With a kitchen pass in hand and coffee in the other, GREEL and myself loaded up Labor Day morning to “labor” for some finds at the GMR. My daughter heard me leave which resulted in her pounding the second story bedroom window yelling, “Where are you going?” I said, “fossil hunting, go back to bed”…..”Can I go”, she screamed. I knew negotiating with a 5-year old is a losing battle. It was time to get in GREEL’s truck….stat…. before she woke up her little sister. It would not be a pretty site to see the wife come bursting through the front door and rip up my pass. In addition to having the neighbors see a grown man cry on the lawn, with a shovel in hand.
The three hour trip went fast. We got to know each other (first dig together) and discussed what else….. but flower arrangements…..not. It was fossil this and fossil that... I had to roll down the window a couple of times because I thought I caught a wiff of the notorious “smell” of the creek. Are we there yet?
We finally arrived around 9:00 a.m., geared up with plenty of water, beef jerky, deer sausage and commenced to screening. We put in at the 5th Street Park and headed up stream. I dug here and there with nothing in my ½ inch screen, but the usual fossil mix in the lower ¼ inch graduated screen. GREEL just stuck to his trusty ½ inch screen.
With nothing much to show other than an awesome piece of petrified wood I found, I convinced GREEL to walk upstream to “my spot”, the 10th Street south end tunnel to find some shade, deeper water, bigger belemnites and what ever else I could “flop” in my screens.
Along the way we spoke with MAKOBOY who was enjoying the day with his kids. He pointed out something in the water by my foot. Something caught my eye. I reached down to pick up a MONSTER MEG just sitting there. I swear it was over seven inches and weighed two pounds. My back almost went out as I lifted it up. MAKOBOY was kind enough to take a picture of me holding it. He had to take a couple of shots because I had to wipe my “Homer” drool from my mouth. After the picture, MAKOBOY asked if he could have it back. “Finder Keepers”, I said as I walked away heading upsteam. Then I felt the thud of a shovel hitting the back of my head. The fight was on…….
I kid… I kid….. I just wanted to get some “Pictures Don’t Lie” shots of HIS monster meg he “fanned” up from one of his recent scuba trips. I wanted some legit pix to “punk” my brother…. MAKOBOY was happy to “conspire”.
We finally depart ways and headed up to the tunnels. GREEL didn’t seem too impressed with the area and decided to turn around and move further down stream and poke around with his probe.
After about an hour of digging I struck gold…I mean copper. I found a penny in my screen. This had to be a sign, this had to be my lucky penny... and sure enough, about 5 minutes later a Great White “flopped” in my screen. I knelt there in disbelief as I about discarded the spoils on the bank. I let out a yelp that echoed down the tunnel and stream and almost made GREEL’s ear drum bleed. The tooth had an awesome patina and later measured 2.25”, my biggest tooth to date. I’m a rookie that this fossil teeth hobby with this trip being my fourth. Dug for another hour with just some frags in the ½ inch screen and the usual mix in the ¼ inch screen (goblins, pycodonts, rays, bone material and various teeth I still don’t know).
Packed up and decided to haul it back down stream to see how GREEL faired out. I finally came up on him, as he picked out a perfect 2” plus Great White from his screen. Asked if he found any and he replied “a few”.... I was dumbfounded when he started to pull out his cache of teeth. 3½” beater meg, couple of 2” plus Makos, variety of 1” & 2” plus Greats and a ton of frags. I shook my head is disbelief and told him I should have stuck by him. I would have needed a change of underwear or a Sam’s bundle of Charmin if I found that haul in a single trip. Decided to “claim” jump and shoveled along the bank with him. Probed an area and decided to give it a try. My shovel kept on hitting bricks and large rocks. Finally got in some muck and gravel and shoveled about 20 loads. About called the dig quits when I flopped a 2” Otodus. Noticed I “dinged” it with my shovel, but quickly shook that off realizing a half inch would have made the difference in bringing that bad boy home. I just stood there in disbelief, and with two nice teeth finds….it was time to pack it up.
To top the trip off, GREEL gifted me his cache of the day except for his perfect 2” plus Great, stating that, “When you have enough in you collection, you start “culling” the beaters out, just keeping the ‘good’ ones.” I’m not quite at that level yet, they all “good” ones in my book, including those belemnites, just love that orange patina. The “gift” quadrupled my “big” tooth collection, not to mention adding two Makos (haven’t found that species yet) and a meg that my daughter now enjoys.
Just fawned over the finds later that evening after I got back home….what an awesome dig…..
Thanks again GREEL….