You'll remember that over Memorial Day weekend I made a quick trip to Wyoming and Utah to visit my family before heading out to the Bay Area for house hunting.
While we were in Wyoming we had the pleasure of going out to dig some fossils at Promised Land Fossils, near Fossil Butte National Monument outside of Kemmerer, WY. I grew up in the area, so I have always taken digging fossils for granted. In prehistoric times, the high plains desert in which I grew up, was actually a giant tropical lake. The area around my home town has yielded some of the rarest fossils in the world. The quarry at which we dug is responsible for finding several new species including one of a kind bat fossils, one of only 2 snake fossils in the world, and the day before we got there Charlie Nunn the owner of the quarry had found a previously un-described fern (AKA un-comfirmed new species, it will take years to confirm that it is in fact a new species). Charlie is a close friend of my father's and an excellent host!
One of only two snake fossils in the world -
Found in rock from Promised Land Fossils
When you dig fossils, you go to an open quarry, which is basically just a chunk of dirt removed from the ground revealing the layers and layers of sandstone beneath it. You pick up a large chunk of sand stone, and with a hammer and a chisel you split the rock in half. At most quarries that allow tourists to dig something like 3 or 4 out of every 5 rocks you pick up will yield a fossilized fish inside.
The Preppy Boyfriend, myself, and my dad in the quarry at Promised Land Fossils
The Preppy Boyfriend and I showing off some the fossils we found!
(Isn't he handsome *swoon*)
The view from the quarry at Promised Land Fossils
Promised Land Fossils was featured on the Travel Channel show Cash & Treasure in 2006. Charlie, the owner of the quarry is a great guy, and you'll be sure to have a great time digging and you'll definitely go home with a bunch of fossils. There is no website for Promised Land Fossils, but you can call Charlie Nunn to schedule a visit at (307) 877-6431 -Tell him Danielle Johnson sent you!