Mid-Atlantic Fossil and Nature Adventures

It’s always an adventure

Upcoming Trips and Events

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2016 Trips

Posted on March 22, 2015 at 12:10 AM


Philadelphia Mineral Collecting Trip

Sunday, April 19th, 2020



Nice rock with garnets and staurolite found during a prior Philadelphia Mineral Collecting Trip.


     Join us for a day of rock hunting.  Yes - even Philadelphia has wonderful rocks!  We will meet at Valley Green in Fairmount Park, and see and learn about metamorphic rocks and collect some interesting minerals.  Karenne Snow, president of the Philadelphia Mineralogical Society and co-author of Gem Trails of Pennsylvania and New Jersey will lead this extraordinary trip.


     We'll collect garnets, and possibly staurolite and kyanite, while taking a beautiful hike in the woods and walking in a stream.  Karenne will also teach us about the geology of the area.  We'll have a picnic lunch by the stream, and then go to the Bells Mills area to look for more staurolite, tourmaline, and perhaps magnetite.


This trip is for adults and for children ages 7 and up.


Cost:  $20 per adult and $10 per child under age 18.


FOR MORE INFORMATION, OR TO REGISTER FOR THIS WONDERFUL TRIP, e-MAIL [email protected] OR CALL ME AT 610-209-0758.



Spring Stratford Hall Fossil Collecting Weekend

Saturday, April 18th and Sunday, April 19th, 2020



Gorgeous meg found at Stratford Hall during one of our trips there last year.

  

     I hope you can join us on a fabulous fossil collecting adventure at Stratford Hall Plantation on the northern neck of Virginia.


     Stratford Hall Plantation is General Robert E. Lee's birthplace, home of 2 signers of the Declaration of Independence, and a world-class fossil collecting site along the Potomac River.  Only a small part of the beach is open to the public, but we have special permission to take groups over a mile beyond the ropes.  As long as the Potomac and winds cooperate, we'll have motorboats with us to take people to the furthest areas at no extra charge.  The fossils found herre are mainly Miocene Age from the Calvert, Choptank, St. Mary's and Eastover Formations.  There are also some Pleistocene exposures, Bacon's Castle Formation.


     Shark teeth, whale bones and teeth, crocodile teeth and turtle shell are mainly found here.  Occasionally even a megalodon shark tooth is found.  A megalodon is an extinct giant shark - the huge monster whose teeth can reach 5 or 6 inches long.  There are also some beautiful fossil shells found here, including chesapectens and ecphora.  Some of the chesapectens have both valves attached, and some of the ecphora are complete, or almost complete.  Some complete dolphin and crocodile skeletons have been collected here by paleontologists.  Stratford Hall is the place where the whale skull was found 7 summers ago, and taken out of the cliff by paleontologists with the Calvert Marine Museum.


     Saturday we'll collect fossils until about 3:30.  Sunday we'll go back to Stratford Hall and collect fossils until 2 PM.


This trip is for adults and for children ages 8 and up.


Cost:  $80 per adult and $40 per child under age 18.  Cost does not include food, transportation, lodging, or Stratford Hall's Grounds Fees of $25 per person ages 14 and older and $15 per child ages 8 - 13, per day to be paid in cash each morning we meet.


FOR MORE INFORMATION, OR TO REGISTER FOR THIS SPECTACULAR TRIP, e-MAIL [email protected] OR CALL ME AT 610-209-0758.



Children's Paleontology Camp at Stratford Hall Plantation in VA

Monday afternoon, July 6th through Friday afternoon, July 10th, 2020



Beautiful megalodon tooth found by one of our Campers during our Paleo Camp at Stratford Hall last summer.


     Children ages 8 through 17 will have the opportunity to collect fossils and learn about paleontology with paleontologists at historic Stratford Hall Plantation in Virginia.


     We will be staying in the Stratford Hall Cheek Guest House, right on the stunning Stratford Hall Plantation!  This guest house sleeps 2 per room, and each room has its own bathroom.  Stratford Hall will provide all of our meals.


