Oklahoma 10-2014

Just a few hardy souls made the trek from North Carolina to Oklahoma in October for the 4 day hunt (Linda McCall, Lynn Moore, Diane Willis, Carl Willis and Earl Guertin making up the collecting party). The weather was wonderful, and we started the trip off by hunting a Silurian road-cut, Henryhouse Formation, with exotic corals (Amsdenoides acutiannulatus & Striatapora huronensis), tiny crinoid cups (Pisocrinus parvus) and interesting bryozoan and brachiopods. Just as we were leaving the site, Carl picked up the biggest complete trilobite I had ever seen come from there – and I have been there a lot! Way to go, Carl! We left that spot and went in search of a new local in the town of Ada we had found in a publication. Thought we had found said spot in an open field, and were picking up a number of fossils when someone showed up and let us know that the field wasn’t open to the public – so much for THAT site – we apologized and headed back to the hotel and dinner at the Rib Crib. It was “all you can eat” rib night and we really did do them justice. The next day was spent at Yellow Bluff, (Silurian – Henryhouse Formation) a lovely drive in through the fields, where everyone found trilobites, little crinoid cups and more brachiopods than you could shake a stick at. The biggest problem was deciding how much you wanted to carry back out to your car – which was a LONG ways off, through fields, and up and down the banks of a creek. Lucky for us – the creek was dry! The next morning we made a brief stop at a road-cut for Ordovician, Bromide Formation paracrinoids where everyone managed to score at least one Oklahomacystis tribrachiatus, as well as some interesting bryozoan and bracs. Then we were off again on a wild drive through cow pastures, over rocks, through gates, dodging herds of cows, and fording a running creek until we reached our destination – White Mound, a famous trilobite locality, Early Devonian – Haragan Formation, where we stocked up on trilobites, trilo-bits and brachiopods. And, where I left my backpack… Diane and Carl had to leave us at this point so, so Earl and Lynn and I went by ourselves to Geological Enterprises, a wholesale fossil dealer shop, run by Donna Russell, where we drooled over her wonderful array of fossils from all over the world – and even managed to find a few in our budget to bring back home with us. The trip was “officially” over at this point, but we had one more potential site to try and find – a Permian locality we had directions for that none of us had ever been to. We managed to find the site, and it was more fun than a barrel of monkeys! Nearly all the specimens were crushed and/or broken – but we did manage to find an occasional intact toe bone or vertebra from long extinct reptiles and amphibians, as well as gobs of broken fresh water shark teeth. And some of them were BLUE! It was awesome.