2016 Memorial Day Weekend, NY Fossil trips
(2 DAYS)-(2Reports)-(5 Quarrys) And lots of photos!
By trip leader: Andy Brodeur
NY Trip report for Saturday 5/28/16 (Day 1)
Howe's Cave Quarry and Rickard hill Quarry
Well the 2016 NY fossil trip was another successful weekend of collecting and socializing for the CVMC. This year's trip was attended by three different Clubs that included the Capital District Mineral Club of Albany NY and the Mid Hudson Valley Club from Poughkeepsie NY and the CVMC, about 35 to 40 people in all. The 20 CVMC Club members gathered at the usual location eager to get their dig on for NY fossils. The first stop of the day was the Howe's Cave Quarry where our host Paul Griggs gave the members of the 3 participating Mineral Clubs some history of the site and the NY lime stone industry as a whole. Before the group proceeded on the tour of the Cave House Museum and the original Howe Cavern entrance, trip leader Andrew Brodeur presented Paul Griggs with a certificate of honorary membership to the CVMC as well as a $200 donation to the Cave House Museum on behalf of the Club. This was presented to Mr. Griggs for all he does for the Club with these great field trips. We were also given a first time, surprise opportunity to venture inside this working quarry to view glacial scratches in a section of the quarry that will be worked extensively for the next 2 years. Club members were able to collect specimens of the glacially scared layer as well as other fossil specimens before they get blown up and run through the crusher. By this time it was noon and the daytime temp was approaching 90*F with air quality warnings for the Hudson Valley region so staying cool and hydrated was the order of the day. After a quick pit stop for those that needed one we proceeded to the Rickard Hill Quarry where we spent the remainder of the day. Many of the various Clubs members dropped out for the day after a couple more hours but the majority of the diehards being from the CVMC stayed to the end finally calling it a day shortly after 5pm. The last stop in the quarry produced 400ma mud cracks and rain drop impressions as well as some impressive Branch Coral specimens for many of the members. It wasn't the best day we've had as far as the amount of specimens we collected from this location but with the temps breaking a record reaching 94*F for the region on Saturday, Club members changed their collecting habits to deal with the conditions. Collecting any shady areas we could find, retreating frequently to the car to cool off and rehydrate in the comfort of the AC and slowing the pace all were common place to make the most of the day. The age range of the group stated at 10 years old and went all the way to retirement age with everybody having a safe, fun, successful day of collecting!
Saturday, stop #1, Howe's Cave Quarry and Cave House/ cave tour
Saturday, stop #2, Rickard Hill Quarry
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NY Trip report for Sunday 5/29/16 (Day 2)
Fyke Quarry, Peckum Quarry and Greenport Quarry
The second day of our Memorial Day weekend trip saw the same weather as Saturday with bright sun, temps in the 90's and a good breeze. About 30 members from the same 3 clubs were on hand with 18 of them being CVMC members. We started our day with another location being added to the day's agenda by our host Paul Griggs for a total of 3. Our usual first location became our 2 nd stop when he included a trip to the Fyke Quarry in Catskill NY. The Fyke Quarry is no longer an operating facility and was reclaimed to be a geological education quarry. Walking trails and kiosks lead you through areas and features that were left exposed to show some very unique folding and faulting in the rock as well as a large area with fossilized Stromatalites, these ancient structures are thought to be the first oxygen building structures on earth. There is no active collecting allowed on exposed areas but we could do some passive collecting for any specimens already detached from the walls and floor of the quarry. The Fyke Quarry was a great area to explore with almost everybody finding decent specimens without any tools at all. After this we traveled the short distance to the Peckum Quarry and the mineral specimen started appearing within 5 minutes with Peter Ames claiming the first one, a quarter sized Catskill Diamond right off the bat! There were at least 8 Catskill diamonds collected here this year along with the usual Angel Wing Calcites and many fossils. The group headed to our 3 rd destination about 2 pm with some people opting out because of the temps at this point. We still ended up with about 20 people at the Calarusso Quarry in Greenport NY. This location produced some very nice Trilobite fossils this year along with Branch Corals and mortality plates. The hot and happy group finally called it a day at 4:30pm with hugs and handshakes throughout the group and to our host for another great weekend. I'm not sure what it is about this trip that is so different from other trips but it seems to have a different kind of atmosphere. These 2 days together seems to bond many of the members together and that makes for a really good time!
Andrew Brodeur, Trip leader
Quarry #1, Fyke Quarry, Catskill NY (Reclaimed quarry)
Quarry #2, Peckum quarry Catskill NY
Quarry #3, Calarusso Quarry, Greenport NY