Belgrade 5-2011

The Belgrade fossil trip began with for me with an ominous start. Halfway from my home in Raleigh to the quarry, my tire decided to shred, leaving pieces of rubber along Highway 70. After a 15 minute tire change (not exactly a NASCAR record) I was able to arrive at the quarry with 20 minutes to spare. Since I was leading this foray, I felt fortunate. There were 8 of us total, and only a couple had hunted at this particular quarry before. After a brief safety instruction from the mine director and several pages of legal documents, we were let loose in a fairly large area overlooking the mining operation. Everyone found something. Several Mako teeth were located, pieces of turtle shell turned up, and numerous oyster shells plus a few crocodile teeth were found. A nice crocodile vertebra was found, and modern remains of an alligator snapping turtle were located. As usual, I got a piece of petrified wood. For some reason, petrified wood follows me. We were allowed to stay until 4 pm, although several of our group left around 2 pm. The weather was great. If it had rained a few days earlier, I believe that more fossils would have been found. Overall the trip was a success. by Jonathan Fain