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A Weekend of OUCH!!

Well, Paleoscan and I had this weekend on our calendars for months now - a fossil trip to the James River. With any luck we would visit numerous formation locality type sites and find some nice fossils. Friday started with a trip along the shores of the Potomac River in Westmoreland, VA. Paleoscan traveled in style with the Sqaulicorax while I had to huff it around the rock wrap shores to get to the promising fossil beaches. Paleoscan was a righteous host and rowed all of the way up to the other end of the property so that we would each have our own pristine collecting areas to work. The day started off great with a small, unusual Meg within the first 10 minutes and spotting some cool whale fossils in the cliff. In another 10 minutes I found a small worn croc tooth in the wash zone. The start of a good day!!! It was a nice pretty walk and I ended up with lots a decent 1” plus sized teeth by the time I reached Paleoscan. The water was choppy and his hands bore the proof - a blood blister on one of his fingers the size of a penny – OUCH!!! We traded ideas on the area (we were not alone and stretches had been hit already that morning) and our plans for the rest of the day. On the way back we each had a rough time. The winds made it impossible for Paleoscan to row with both arms, instead having to row 90% of the time with the right arm only. I periodically heard him swearing (I think the Drill Sergeant from Full Metal Jacket might have been an influence on him) as he was barely able to keep ahead of me walking. For his troubles he now had another blood blister on his hand, the other had ruptured - OUCH!!! I however became a victim of my own clumsiness and slipped on some rock wrap, sliding into a log, which I tripped over, sending me down to the beach, landing on a rock with my knee and doing a face first splash into the Potomac (it does live up to its name as the Pewh-tomac) and losing my eyeglasses in the 2-3 foot waves. OUCH!!! Paleoscan fared better, no soaking, had his glasses, but the right side of his upper body was soaked with sweat. We stashed his boat and set our sights for the James River and the hope for some large Eastover or Yorktown Megs. Mrs. M4 (Porpoise Girl) had a good laugh as I relayed the days events to her that evening and of our tour of the Jamestown area (another story unto itself). At least I did not have to worry about her wrath for the lost glasses when I got home. On Saturday we hit the Eastover spots, the trip leaders boat wouldn’t go full throttle so we were unable to hunt the Yorktown sediments. Disappointed, we had to make due with bone scraps and small teeth. I did find a whale bulla (90% complete) and another fellow found the tooth of his life – a 6+ inch honker from the Eastover. The guy was still visibly shaking 15 minutes after making the find!!! We left and went back to pick up Paleoscan’s boat then that’s when my anguish became complete. Now, I had stood in the exact same spot on Friday tucking the boat away and had no issue. Today, as I stood waiting for Paleoscan I said what will go down as one of the top 10 dumbest things I have ever uttered - “Some black and yellow bug just bit me”. It then proceeded to “bite” me again and it was only when I went down to swat the insect did I notice that almost 20 of his buddies were swarming around my feet!! That’s right; the M4 idiot was standing on top of a yellow jacket/ground wasp nest!!! I started smacking myself like crazy (the little %&**^#!*) were going up my shorts and ran out of the woods. Paleoscan got to observe the whole incident and even though I ran right past him, he was left unscathed were as they continued to bother me. The total tally was 9 bites – OUCH!!!! They never got to the “package” but did manage a bite on each leg at the mid-quad area. With no benadryl on hand and out in the boonies I had no choice but to suffer on the ride back to Paleoscan’s place. An encounter with the Captain (Capt. Morgan and Coke to be precise) eased my pain. Thanks good for well stocked event that was going on when we arrived. Check out the trip haul for both Paleoscan and myself below…
Location Westmoreland County, Virginia, USA

Date Added8/7/2006

m4's fossil finds. nice little megalodon! dw
Paleoscan's fossil finds. those are some sweet makos! dw

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