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My Pilgrimage to Fossil Mecca

I've been excited about it for months, and the day finally arrived when I could collect on hallowed ground - the PCS mine in Aurora, NC. We arrived at the parking lot at about 8 and struggled to keep warm, but at the same time, you could feel the excitement as grizzled veterans traded war stories of collecting seasons past. Everyone knew that somewhere out there, there were megs, and we all had an equal chance to find one. We piled on the bus at 8:30 and sat through the lecture - stay away from this - don't go near that. Then we hear the news that we were to collect the same area that had just been collected the day before. Our guides told us that the teeth were few and far between. How much more of a downer could could the prep talk be? After some initial short delays, we were off to the mine. As we approached the gate, our guides pointed out the collecting area. It was giant! 1 3/8 mile long by 500 yards wide. Surely the group from yesterday couldn't have cleaned out an area that large. We were excited again! I headed off in search of the Yorktown deposits. 30 minutes after arrival, Becky Hine pulled out a 5 inch meg. There were teeth left after all! Everyone scoured the ground with renewed intensity. For me, the minutes turned into hours and all I had was a broken tiger and a little Mako. How could this be? I was at the location of locations! I passed the best of the Yorktown deposits without a single tooth over an inch, and I had almost lost hope. At this point, I knew that my long shot of finding a meg was gone with the best deposits behind me. But my expectations were realistic on this trip. I knew better than to expect a meg. The reports from Elasmo had prepared me for that. But I thought that a Cow Shark tooth was in my reach. And I hadn't found one of those, either. But I stumbled across some really nice Pungo deposits. I thought to myself - That looks just like the Chandler Bridge! (forgive the enthusiasm - it’s the first time I ever saw it) I looked close and started scoring little teeth by the dozens. And then, shining in the sunlight from the edge of a little clump was what I wanted in the first place - a cow shark tooth! YES! I was not denied! Everything from this point on was gravy. It was 2 by this time, and I was on the far side of the area. I figured it was time to start heading back to the bus. I thought I would take another route back just in case there was some area that someone missed. I almost tripped on it, but out of the corner of my eye, in plain view on a pedestal was the most gorgeous chubutensis I had ever seen. The tooth gods smiled upon me for one more week. My shouts of glee attracted several others to see the tooth in situ. See the picture below - I took it before I touched it. Da f0ssZ was kind enough to lend me his hand for size comparison. I wonder if he was adjusting his ring?? (sorry, inside joke). All the advice said look for a tip sticking out, or look for one of the root lobes, or serrations, etc. But here was this beauty in plain view. What luck! I had exceeded my expectations by a mile now. A few feet past that tooth, I found the biggest mako I came back with. Then a deformed posterior meg tooth. And then, finally, my door stop. Yes the experience was incredible, and now as I drool on the chub tooth, I am anxiously awaiting my next trip to the holy land. Big thanks to Roy and the Times Scientific group for letting me come with them. The shirt is grand!
Location Lee Creek Mine, Aurora, North Carolina, USA

Date Added4/7/2002

A closeup of a my smaller nice makos.
A shot of the big chub on the ground just as I found it. That's da f0ssZ's hand there for reference.

15/16" Pathologic Bull Shark Tooth
15/16" Pathologic Bull Shark Tooth
13/16" Pathologic Megalodon Shark Tooth
13/16" Pathologic Megalodon Shark Tooth
15/16" Cow Shark Tooth
15/16" Cow Shark Tooth
1 1/2" Snaggletooth Shark Tooth
1 1/2" Snaggletooth Shark Tooth
1 1/8" Tiger Shark
1 1/8" Tiger Shark
2 5/8" Pungo Megalodon Shark Tooth
2 5/8" Pungo Megalodon Shark Tooth





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