     We will collect fossils each day at locations along the Potomac River.  Every evening a paleontologist will be with us to give a talk about fossils. Monday night Dr. Steven Jasinski, Curator of Geology and Paleontology of the PA State Museum in Harrisburg, PA will give a program about dinosaurs.  Dr. Bretton Kent, Director of Undergraduate studies in the Dept. of Entomology at the University of Maryland will give a talk on Tuesday night.  Dr. Kent is the author of Fossil Sharks of the Chesapeake Bay Region and wrote the shark section in the new book Geology and Vertebrate Paleontology of Calvert Cliffs, MD. He is featured in a National Geographic special on Monster Sharks.  Dave Bohaska, Museum Specialist in Collections Management, Department of Paleontology, National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution will give us a program about fossil whales on Wednesday night.  Thursday night he will ask the children to bring their fossil whale, bird and turtle bones that they collected during the week, and compare them with pictures of a whale, chicken and turtle showing their skeletons.  The children can then figure out what part of the body their fossil bones were from.  Dave will also help the children collect fossils on Thursday and Friday.


     One of the evenings, the Campers will make shark tooth necklaces using the shark teeth they find.


     One of the days, we'll be given a tour of the Great House of Stratford Hall, home of 2 signers of the Declaration of Independence, and General Robert E. Lee's birthplace,


     Stratford Hall beach is closed to the public - except for a small roped-in area.  We have special permission by the President of Stratford Hall to take groups far past the ropes to collect fossils.  This site is Upper Miocene Age (6-14 million years old).  Shark teeth, whale bones and teeth, crocodile bones and teeth and turtle shell are among the many fossils found here.  Occasionally, even a megalodon tooth is found.  A megalodon is an extinct giant shark - the huge monster whose teeth can reach 5" or 6" long.  Some complete whale, dolphin and crocodile skeletons have been collected here by paleontologists.  There are also some beautiful fossil shells found here, including chesapectens and ecphora.  Some of the chesapectens have both valves attached, and some of the ecphora are complete, or almost complete.


     We'll have motorboats with us to take us to other sites along the Potomac River.  One of the days we will drive to Fairview Beach, Virginia, put the boats in the water, and stop at many beaches on the Virginia side of the Potomac to collect fossils.  Then we'll cross the Potomac to the Maryland side (depending upon the water conditions), and collect fossils along several beaches there.  Most of these sites are Paleocene Age, Aquia Formation.  They are just above the Cretaceous Age.  We'll find many small shark teeth, hopefully some larger Otodus teeth, hopefully some crocodile teeth, lots of turitella shells and some beautiful frilly oysters.


 Cost: $900 per person.  If a parent, grandparent or sibling joins them, the charge of the parent or sibling is $850.  This includes all meals, lodging, boat rides, lectures, Great House tour, everything.


     You may pay in installments.  To register, the downpayment is $200.


Installments - $250 due 2/1/20

                         $250 due 4/8/20

                         $200 due 6/8/20


FOR MORE INFORMATION, OR TO REGISTER FOR THIS SPECTACULAR CAMP, e-MAIL [email protected] OR CALL ME AT 610-209-0758.



Adults Only Paleontology Camp at Stratford Hall Plantation in VA


Sunday afternoon, August 2nd through Friday morning, August 7th, 2020



Gorgeous megalodon tooth collected during our Winter Stratford Hall Fossil Collecting Weekend last year.


     Join us for 5 evenings of fabulous talks by paleontologists and 4 days of fossil collecting adventures at our Adults Only Paleo Camp.


     You'll arrive Sunday afternoon, August 2nd, and settle in your room at the Cheek or Astor Guest House on Stratford Hall Plantation.  Stratford Hall is the birthplace of General Robert E. Lee, home of 2 signers of the Declaration of Independence, a world-class fossil site along the Potomac River, and a gorgeous plantation.


     We'll have a delicious dinner in the Stratford Hall Dining Hall, then go to our living room for a fabulous paleontology talk by a paleontologist.  We'll hang out for a few hours, then retire.


