Finding Fossils In The Desert

For the second year in a row, we've had the pleasure of joining our friends and a wonderful group of paleontology enthusiasts on a trip into the desert to collect fossils for a museum in our community. With the record rainy Winter we've had here in Southern California, it turned out to be an excellent year for fossil hunting!

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The "documents of life" in this area include the ancient remains of horses and peccaries dating approximately 15 million years old. My attempts to train Hoku to sniff out these fossils were largely unsuccessful.

↑ This is a museum quality horse toe fossil.

One of the most exciting finds of the day was an extremely rare, almost perfectly intact tip of a mammoth or mastodon tusk!  

By lunchtime, the dogs were already all tired out. Chili took a nap under the truck and Hoku curled up into a ball on the floor of the Outback after chasing desert flies for a good hour, too pooped to even jump onto the seat.

↑ The dogs hanging out in our rooftop tent back at the campsite. 

After a BBQ dinner, our group gathered around the bonfire to announce the day's best finds and for a raffle prize drawing. To everyone's amusement, Chili and Hoku's names were pulled for a whiskey glass!   

After a gusty night, we woke up to a brisk 39° F and took Hoku on a little hike exploring the hills around our campsite before breakfast. We couldn't have asked for a better way to end a fun weekend of meeting new friends than with a mug of hot coffee and a plate of bacon and eggs cooked over the campfire!