March 27, 2009: A tale of unfortunate Events
The weekend of all weekends was finally here. The weekend Black River Fossils goes into the Lee Creek Mine. I have been waiting for this day like a kid waits for Christmas. I had probably gone through every trip report from Lee Creek Mine. I don’t think ten minutes would go by without me thinking of the treasures that are just waiting for me to find, littering the ground. IT WAS FINALLY HERE. Although I wasn’t thinking about how much rain we had gotten the week prior. And the fact that they could definitely cancel that weekend, but those evil horrible thoughts were pushed from my mind as soon as I thought about teeth dancing around the piles of material once again.
So, Friday afternoon I got out of work early once again, (seems to be a habit nowadays) and started my drive up to GMR. After a couple weeks of planning and coordination Govinn and Denttech were coming down to hit up the GMR around the big day so when I checked into Motel 6 in Greenville (almost an hour late, sorry guys) and dropped my stuff off and met up with the very patient fossil hunters we were off to the creek!
Unfortunately, the rain I was praying didn’t flood the mine that week looked like it might be a problem for the weekend as when we got into the creek the water was very high. But getting into our waders and carrying our gear down to the stream we courageously jumped in and started making our way up stream. This probably wasn’t one of my best ideas. The water was definitely higher then I had ever seen in let alone got into, and as we were slowly making our way up the stream and at times moving barely six inches a pace due to the strong current the unimaginable happened, (Sorry to betray the secret Denttech) but being as I was first in line, I turned after some commotion to see Denttech fall in. Into the GMR, of all places, this couldn’t be good. As many know it isn’t the cleanest of streams. So Govinn helped Denttech back onto his feet and we continued our perilous journey upstream and finally made it to our destination.
We wasted no time in locating gravel and digging in. The finds came slowly with Govinn taking the day. Finding a small GW early on and then a small beater meg and decent mako sticking out of the bank. I moved around from place to place and got downstream a bit, as I decided it was about time to find a new spot, walking back towards the other two fossil collectors I felt my foot hit a rock. Well, I stepped up a bit to step over the rock and found the top of the rock. Another bad decision by me was to step onto the rock and try to keep going. Unfortunately the rock I guess didn’t like that idea too much because it decided to roll over on me and I lunged into the water. Which was only a couple feet deep but carrying my screen and shovel I couldn’t stop myself and went up to my neck. BLLAAAAAH DISEASES AND NUCLEUR WASTE and decaying animals and whatever else was cast into that creek all over me and in my waders AAHHHHH. I have never had a want for three hundred gallons of hand sanitizer more then at that moment of my life.
So I recovered with what little dignity I had left and moved back upstream and continued my quest for the great fossil finds I had envisioned all week. But two trips to GMR in a row, they didn’t come. So after awhile and after the rain turned from a drizzle to a downpour we all decided to call it a day. We gathered up our gear and this time took the recreational trail back to the car instead of risking anymore swimming lessons. Wish I had thought about that when we were making our way up to the hunting spot. Again sorry denttech, I know better now!
But despite the weather, the creek conditions and the slow finds it was yet again another great day of fossil hunting. And it was great meeting members of the site. And so ended the hunting for the first of the three day trip….
Ok, I guess I should have mentioned something about my finds, again, as meager as they were, my best finds included a beat up croc tooth, a very sharp carcharinus sp., my largest but not the best condition squalicorax pristodontus tooth, and a very colorful marble. And the usual assortment.
On a side note, and I know you all are wondering, after my dip into the creek, I have not gained any super powers, grown any extra limbs or contracted any incurable diseases. My luck is holding firm.
Until Next time, good hunting!