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Fossil Hunting at Lincoln Creek

Recently, I’ve found myself thinking more often than not about the past – mistakes I’ve made, where I could have done better, things like that. I think that’s a symptom of unhappiness, really, so yeah… I’m putting a stop to that. It’s a hard and imperfect stop, but I’m not willing to continue to think about things that I can’t change. Instead, I am going to look forward — to my next step and how to make it count! That’s how I’ve been trending, anyway, I hope you can tell!

I guess that makes it funny that I roped people into going fossil-hunting with me! Get it? THE PAST. But, I LOVE ANCIENT HISTORY! It’s my first time finding a fossil, and my first time hunting, so I count it as a giant leap forward in this travelogue I call life. :3

Anyways, I found a book in the library about gem hunting in Washington and there was a listing for a site where you could find fossils (!!!!) nearby (!!!!!!!!!!). It’s called Lincoln Creek (there does appear to be a creek somewhere nearby, but it’s not right at the site), and let’s just say that I’ve learned a lot from it, both about fossil hunters (STINGY WITH LOCATIONS) and about fossil hunting itself (by blundering right into it without knowing anything). Thank god there were GPS coordinates in the book, because although I found a lot of reviews on fossil hunting at Lincoln Creek online, as well as a few blurry photos, I couldn’t find any information on how to actually get there or what exactly it looked like. All I had was the GPS coordinates from the book. I know that people want to protect their “stash,” and it comes across as pretty selfish to me, but it really makes it hard to start out as a beginner with only passion to rely on, and I don’t think that being “protective” or “exclusive” is a good way to behave in general.

That said, let me help you if you decide to go yourself:
GPS coordinates in Google Maps.
A screencap of the map and the turns I walked to get there.

I don’t recommend it, unless you want a really great walk in nature that is also technically trespassing and won’t be disappointed if you find nothing, but if you want to go, go for it and enjoy it all you can!

It was only supposed to be a half hour drive or so from my sister’s house to the little logging road that led to the site. But I learned something new that had seriously never once crossed my mind: logging roads can be closed off! There was a gate blocking the main road, so we tried driving for miles in every direction to get in another way, but ALL of those were blocked off, too. There were “no tresspassing, this land belongs to Weyerhaeuser” signs, but we eventually just decided to walk it. I am not sorry at all to say that I have zero respect for companies that clearcut or attempt to think that land can “belong” to them for that purpose. Oh, and they have tried to sue the government to be able to log on lands that contain endangered species. Now, I love paper, but f you, Weyerhaeuser. I’m not at all sorry, and I’d walk these lands again a hundred times if I wanted to.

So, we ignored the signs, and walked past the gate all the way to our destination. ALLLLLLLL the two hours. It might not seem like a lot, but we honestly thought that we’d be able to drive right up to the site as it said in the book. Welp, it was an unexpected walk, but super awesome to get back among the trees. Being in the forest and a slow walker anyways, I spent a lot of the time by myself contemplating life and sacred rituals. You know, the usual.

Come look at some photos with me, and I’ll tell you a little bit about the journey. 🙂

When we realized that the road was blocked off, we drove around searching for another way into the deep forest and saw this. You know you’re… oh, wait.

It looked like their neighbors a little further down were more my kind of people, though!

Here’s my niece, all ready for adventure!

I’m pretty sure that these were bear droppings, as they were full of berries. They were also somewhat fresh. There are a lot of bears up here in Western Washington, since there aren’t many settled areas. I never thought for a moment that I’d need to bring bear spray, but I definitely am going to have to buy some for my adventures. :/

It was quite lovely. One of the very few blue, sunny days that we’ve had so far this summer. I won’t be sorry to leave the cold behind, as I’m a desert sprite and being in the cold depletes my magic! But this… it was lovely.

There were two clearcut clearings. They made for gorgeous views of the valley, but it was also quite sad. I could feel the souls of all of those trees calling out to me… 🙁

We delved onto a very overgrown road after over an hour of walking.

And there was a huge, recent-looking landslide blocking the path! We weren’t about to turn back, so we picked our way across it.

And just a little ways farther, down another overgrown road, this one much more primitive, the fossil site was evident. It was also really, really disappointing. It was exactly where the GPS coordinates said it would be (funny enough, I got better cell signal in the middle of the forest than I do in town), and there was basically a slope of discarded rocks that led up to a little overhang.

Oops, I mean a lot overhang. People had dug deep into the cliff, and it looked like the forest above was one hit shy of collapsing in on you. I like adventuring, but I don’t like playing with death. And yet, I still picked for about half an hour, looking for concretions (fossilized crabs in the center of rock balls trapped within the rock, if that makes sense). Supposedly this site was full of them, and there were people online saying that they found 80 within an hour. But we found nothing at all, except for some shells that were indeed trapped in the rock, but looked like any old shell. Fossils, yes, but not really cool.

This was supposed to be my “I’m tired and disappointed” face. I guess I shouldn’t have smiled, haha!

Guess what, though???? We felt so empty-handed that we decided to see if there was anything in the rock slide, and that’s where I found the concretion!! In the middle of this giant rock that I slowly whittled away at. We must have spent about two hours picking through the debris, and we found a ton more shells, but just that one crab. Still, it’s cool, right? I considered it a win for the day after all, and we decided to get out of there as the sun started to go down.

Here’s the slightly-overgrown trail we were on (the panorama makes it look like a circle, but it was a straight path XD).

Passed the clearcut areas with the sun much lower in the sky.

The fairies started to come out as we entered the wooded paths again in the late afternoon sunlight.

We made it home while it was still light out, exhausted and quite sore. Here is my concretion, though! Isn’t it cool? You can barely tell that there was a crab inside when it was formed. I didn’t really know what I was doing, so I think that I didn’t preserve it as well as I could when I cracked it open, but I’m still really proud to have found it. 🙂

 

My first fossil. Of many. 🙂

 

(1,472 geeks have read this)

Hi! This is Jamie Lynn Lano! I am a Washington State (USA) native who: ☆ Holds a Bachelors of the Arts in Media Arts & Animation from AiPx. ☆ Worked as an assistant mangaka in Japan for Konomi Takeshi on The Prince of Tennis. ☆ Was an essay columnist for Asahi Weekly from 2008-2013. ☆ Was the star of Asahi Pop'n Press on Asahi TV (Japan) from 2009-2013 ☆ Was a write for Metropolis magazine in 2010. ☆ Has kept a blog foreeeeeeeeever! First and Current blogs.

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