Sunday, September 30, 2012

Adventure 38- Fossil Hunting

Mussel shell?
It feels like a month since I wrote a post. My gosh it feels good to hit these keys again. I have been keeping really busy doing my food preps and looking after my deer meat. I was lucky enough to take another deer this weekend, on Friday night, now I have much more to play with. On Saturday Natalie and I made ten pounds of venison sausage. Our first time ever, and they turned out pretty good. It was a learning experience for both of us, and by the second batch it was going much smoother and the sausages looked way better.
My crew
With this amazing fall weather still holding for a few more days, I wanted to go back to Trent River for more exploring and look for some fossils. The river is very nice to walk when the water levels are low. Much of the river bed is rock and small pools and is very easy to walk. I phoned for some company and the Logan kids were able to join us for another adventure. Olivia had not accompanied us since early July when we visited Ash Berry Farm to pick strawberries. Hanna of course has been present for many adventures through out the year, and she is no stranger to the fun things that we do.
Any luck?
We left the house astride our bicycles prepared to ride the four kilometers to the river. As I explained in Adventure 17, Trent River is a favorite place of ours and is really only accessible by bicycle or A.T.V. Like so many of the backroad areas of the Comox Valley, things are gated off because of vandalism, theft and general recklessness. It frustrates all of the law abiding citizens who wish to use these areas for recreation. Alas, we make the best of it. I am happy to combine cycling into adventuring to some favorite places.
Favorite place
I brought my slingshot with the fore site of possibly seeing a Willow grouse. What do you know, I did see one. I asked the girls to stop and wait so I could try and get it. Marshall also saw the bird. That wily bird few away with our hesitation with Marshall crashing in the woods after it. Oh well, he is a hunting breed. We arrived at the river bottom and began a short walk up stream to the base of a rock water fall. Not a sheer drop, more of a slide. It is walkable and is full of potholes and chutes that act as water slides. This is a very fun place for kids to play, and in warmer weather, is a great place to swim. This is also a sweet place to ride a mountain bike! I cruised my way up the river, dismounting once in a while for a crossing. The water was shallow and it is easy to pick a line around the rough stuff. So much fun and a choppy, challenging ride. The girls left their bikes back where we entered the river bed, and carried on by foot. Marshall found the water immediately  like normal, and ran from pool to pool. Supermanning his way along.
We found the base of the accent in the river and began searching for fossils. We searched for a short while before the first was found. A small clam shell. Soon all the kids were finding one after the other. Probably 30 in total. Most were small, but there were very exciting for the girls and a look at history. I am not sure if they understand how old fossils actually are, but I think they appreciate them all the same. The search ended and games began. They started playing a game where they were shipwrecked on an island. It is so funny to listen to kids plan their games. I so remember doing the same thing at that age.
A sample of our findings
I announced departure time to lots of "No!" by all of the kids. It was getting late in the afternoon and dinner time was on the horizon. After a short walk(ride) we happened upon a Jeep four wheeling up the river bed. I guess that I am not the only wheeled vehicle that like to play on the rocks. Behind that was a late model Toyota Tacoma trying to follow the Jeep. He was having a tougher time, with stock tires and running gear. I cringed watching him crawl through a tight space and potentinally denting the sheetmetal of the truck. I have seen it in the past with friends four wheeling. A memorable trip to Boston Main back in the day resulted in Russ denting both sides of his Jimmy on the same tree. Once going up, once going down. This fellow made it unscathed, with an adrenaline rush.(While this was fun for myself and the kids to watch, these guys have no business driving in a fish bearing river. It is very damaging to fish habitat. The warm water already makes the fish weak, and the added stress of vehicles driving in the river can kill the fish, not to mention all the silt that is stirred up that can clog gills. I have filed a report with R.A.P.P. and will be following up to see this kind of activity stopped)
Having fun?
As we rode home the kids took turns making big plans for Halloween. Big ideas were hatched for trick or treating and costume making. It was really fun to take Olivia and Hanna with us on our adventure. Those fossils will be keep sakes for a long time. Find Adventure.

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