Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Bear Lake Field Trip 2015 - Day Four: Cambrian Spence Gulch

Once again we met in Paris.  A short drive and a short, steep hike down into a gulch and we were happy!  For this was an exposure of Cambrian Spence Shale.  We hoped for trilobites and hyoliths.  Hyoliths were new to many of us, I think!

Here is an iphone panorama shot of the exposure:

Spence Shale
The picture is a little odd since I was standing so close to the subject.  You can see that there was plenty of room for fossil hunters...

We did find the expected fossils.  There were some exceptional finds, of whole trilobites and of what is likely Eocrinoidea!

I just have to share with you a picture of someone I admire, look up to, want to be like.  Not only did she find some of the best whole trilobites, but she is an octogenarian!!!

Ann, my hero
Ann didn't want to stop digging here but we had another site to go to.  So, she packed up her backpack and bucket of fossils and climbed out of the gulch just like the rest of us.

The final site of the day was a return to the east shore of Bear Lake.  We'd been shut out before by the rain and hail storm.  This afternoon was beautiful; perfect for hunting Pleistocene bivalves and gastropods.

East shore, Bear Lake
The following morning, many of the trip participants had plans - DMNS Field School in Escalante, Yellowstone, head back to work...  A few of us were able to make one more stop, not far from Kemmerer, WY.  This stop was Eocene, and yielded agatized Elimia tenera.

It was a great trip and I am grateful to WIPS and the field trip leaders Joe Dabelko and Dennis Gertenbach for putting this together.

Bear Lake Field Trip 2015 - Day Three: Minnetonka Cave

We watched the sun rise in Paris!

Idaho, that is, in the parking lot of the tabernacle.

From there, we took our caravan to the Minnetonka Cave.  I understand there aren't many known caves in Idaho; this one is a good one!  We don't know how many steps there are in it since we heard 444, 548, and 600+.  It has the columns and features of any normal, healthy cave (stalagmites, stalagtites, columns, bacon, etc.).  Our guide was young and fun.

Just down the road from the cave was a site yielding burrows.  We found some trilobite bits, brachiopods, lots of traces, and a few mysteries that we'll have to get back to for identifying.

Sadly, we couldn't quite collect this slab.

Following this, we went out to find food.  Some of us stopped at campgrounds, which were quite nice along the road to the cave.  We picnicked, then met up to caravan to Paris Canyon.  I was so busy looking for ammonites in the Triassic Thaynes Formation, I forgot to take pictures!

Now, this day was Saturday.  It is culturally sound to have a party.  And Joe and his family know how to do that!  They were at a resort and invited us to burgers and games.  There was good food, company, and prizes.  We all got into playing Fossil Jeopardy, created by Joe.

Team One struggled to regain control
Team Two had the lead