Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Fire, Rain and Fossils

One of my favorite spots on the planet is a wilderness area in West Virginia. M and I try to get out there backpacking at least once a year. When we go, we usually see less than five or so folks in the time span of 3 to 5 days.

We just got back from a two night trip there. Wouldn't you know, the morning of the second day there, I awoke with an intense headache and a slight fever. I tried to be a good sport and hike around a bit, but I really felt like crap. I kept that headache the entire rest of the trip.

I always try to snip and draw while I'm out there. This is the only snip I managed to do this time.

It's 2.5" x 3.5". I was watching M build a fire as I snipped this.

My favorite pastime in this place is fossil hunting. We have found one hotbed of fossils at this spot.



While we didn't spend as much time fossil hunting as I would have liked, we did see a fair variety.

This is a fossilized tree trunk. Though you can't tell the scale in this shot, I'd guess that the diameter of the tree would have been around 56" or so.


Below is my favorite fossil. Lepidodendron. In life it was a tall tree with a narrow trunk. You can find long expanses of this tree's fossil laying just as it fell millions of years ago. They are found in the earth's layers that also contain coal. As the creek goes down to the bottom of the mountain, this layer of the earth seems to be only exposed in this one area.



Here's an impression fossil of some veiny plant. We find lots of these around.


Here's a fossilized impression of a lepiodendron in this rock.


We did a bit of hiking, but not nearly as much as M would have liked.

Did I mention that we got tons of rain as well? Saturday morning we napped in the tent from 9 til 12. Then around 7:30 in the evening the rain sent us to the tent again. We just stayed in at that point and slept...or tried to sleep....until the morning.

Not the best of trips this time, but we do hope to get back out again in August for a few more days.

3 comments:

Brit Gal Sarah said...

You can definitely see the influence of the fire in that snip. You would love Lyme Regis beach in the UK, it's a fossil hotspot.

Julie said...

Oh, this brings back memories of a fossilized tree trunk I found as a young girl... I kept it for years and somewhere along the way, I lost it and I always wish I could find another one! Seems like we were in the Smoky Mtns when I found it!!!

Looked like a neat trip, even with the rain!!!

organized chaos said...

I love WVA! Where were you?