Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Hunting at the bottom of an ocean

Fossils on an un-named mountain in the Northern Rockies

I was making a painful, frontal assault on a large mountain that lay between our camp and "Billy Goat Basin". We could have ridden around the mountain but that would've meant catching and saddling horses and I figured that the net savings in time would be negligible. The mountain turned out to be a lot steeper than the view from camp suggested and I was looking for excuses to stop and rest.

It was on one of these rest breaks that I noticed the fossils sticking out of the rocks. Scattered throughout the talus slope we were crossing were thousands of fossils of ancient sea creatures. It made me stop to ponder the vastness of time. Here we were, hunting goats and standing on what was once an active sea-bed. Had our ancestor's even crawled out of the primeval sludge at the time that these sea creatures lived and died on the ocean's floor?

It also brought to mind why I was out there - not just to get a goat, but to breathe the free mountain air and to soak in all of the wonders that nature presented in this vast untouched land. I am pretty much positive that no one had ever visited this fossil bed before my arrival and could bet dollars to donuts that no-one has been there since. It makes one glad to know that there are still places out there that are yet unexplored and holding secrets for others to find.

 
Height of land - Northern Rockies

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Please feel free to leave a comment. Ever since old Rebel rolled on me and I've been strapped to this old hospital bed I've enjoyed whatever posts come my way.