     Monday morning we'll have a scrumptious hot breakfast in the Dining Hall, then grab our gear and head for the beach to collect fossils.  Stratford Hall cliffs are Miocene Age, Calvert, Choptank and St. Mary's Formations (6-14 million years old).  You will mainly find shark teeth (including possibly mako and megalodon teeth, whale bones and teeth, crocodile bones and teeth, beautiful fossil shells (including chesapectens and ecphora), and crab concretions.  There is also a layer of Pleistocene, Bacon's Castle Formation, which sometimes yields Pleistocene mammal footprints.  


     There is a small roped-in area on Stratford Hall Beach which is open to the public.  However, we have special permission from the President of Stratford Hall to take groups over a mile or more past the roped in area.


     We will be given box lunches from the Dining Hall for lunches.  We'll have dinner Monday again in the Dining Hall, and another great paleontology talk by another paleontologist.


     Tuesday (winds permitting) we'll ride in our motorboats to Namini Bay, and collect fossils along some low cliffs.  We often find whale bones and fossil shells in these cliffs, including ecphora, isignomen and chesapectens.  The age of these cliffs is also Miocene Age, and sometimes we will also find shark teeth along the cliffs, including mako and megalodon.


     After dinner, we'll have another amazing presentation by another paleontologist.


     Wednesday, winds permitting, we'll drive to Fairview Beach, put the boats in there, and collect fossils along several beaches both on the Maryland and Virginia sides of the Potomac River.  The ages where we will be collecting fossils are Eocene and Paleocene Ages.  We will mainly find small shark teeth, possibly some larger otodus teeth, crocodile teeth, and fossil shells - including turitella and frilly oysters.


     Wednesday night we'll have another great presentation by another paleontologist.


     Thursday morning after breakfast we'll be given a tour of the Great House (where General Robert E. Lee was born).  After the tour, we'll head for the beach at Stratford Hall and collect fossils the rest of the day.


     Thursday night after dinner we'll have our last wonderful presentation by another paleontologist.  Our Camp will be over on Friday morning after breakfast.


Cost:  $1,300 per room for single occupancy or $1,800 per room for double occupancy.  These costs include everything - 5 nights, 5 dinners, 4 boxed lunches, 5 hot breakfasts, 5 fabulous persentations with paleontologists, 4 days of fossil collecting adventures, the boat rides, Stratford Hall's Grounds Fees, and the Tour of the Great House.


     You may pay in installments.  To register, the downpayment is $200 for single occupancy or $400 for double occupancy.


Installments:  Single occupancy - $375 due 2/1/20

                                                          $375 due 4/1/20

                                                          $350 due 6/1/20


                       Double occupancy - $475 due 2/1/20

                                                          $475 due 4/1/20

                                                          $450 due 6/1/20


FOR MORE INFORMATION, OR TO REGISTER FOR THIS SPECTACULAR CAMP, e-MAIL [email protected] OR CALL ME AT 610-209-0758.




North Carolina Gem and Mineral Collecting Trip

Wednesday evening, September 2nd, Thursday, September 3rd, Friday, September 4th and Saturday, September 5th, 2020


Sluicing for sapphires, rubies, moonstones, garnets and rutile at a mine during a prior NC Gem and Mineral Collecting Trip.


     Join us for 3 days of gem and mineral collecting adventures in the famous and beautiful Blue Ridge Mountain Belt of western North Carolina.  We'll start with a geology and collecting orientation given by our trip leader, Karenne Snow, Wednesday evening, September 2nd in Franklin, NC, "The Gem Capitol of the World".  Karenne Snow is President of the Philadelphia Mineralogical Society and co-author of Gem Trails of Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

     

     Thursday is a full day of mining at one of the sapphire mines in Franklin.  We'll go to one of the mines that offers native sediments, so the sapphires, rubies, garnets, rutile and moonstone you find as you sluice the sediments are actually from their mine.


     Friday we'll head eastward to the Burnsville area to the Ray Mine.  The Ray Mine is a former mica mine, known best for its aquamarine form of beryl.  Other minerals at this site include schorl (tourmaline), columbite, feldspar, muscovite mica and apatite.  We'll collect during the day in the area, go to dinner, then come back at night with our UV lights - looking for the fluorescent minerals!


