fossilized6s went back out hunting.
I can’t say what everyone found as there were just too many fossils collected! But here are pics of some of what I came home with.
And what appears to be a very red worm burrow or perhaps even coprolite – fossilized poop!
Some more of PapaDave’s spectacular finds!
The guys hunted some on Monday morning on their way home and I hunted in the afternoon discovering FIVE new virgin fossil hunting sites! Then I stopped at O’Connell’s Excavating in Spring Valley and spied this lovely rock.
Well, I stopped back on Tuesday to see how much they wanted for it and it was already spoken for… 🙁
But then I found this!
There is about a six inch across cephalopod portion in the top of this monolithic rock!
Fossil friends and extraordinary fossils, Labor Day doesn’t get much better than that! 😀
Link to thefossilforum.com post on this hunt: