Friday, April 27, 2007


As like most people I take some joy in finding an interesting rock or stone from time to time. I’ve had some really cool finds over the years.

I was talking with a local archaeologist once about fossils. He told me that one can find fossils of ferns and leaves in a place In Washington County and he told me where the best place to shell fossils in Dried Salmon County was.

Back before there were gates across all the logging roads you could drive up the road to Saddle Mountain and make a right where the Lewis and Clarke Main Line cut across the road. Then about a half mile go right onto another logging road and then right again on to this dead end spur. At the dead end there was a stream that came off the north side of Humbug Mountain. Just down the bank from the dead end and in the stream was the richest fossil bed I had ever seen. It was highly concentrated within less than 100 feet. Outside of that 100 foot area there was nothing but normal stones. Just about every rock held shells of all sorts, even nautilus shells. Some shells even had quartz crystals in them. I took only a few; leaving the millions of others for others to find.

A few years later I was telling someone about this place and decided to take them there. This time there were gates, but it was worth parking and walking in. It took about an hour to get there, but to my extreme dismay the fossil bed had been transformed. We came upon a road where the stream once flowed. The bed was now covered by a culvert pipe and hundreds of yards of pit-run rock. My favorite fossil bed was now a logging road.


Anonymous gearhead said...

There is a secret spot between Salem & Dallas that you have got to see.
You have to know just where to park and then look for a trail.
The trail leads to railroad tracks that you follow for 1/4 mile and all of a sudden, you are surrounded by fossels.
I learned about it when Sparkplug was in Cub Scouts.

7:22 AM  
Blogger Jaggy said...

Mary's Peak is another good spot to look for seashell fossils. Central Oregon has many nice places: Fort Rock was amazing, and the area around Smith Rock has some fossils.

The scary part is that my geo-nerdy-ness just kicked in. Thanks, Mr. Guy...

7:41 AM  
Blogger Hahn at Home said...

There was a beautiful forest near the river bank where I spent a lot of time as a kid (suicide sledding was perfect, impromptu bike stunt ramps were built with logs that had fallen naturally from the trees). I went back a while back, and it had transformed into a "green space" with garbage cans, paved sidewalks, parking spots, and chain link fence around its perimeter. At least it didn't end up the latest hot spot to build a McMansion. Sigh.

7:50 AM  
Anonymous Devonia Jurassic Jones said...

When I was a kid I had quite a collection of concretion centered petrified clams and crabs that had come from the Saddle Mountain area but I'll be damned if I can remember exactly where..there is/was also a roadcut right on 26 that they could be dug out of--or be spotted and retrieved after heavy fall/winter rains had eroded the reddish clay dirt from around them

12:42 PM  
Blogger The Guy Who Writes This said...

It's good to see I'm not the only one interested in this stuff.

There are fossils on Saddle Mt and I suspect there are more places in the county, but none that I've stumbled upon in my normal travels in the back country.

2:22 PM  
Blogger Syd said...

Finding a fossil makes me feel like a kid again.

8:15 PM  
Anonymous Rhetten N. Stone said...

The local fossil expert is former oil company scientist and retired CCC geology teacher, Mr. Paul See.

A Dried Salmon country native, he not only knows where all the bodies are buried, he knows how they got there and when.

11:29 PM  
Blogger The Guy Who Writes This said...

I think it makes us all feel that way, Syd, though I hadn't thought of it untill your reminder.

Hey, I know Paul, and I usually consult him over matters of minerals. Thanks for the tip.

6:34 AM  

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