     Saturday we'll either head for the Crabtree Emerald Mine for digging and sifting and splitting rocks for the best beryl of them all - emeralds, or we'll go to another former mica mine with good collecting in a white pegmatite matrix containing mica, garnet, tourmaline, thulite and apatite.  Where we go will depend upon whether the Crabtree Emerald Mine has been turned over, so hopefully productive.  If it hasn't been turned over, it won't be worth going to.


This trip is for adults and children ages 7 and up.


Cost:  $200 per adult and $100 per child under age 18.  Cost does not include food, transportation or lodging.  We meet at our hotels and caravan to the sites.  It also does not include the cost for buckets of sediment at the sapphire mine, parking at the Ray Mica Mine, or the fee to enter the Crabtree Emerald Mine if we decide to go there.


FOR MORE INFORMATION, OR TO REGISTER FOR THIS FABULOUS TRIP, e-MAIL [email protected] OR CALL ME AT 610-209-0758.

     



Fall Nebraska Fossil Collecting Trip

Choose a 3-Day or a 5-Day Trip!

Saturday, September 26th through Wednesday, September 30th, 2020



The M&M Ranch where we will collect Eocene and Oligocene Age mammals and turtles


     The M&M Ranch in Crawford County, Nebraska will be hosting Mid-Atlantic Fossil and Nature Adventures for a fossil collecting trip on September 26th (arriving September 25th) through September 30th, 2020 (departing October 1st).  Both 3 and 5 day trips are available during this time period, both having special reduced pricing for MAFANA customers.


     M&M Ranch is located in the northwest corner of Nebraska in an area called the High Plains, at an elevation of 4,000 feet above sea level.  M&M Ranch consists of 365 acres of buttes and stream beds with Eocene and Oligocene fossil bearing exposures.  Millions of years ago, this area thrived with terrestrial animals such as pigs, oreodonts, sabre tooth cats, camels, canids, 2 species of pre-equus horses, rhinoceros, titanotheres, squirrels, rabbits, mice, snakes, lizards, turtles and many more.  Besides the special pricing for MAFANA customers on the trip, we will also be able to keep "everything" we find.  Many other fossil hunting locations in the upper mid-west do not allow customers to keep the prized specimens like a sabre tooth cat, but M&M Ranch is granting MAFANA customers this privilege as part of the group trip.


     If you register early, you will be able to stay close to the Ranch.  Your lodging is NOT included in the pricing.  There is a quaint western town nearby that has 6 rooms for rent.  It's located on an adjoining property to the M&M Ranch, and it has original buildings of an old ghost town.  In addition to the "bunkhouses" where we can stay, this "ghost town" has a General Store, a Post Office, a Saloon, and of course the Jail (so behave yourselves or else).  A continental breakfast is included if you stay there.


     If you don't register early, there is a B&B down the road, and a motel about 25-35 miles away.


     Crawford Nebraska is a 26 hour drive from Richmond, Virginia, a 3-hour drive from the Rapid City, South Dakota Airport, and a 5 1/2 hour drive from the Denver, Colorado Airport.


     Persons wishing to participate in this trip should take into account the 4,000 foot elevation and hilly terrain.


This trip is great for adults and for children ages 12 and up.


Cost:  $250 per day per person for a 3-day trip, totaling $750 per person.  This does not include transportation (we meet at the Ranch), food or lodging.


           $225 per day per person for our 5-day trip, totaling $1,125 per person.  This does not include transportation (we meet at the Ranch), food or lodging.


Payments:


     For a 3-day trip - $200 deposit is due when registering for the trip.  $275 is due by 6/15/20 and the balance of $275 is due no later than 8/18/20.


     For a 5-day trip - $200 deposit is due when registering for the trip, $475 is due by 6/15/20 and the balance of $450 is due no later than 8/18/20.


FOR MORE INFORMATION, OR TO REGISTER FOR THIS SPECTACULAR TRIP, e-MAIL [email protected] OR CALL ME AT 610-209-0758.



     




















     


     















 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 
















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