Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Fossil Dig!! (as told by Phoebe)

The group on "Crinoid Hill".

Yours truly by a drill hole on a large piece of rock.

Mr. Bob Dugas talking to the group at the first stop.

Nehemiah Wall (8-9), & Caleb hunting for fossils by the side of a small cliff.

(Left to right): yours truly, Jaden, & Joel looking like "true" paleontologists!? LOL

The majority of the group was around the rock pile that is pictured above. Behind the pile is the side of the mountain that was blasted out.

(Left to right): Jaden (on top of car hood), Johanna, Joel, yours truly, & Dad eating a "hood" lunch. Caleb was taking the picture.
(Left to right) Mrs. Wall holding Lazarus just 6 weeks old, Amos (2-3 yrs. old), Beulah (5-6), Mr. Wall, Johanna, Dad, & Jaden. Johanna & Jaden cleaning off the rocks with paint brushes!
Phoebe here. I'm finally getting around to posting something. We've been very busy lately.
On October 23rd 2007, we got up at 5:30am to prepare to travel to the Arbuckle Mountains, in Davis Oklahoma. We had done a lot of the needed preparations the previous days, so there was only a few last minute things that needed to be done. We ate a quick "bite" (literally!) of breakfast, then headed out the door around 7:45am. Abby had so unselfishly volunteered to stay home with mom (we had originally thought one of our friends were going to stay with mom, but our friend got sick and couldn't come), so there was only the six of us: Dad, Joel, Caleb, Johanna, Jaden, & I.
We got to the first stop at 10 minutes after 10, hoping to get there sooner than that, but we sort of got lost a couple times! Once we got to the first stop (which was actually a scenic outlook) we got out of the car and walked over to the place were Mr. Bob Dugas (the main director) and all of the other families were. We listened to Mr. Dugas for about 1 hour, telling about the different layers, the formation of the Arbuckle Mountains, and a few more things. (He said that most scientists think that the Arbuckle Moutains used to be 20,000 feet high at one time.)
We left from there to split up into two different groups to take a bathroom stop. That took several minutes with several families, even with the split into two different groups.
We finally got to the third stop at 12:30pm to eat lunch, which was actually down the mountain from the first dig site. We had a yummy "hood" lunch (we ate on the hood!) with tomatoes, homemade bread, carrot sticks, onions, celery sticks, orange & yellow bell pepper sticks, peanut butter, homemade granola, & fresh strawberries!
We then loaded our backpacks and arms and started up the hill, after getting instructions from Mr. Dugas. The first dig sit was mostly made up of piles of rocks that had been blasted out of the side of the mountain about 50 yards away from the pile. There was also a couple of other places that were very good spots to chisel and dig. I mostly found mine by flipping over rocks, looking them over good, and rejoicing when I found one! I estimate that we found well over 50 small fossils, mostly sea shells and crinoids. Dad, instead of digging for fossils, he dug and found a new friend. He struck up a conversation with a man (Dad of 8 children, home schooled) who, come to find out, knows several of Dad's acquaintances. We had actually met them at the bathroom break on our way to the first dig site. We met all of the Wall family eventually, by the time the whole day was over. They had a good conversation while the rest of us had a great time finding fossils.
We left the first dig site at 2:37pm to travel about 1/2 a mile down the road to the second "dig" site. We got there about 3 minutes later, and got out of the car. We really didn't need our shovels or chisels, because at this site (Crinoid Hill) the fossils we were looking for (crinoids) were out in the open, uncovered, and out of rock. That only took a few minutes, and then a closing word from Mr. Dugas and we were off, so we thought...
...We actually drove down the road to where we had stopped for lunch to help a lady who locked her keys in her car. Providentially, we had our "slim jim" (a tool that you stick in between the window on the car and the seal, with a hook on it to try to grab the lock and pull it up) and after about 15 or 20 minutes of trying, Mr. Dugas, with help from slim jim (and others) got it unlocked and we were happily on our way. That was around 3:30pm.
We then drove down into Davis and stopped at a gas station for the bathroom usage, and eat a bite of food at 10 till 4:00. We decided that we could probably find a better place to sit and eat, so we drove across the street and sat under a large shade tree, right next to a chicken coop. After making the noise of opening and closing car doors, 12 or 13 chickens came out of the chicken house, along with a little kitty cat. We sat there for 20 minutes or so, and then traveled to the same place where the 1st stop was. Took several pictures, walked around and looked at the odd form of the layers, viewed a 3-4 inch long orange & black centipede, and finally hopped into the car to head toward home-sweet-home.
Finally getting home around 7:15 after a great day of looking at God's judgement on sinful man. We are very thankful for the Providential protection for us while on the road, and for Mom & Abby at home. October 23rd, 2007 we will always remember.
Until next time,

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