The Phoenix Nest

The Phoenix's Grand Fossil Tour

The Phoenix's Grand Fossil Tour

Itinerary for a Long Flight of the Phoenix

By Jim Fulton

About This Page

A Message from the Phoenix

This is a Keepable Popup
Abstract

Time to fly! The Phoenix launched his Grand Fossil Tour in July of 2017. Over the next few years is visiting major fossil sites and hatural history museums in the US and Canada. Why? Well, foremost for the fun of it. But also to witness for himself the fossil record of the evolution of the soul. To see the remnants of those animals, going back half a billion years, that first became aware of their environment, and learned to act and survive in that environment.

Page Prerequisites
Page Specifications
Id Flights_GFT_Itinerary
Title The Phoenix's Grand Fossil Tour
Subtitle Itinerary for a Long Flight of the Phoenix
Keywords Itinerary
Author Jim Fulton
Author's URL https://fenixnest/Phoenix/
Copyright 2017
Status Published: 2017/9/9
Last Revised 2019-06-18

Time for the Phoenix to fly! I launched my Grand Fossil Tour in the summer of 2017, planning to visit most of the major fossil sites and natural history museums in the US and Canada. Why? Well, foremost for the fun of it. But also to witness for myself the fossil record of the evolution of the soul, to see the remnants of those animals, going back half a billion years, that first became aware of the things in their environment, and learned to act and survive in that environment.

This page introduces my journal, my "blog", of my tour. In these pages I tell where I've been (or where I'm going), show the best of what photos I take, for you to follow as you will. In particular I plan to tell stories with three different themes as I go:

  • Where I've been. I will tell about the towns and campgrounds where I stay. I'm traveling in a big 5th-wheel trailer — my physical Phoenix Nest, rather than the noetic Nest you are reading — that I'm pulling with a Ram 2500 diesel pickup — Moby Richard, a big, white whale that the Phoenix tamed just enough to pull his nest around. These tales might be of interest to fellow travelers.
  • What I've seen. I will tell about the fossils I've seen, both in the ground and in museums, about what I've learned from them about the times when those animals lived, and what kind of souls they might have had.
  • What I've thought. Along the way I plan to tell stories about what I am thinking about the soul, the mind, the spirit. These you might find them exotic, for they differ from what is commonly taught either in science classes or Sunday schools. If you are not philosophically minded, you can just pass over them. These stories will be building blocks for the more comprehensive saga of the soul that I tell in other parts of the Phoenix Nest.Phoenix Note

In any case, follow along as you will. There's an email button in the footer at the bottom of the page that you can use to tell me your reactions to my stories.

Planning the Grand Fossil Tour

Some people like to get in their car and just go, ending up wherever they do, take whatever adventures may come. I do too. But not for long, complicated trips! For the Grand Fossil Tour, I am going to begin with some planning, a lot of planning, for several reasons:

  • I have a large list of specific places to see. I've been searching the web for fossil sites and natural history museums, and I want I route that will let me see as many of them as possible, while camping at least once in each of the "lower 48" states, as well as ten Canadian provinces.
  • The trip will take a long time, several years. There are a lot of places to go and I don't want to drive more than 300 miles in any given week. Any faster is commuting, not traveling. This means I have to plan for the seasons, like a snowbird: south in the winter, north in the summer. There's no good, safe place to be during the spring storm season (other than Washington state), so I'll just have to tough that season out wherever I am.
  • Going to seasonably comfortable climes means I'll be competing for RV spaces with other snowbirds, and that means early reservations.
  • Along the way I'll stop by to visit family, and I want to give them reasonably advanced notice.

Besides all that, I for some reason just enjoy the planning process.

So I have laid out a tentative itinerary for where and when I will go and where I'll stay and what I'll see. For you who are interested, it will help in keeping track of my travels. It will also serve as an index of where I have been, with links to the stories from each place.

Maps of the Grand Fossil Tour

I find it exciting to see all my planned destinations laid out on a map, and here they are:Phoenix

Grand Fossil Tour - Complete

Combined map of the entire Grand Fossil Tour, as of the latest plan.Phoenix
(Click here to see the highest resolution version that map in a separate window.)

Grand Fossil Tour - Complete

Grand Fossil Tour, Part 1.Phoenix
(Click here to see the highest resolution version that map in a separate window.)

Grand Fossil Tour - Complete

Grand Fossil Tour, Part 2.Phoenix
(Click here to see the highest resolution version that map in a separate window.)

Grand Fossil Tour - Complete

Grand Fossil Tour, Part 3.Phoenix
(Click here to see the highest resolution version that map in a separate window.)

