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Confessions of an Adult who plays in Mud Puddles!?!?

After my "Great Success" the Sunday before in the GMR, I was ready to spend a whole weekend trying to find another big GW.  So "EARLY" Saturday morning I packed up my gear, threw it in the car and started driving up to Greenville.  Just like the previous Sunday it had already started lightly raining on the way up but that didn’t deter me.  By the time I got up to Greenville the rain had gone from light to downpour.  Not a problem I would just start out by getting a hotel room for the night and getting breakfast at McDonalds.  Unfortunately the rain didn’t go along with the plan and when I finished eating it was still raining.  I drove over to 5th street park and wandered up and down the creek just staring at the water nearly a foot higher then usual, fast moving and no visibility.  I couldn’t even see any of the fallen down brush or logs or sand bars that I used to tell my current favorite locations.  So after walking up and down the creek in the rain for fifteen minutes and deciding whether or not I should just try my luck and wander around the creek searching for gravel with the shovel and hoping to get lucky I decided it wasn’t going to get any better.  So I drove up to elm street and stood on the bridge watching the rising water flow by.  "Bloody Weather".

I returned to the hotel figuring I would just wait it out even though the forecast stated it would rain all day I was very optimistic that it would be wrong.  So I would look out the window every so often to see that it was still pouring rain.  And pouring rain, and pouring rain.  Saturday wasted.

I stayed optimistic however for Sunday to be better so when I woke up at 7am and looked out the window I was completely dismayed once again to see the rain still pouring down.  I packed up my stuff, and drove over to waffle house for breakfast and as I inhaled a waffle I decided that rain or shine I wasn’t going to let the whole weekend be wasted.  I checked the Aurora Fossil Museum's website and what luck.  Today was going to be the first Sunday of the year they would be open!  So even though I had never been there I glanced at a map and started driving to Aurora.  

I got there about nine in the morning and since the museum didn’t open until 12pm I got a screen and my shovel out and wandered over to the spoil piles.  After seeing the nice hemi's that members of this site were picking up in various locations I made that the mission of the day to find my first one!  There were a couple people already looking thru the piles as I started wandering around scanning the surface to see if I could find anything.  I didn’t see nothing.  I figured maybe my eyes were just not trained to just scan the ground so I immediately scooped up a couple shovel full's of material and put them in the screen and started looking thru it.  Well, since it was all wet and I didn’t wash any of the sand out, I again didn’t see anything.  Now thinking there was something seriously wrong with me I glanced around at the other gentleman searching around and one gentleman I believe his name was Steve was taking his screen of material and washing the sand out in a slowly growing mud puddle.  Brilliant!  So I spent the morning sifting for fossils in a mud puddle.  At one point I stood up, looked around and realize "I don’t think I have had this much fun playing in a mud puddle since I was like six".  But hey, it was working!

I immediately started finding small mako's, sand tigers, tiger sharks, tiger like sharks, and the usual assortment.  Loads of ray teeth, a couple dolphin teeth and on my second screen, there it was!  A small hemipristis serra!  Common name "Snaggletooth Shark"!  After that I started to find several smaller ones.  Upper and lower.  Along with the usual mix.  I also picked up a few shells and a neat piece of corral.  Which chunks were abundant all over the ground but I only wanted one for the collection.  The larger teeth I found were all broken unfortunately.  

As I was "playing in the mud puddles" occasionally people would stop by and look around.  One nice lady was drawn away from her grocery shopping by the thought of finding some teeth!  Cant say I blame her.  Unfortunately around noon time the rain really started coming down.  Enough for me to put up my shovel and screen, and change into dry clothes and with perfect timing for the museum to open!  I ran over to the museum thru the rain and wandered thru the front door!  And immediately engaged in conversation with the wonderful staff members present.  I bought several books and looked thru teeth and fossils and the great display of native American artifacts and purchasing some raffle tickets and wandering thru the museum and again talking about fossils and the fossil festival coming up in May.  One of the staff during a short break in the rain walked around the piles and came back and gave me the largest hemipristis of the day.  Upper and lower which was really nice of him.  I definitely suggest that if you have never been too the museum you should definitely go.  It is definitely worth the trip.  Also the fossil festival is going to be on May 23rd this year and looks like it will be a lot of fun.  I am definitely going to be attending.    

After leaving the museum and putting my purchases safely in the car I decided I would spend a little more time on the piles and see if I couldn’t be one of the lucky ones to find a small Meg sitting around.  Unfortunately I wasn’t one of the lucky ones.  Instead at that time the rain turned worse.  And not just rain, the thunderstorms finally caught up.  Though it was hard to do I pulled myself away from searching for teeth in the rain and packed up and started the drive home.  Which I made a wrong turn and ended up taking the scenic route but after a day of finding teeth I didn’t really care.

Which leads me to wonder, I have been reading a lot of the trip reports on this site lately, and was wondering about how everyone seems to go to taco bell before, during or after there hunts.  Either way, and not intentionally before I got home I stopped at taco bell and grabbed dinner to go.  Which I didn’t think about until I started reading a lot of old trip reports this week.  Kind of strange, but now after reading a few in particular I am going to put it to the test this weekend and mix in taco bell with the hunting.  I will definitely report on the outcome.  

Until next time, good hunting.

Location Lee Creek Mine, Aurora, North Carolina, USA

Date Added3/6/2009

The Haul
Vertebrates and I believe Dolphin Teeth
Upper and Lower Hemipristis Serra's! (Middle Rows)
Mostly Sand Tigers
Assorted Tigers
Assorted Shells, Coral and a crab claw among other things.

Small Goodies From The Aurora Spoil Piles
Small Goodies From The Aurora Spoil Piles
Aurora Spring 2008
Aurora Spring 2008

Great Report - 3/6/2009
Reviewer : Govinn from Virginia United States
Total Rating : 10
Hey Mike, You did a great job on this trip report. I loved it. You also did really well for playing in a mud puddle. :) Content Quality : 10 of 10

Drool Quotient : 10 of 10

Picture Quality : 10 of 10
VOTE! Agree  Disagree 

Very Nice Mix.... - 3/6/2009
Reviewer : brachiomyback from
Total Rating : 10
Your report is making me wish for a double run..... A run to the border because I'm hungry and a run to the "Run" to feed my shovel...... I always appreciate those 5 plus paragraph trip reports! Content Quality : 10 of 10

Drool Quotient : 10 of 10

Picture Quality : 10 of 10
VOTE! Agree  Disagree 

It is the way of things... - 3/6/2009
Reviewer : dw from Summerville South Carolina United States
Total Rating : 9.667
Very well written and interesting post! Sorry you didn't get to hit GMR, but its nice to see you did well at the spoil piles. Content Quality : 10 of 10

Drool Quotient : 9 of 10

Picture Quality : 10 of 10
VOTE! Agree  Disagree 





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