After a unloading a set of D8 dozer tracks in Carlin this morning, I met my family back in Elko for some off time. It was grocery day, that was all we had in mind. So I suggested we go fossil gathering, a great activity to bust out of the winter mode of operation.
We headed out of town, and not too far north, there’s a well-known and popular spot for collecting fossilized invertebrates (sadly, no mammoths or ichthyosaurs). The Great Basin is basically a giant outdoor self-guided museum, with many artifacts available to collect and some simply known as “leverites” (as in, “Leave ‘er right where you found it”). These particular fossils require no permit to collect, providing one only takes up to twenty-five pounds per year. That was hard for our young children to grasp as they tried to haul off small boulders with embedded brachiopods.
In the future, I believe we will use the Nevada Fossil Sites section of CollectingFossils.org when we plan on hitting the trail again. Plenty of obscure as well as highly visited sites are available to anyone wanting to get out and discover for themselves wonders by the wayside. I’m fortunate to have both a wife and village of children who are enthusiastic about exploring where we live.
Nevada has many more “exhibits” to discover and enjoy. It’s a grand time just to get out and be nomadic with my family. We are a clan of people filled with curiosity and wanderlust. Seeking things out satisfies that thirst, and it’s how we desire to raise our children. Being a Christian doesn’t inherently make one indifferent to the mechanics of natural science and the realm of creation; in reality, having this thirst for exploring is only heightened when grace has been experienced. The God who gave me what I did not deserve also made a world filled with wonder, and so rambling within His world must be worth the trip.