LOCKPORT “GULF” – Sunday, June 23, at 1 pm.

The field trip will be to collect fossils from the Rochester Shale and is open to families. Bring a hammer, chisel, safety glasses, collecting bag, and water. There are thousands of fossils lying on the ground waiting for a new home.

This trip will go rain or shine so dress appropriately. Jerry Bastedo will be leading the trip and you must contact him at jcbastedo@gmail.com or call him at (716) 864-2701 to find the meeting location and any questions.

RIDGEMOUNT QUARRY – Friday, June 28, at 8am.

This field trip is to collect eurypterids from the very hard Bertie Dolostone.  Bring hammers, chisels, safety glasses, steel toed shoes, long pants, wrapping material, and water. This trip will go rain or shine (except for lightning) so dress appropriately.  Jerry Bastedo will be leading the trip and you must contact him at jcabstedo@gmail.com or call him at (716) 864-2701 for directions or information.  No one under 18 is permitted in the quarry.

An invitation to collect in Wyoming from the speaker at the May 2019 BGS Banquet:

Hello to the members of the The Buffalo Geological Society,

     When I concluded my Green River Formation Presentation at your banquet at the beginning of May, I told you that I would lead a trip to the Green River Formation and I invited everyone to come along.

     I am writing this email to give you more information about collecting the Green River Formation so that you will be able to make an informed decision about making the trip.

     First of all, the site that I have chosen is The American Fossil Quarry. Over the last 2 collecting seasons, I have collected fossils at American Fossil for a total of 13 days.

     The American Fossil website (fishdig.com) states that you get to keep all the fossils you find that have a value of less than $100,000. That means that if you find something like a stingray, bird, or bat, you get to keep it. Anything with a value of more than $100,000 has 50% of the value going to the quarry owner. From my viewpoint, I have observed that the quarry manager and owners of the American Fossil quarry are people of integrity, honest, fair, and friendly. I observed several individuals who found stingrays and got to keep them.

     If you take a close look at the fine print in some of the websites of the competing quarries in the Green River Formation, you will find that those quarries will confiscate the rarer fossils like stingrays.

I personally know a person who found a stingray at one of the competing quarries who was not allowed to keep it. This is a “heart breaker” that should be avoided.

     Another consideration is the driving distance from Buffalo, New York to Kemmerer, Wyoming which is approximately 1820 miles one way or approximately 3640 miles for a round trip. Depending on what kind of vehicle you drive and what kind of gas mileage it gets, the cost of fuel is significant. Also, because a one way trip will take you about 35 hours to drive, you have to consider the cost of a motel room for 2 or 3 nights depending upon how many miles you drive per day.

     Another fairly significant cost to consider is the tolls that are charged on I-90 in New York, and the Ohio and Indiana Turnpikes. Having EZ-PASS will provide a discount to drivers on these 3 roads.

     Last summer, when 19 members of the North Coast Fossil Club made the trip, some of them flew, rented a car, and shipped their fossils home. I have no idea how much all of that would cost because I drove my car. But, I am mentioning it because it is an alternative to driving.

     Kemmerer, Wyoming is a little different from what you experience living in the big city. In Kemmerer you will not find a Burger King, McDonalds, or even a donut shop. For those who count calories, there is a Subway Restaurant, and for those who don’t care, there is a Pizza Hut.

     There are 2 main motels, the Super 8 and Best Western.  If you are traveling with someone and sharing the cost of the room, you will probably choose a room with 2 beds. The Super 8 is about $70 + tax per night and the Best Western is about $120 + tax per night.

     I made my reservation at the Super 8 through their website. When I received my email confirmation, I noticed in the fine print that the reservation was non-cancelable with the cost of the room being non-refundable.

     The American Fossil Quarry is a pay to dig site that charges $120 per day. However, last year, when I took a group of 19 to dig there, everyone received a huge discount. At this point, I have no idea how many people will go. But one thing that I can be sure of is that we will get some kind of a discount off of the regular cost of $120. The quarry accepts credit cards at the quarry office.

     I have chosen the month of August to make the trip to American Fossil. This will give everyone sufficient time to make decisions and plan for making the trip. Also, August temperatures will probably be a little lower than June and July. In September, it starts to snow.

     Last year, I made it crystal clear to Patrick (one of the owners) that with the distance, time, and cost of a trip to American Fossil, it would be impossible to get everyone there at the same time. Patrick agreed with me. With people driving, flying, using airline miles, blackout dates, getting time off work, using vacation time, it is impossible to get everyone there at the same time.

     So, last summer, everyone on my list got the discount regardless of when they showed up at the quarry. Some people showed up at the beginning of August, some showed up at the end of August and into the first couple of days in September. I am anticipating that I can work out the same deal for this coming August.

     So, if you are interested in making this trip, what I would need from you would be your name, cell phone number, email address, the date of your first day at American Fossil, and finally how many days you will collect.

     If you collect at American Fossil, the first thing to keep in mind that it is located in a high mountain desert. You will need to bring enough food and water to keep yourself healthy.

     You should wear long pants, a long sleeve shirt, and a wide brimmed hat to keep the sun off you. I even recommend attaching some cloth to the back of your hat to keep the sun off your neck. I would recommend that you wear your steel toed shoes and bring a couple of pairs of good work gloves.

     You might consider bringing a dust mask. Especially during the afternoon, the wind kicks up and the rock dust blows everywhere. You will be surprised how much of that rock dust ends up in your car even with the windows and doors shut tightly.

     You should bring enough boxes and packing material to transport your fossils. Asking for boxes at the stores in Kemmerer is a waste of time. I tried it my first collecting season and I was astonished by the number and variety of excuses why the merchants would not part with any empty boxes.

     The American Fossil Quarry will lend you a rock hammer and a chisel. The quarry also has plenty of electric saws for trimming the excess rock off of your finds.

     My experience collecting at American Fossil the last 2 seasons has been fantastic. The value of the fossils I found far exceeds how much I paid to collect.

     I hope that this information will help you in deciding if you will make the trip to the Green River Formation. If you have any questions at all, please contact me.

Carl Fechko


(440) 238-8714