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Black River Fossils Lee Creek Collecting Trip Spring 2009

I descended the ramp with a huge grin. All our guys could hunt! 8 Black River Fossils members met up to flex our collecting muscles, but up until about an hour before, I wasn't even sure we would be allowed access. Saturday was Black River Fossils' day to hunt the PCS mine, and fate had once again given us optimum collecting conditions. When you get your date, you never know what's going to happen. Some dates get cancelled. Others go in, but without the rain necessary to expose the fossils we crave. For us the rain had been falling for days, even the night before, and it was certainly enough to erase the footprints of those who had gone before us. The drive from SC was miserable with severe thunderstorms pounding us the whole way. A tornado touched down on I-95 just moments after we passed by, so we were already lucky before we even got to our hotel!

Finally in the mine, collectors faster than me sped past, but I soon met up with them again as they settled into a spot they deemed worthy of a closer look. I kept walking because I wanted to see how far I could go. It's one thing to stand at the top of the ramp and see the stakes near the drag lines. It's another thing to visit those stakes, and that was my mission. As I reached the base of the last hill I realized it was almost pure Pungo. It stretched at least fifty yards long and half as wide. Mixed in was the occasional Yorktown patch so I decided to spend my morning there. At 9:10 I spied a megalodon tooth. After a photo, I carefully picked up the tooth as I begged "Please be whole!" Not a problem. I packaged the tooth for its piggy back ride and continued to collect. My next great find was a whale tooth near the top of the Pungo pile. While I was up there I watched the draglines for a few minutes. It was the closest I had ever been to the gigantic mining machines and it was easy to lose myself watching them and wondering how many incredible fossils they were scooping up each time? Back to work. I climbed down the hill, criss crossed it looking for more big teeth. I got a few makos, but for the most part it was pretty barren. It needs more rain to wash away the fine sediments. No doubt more nice teeth will be exposed on this mound for a long time to come.

It wasn't too long before my exploration led me to piles already hunted by someone else the same day. There you have to look really close to find anything. You never know when the foot prints were made by someone who was paying attention, or not. For the most part, I was behind excellent collectors! Every once in a while I found new area and would come away with a few more teeth. When the day was half over, I switched my strategy from covering ground looking for big stuff to getting close and looking for the rare stuff that can turn a good day into a great one. I really want a sympheseal cow shark tooth, so I concentrated my efforts on some older, more weathered Pungo. I never found any cow shark teeth, but I did find a bramble shark tooth which stamped a big seal of success on my day.

On the way back to the bus, I decided to fill up my sand bag with Pungo to micro screen at home. Carrying around an empty sand bag is easy. It is much more difficult to maintain a grip on it when its full. It took me 45 minutes to climb over 3 hills and up the ramp. I had to switch hands every 20 steps because my hands started hunting. Then every 100 steps or so I had to put the bag down and take a breather. Who knew bags of wet Pungo were so heavy?

Dark clounds were gathering quickly, seemingly validating the severe thunderstorm predictions. I finally made it back to the bus and I turned in my badge as the bottom fell out. The rain continued for our entire drive back home. My fingers were crossed for Sunday's group, because if they were allowed in they should have as good of luck as us. Speaking of luck, my compadres did pretty well, to. Da f0ssZ scored 3 megalodon teeth, and how about that t$?! He managed to find 22 associated whale teeth. When he showed them to me in his pack, they looked like bunches of bananas! Way to represent guys!

Thanks to PCS for allowing us to collect and to Curtis for all the time he spends putting the trips together. Thanks also to the guides who show up every collecting day regardless of conditions to make sure we're all safe and educated.

Location Lee Creek Mine, Aurora, North Carolina, USA

ID3292
Memberdw
Date Added3/30/2009

The haul
Flawless makos
Can you see the mako? This is the view from directly above it.
Here's another view of the same mako - much more obvious when you're not right on top of it! You've really got to go slow and look carefully to find stuff like this.
A really nice sperm whale tooth. It has a very fine enamel coating on the outside that is peeling away, thus the splotchy appearance. These teeth are normally found without the enamel coating so this one is very complete.
The other side. See the wear pattern where two other teeth rested against this one?
A good shot of the tip so you can see the wear pattern. This is a wierd tooth - all the whale teeth I have found before are mostly cylindrical. This one is roughly triangular.
  

Links
Unearthing the Beached Whale
Unearthing the Beached Whale
Have it your way
Have it your way
Lee Creek Bramble Shark Tooth
Lee Creek Bramble Shark Tooth
3 7/16 inch Lee Creek Pungo Megalodon Tooth
3 7/16 inch Lee Creek Pungo Megalodon Tooth
  

Comments
- 3/30/2009
Reviewer : Chris from
Total Rating : 10
Good job DW...I love the atl photo of the meg...sweet! Content Quality : 10 of 10

Drool Quotient : 10 of 10

Picture Quality : 10 of 10
VOTE! Agree  Disagree 

Great Post - 3/31/2009
Reviewer : Govinn from Virginia United States
Total Rating : 10
Thanks for posting this. I was wondering where you hunted and what you found. Nice teeth!! Thanks again for the invite. I really enjoyed it!! Content Quality : 10 of 10

Drool Quotient : 10 of 10

Picture Quality : 10 of 10
VOTE! Agree  Disagree 

Still Learning! - 4/10/2009
Reviewer : MikeDOTB from North Carolina United States
Total Rating : 10
Hey DW, definitely thanks for the invite. It was great meeting everyone. I think I learned a little bit about surface collecting though. Slow down and keep my head a little closer to the ground. Ha. I cant wait for the fall season. And soon I am going to send you an email to find out what I have to do to get a BRFC tee shirt. You definitely had some great finds. My day is coming! Content Quality : 10 of 10

Drool Quotient : 10 of 10

Picture Quality : 10 of 10
VOTE! Agree  Disagree 


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