But maps become confusing when a route is complex, especially when that route is not the mathematically optimal shortest route possible, but instead wanders hither, thither, and yon, looping and crossing itself, according to anticipated weather, family visits, and mere mood. Then the map becomes a hodgepodge of lines that the eye cannot fathom. To dispel some of that confusion, I include with the itinerary for each part of the Tour a gallery of maps that lets you walk through the Tour stop-by-stop, in calendar sequence. It is my hope that the galleries will give you a better visual overview of my route.

(By the way, the maps are screen-shots from RV Trip Wizard, the application I use, and could not do without, in planning my travels. The images were captured as of my visit to the location, and reflect my projections of my then-future itinerary, and not the inevitable changes that any long, real tour undergoes. So by viewing these maps, you can also witness the evolution of my travel planning.)

Points of Interest

It's one thing to decide to take a tour to see fossils. It's quite something more to figure out exactly what that means. I spent hours searching the internet for fossil sites and museums that would be worth visiting. Without boring you with the details of how I found and selected among candidate destinations, here is the list of places I wanted to go. It's not strictly speaking a bucket list; I don't think of this Tour as my grand finale, after which I will "kick the bucket". But the list does give me a firm (if modifiable) target around which to plan. The destinations are listed alphabetically with the state or province where they are located.

ID Point of Interest Significance Age MYA City State Date to Visit Fossil
Rating
Notes
Tyr Royal Tyrrell Museum of PalaeontologyWikipedia       Drumheller AB 2017/8/22 5 Stars Excellent!
Ing Ingersoll Shale LagerstätteWikipedia LagerstätteWikipedia Late Cretaceous Period 100-66 Phenix City AL 2018/2/20 n/a Explored, then covered with housing. Not available to public.
GCNP Grand Canyon National ParkWikipedia Paleozoic Era   525-270   AZ 2022/6/28    
MNAZ Museum of Northern ArizonaWikipedia       Flagstaff AZ 2021    
AZMNH Arizona Museum of Natural HistoryWikipedia       Phoenix AZ 2021    
McA McAbee Fossil BedsWikipedia LagerstätteWikipedia Eocene Epoch 56-33 Kamloops BC 2017/8/8 n/a No public access
Burch Burchart Gardens       Victoria BC 2017/7/25   Beautiful flower garden
BC Royal British Columbia MuseumWikipedia       Victoria BC 2017/7/25 1 Star My rating reflects only the fossil collection.
Yoho Burgess ShaleWikipedia LagerstätteWikipedia Cambrian Period 541-485 Yoho National Park BC 2017/8/15 2 Stars Too high to climb; small but good collection at visitors center
Bar Barstow FormationWikipedia LagerstätteWikipedia Miocene Epoch 23-5.3 Barstow CA 2021    
UCMP University of California Museum of PaleontologyWikipedia       Berkeley CA 2021    
Yose Yosemite National ParkWikipedia       Groveland CA 2021    
Brea La Brea Tar PitsWikipedia LagerstätteWikipedia Pleistocene Epoch 2.58-0.01 Los Angeles CA 2021    
LA Natural History Museum of Los AngelesWikipedia       Los Angeles CA 2021    
SDNHM San Diego Natural History MuseumWikipedia       San Diego CA 2021    
CAS California Academy of SciencesWikipedia       San Francisco CA 2021    
Denv Denver Museum of Nature and ScienceWikipedia       Denver CO 2019/7/9    
MEVE Mesa Verde National ParkWikipedia       Durango CO 2019/8/6    
UCo University of Colorado Museum of Natural ScienceWikipedia       Boulder C) 2019/7/9    
GJun Museum of the West       Grand Junction CO 2019/6/18    
DSP Dinosaur State ParkWikipedia       Hartford CT 2018/4/24 3 Stars Intriguing site of dinosaur footprints from Late Triassic to Early Jurassic periods
Pea Yale Peabody Museum of Natural HistoryWikipedia       New Haven CT 2018/4/24 5 Stars Informative if somewhat incomplete and ill-organized fossil collection
SMNH Smithsonian Museum of Natural HistoryWikipedia       Washington DC 2018/3/27
4 Stars The main collection was closed for renovation. What was available was excellent.
2020/3/31
Flor Florida Museum of Natural HistoryWikipedia       Gainesville FL 2018/1/9 4 Stars Good science but few fossils
EvNP Everglades National ParkWikipedia       Miami-Dade, Monroe, and Collier counties FL 2018/1/23    
JAX Museum of Science and HistoryWikipedia       Jacksonville FL 2018/2/13 3 Stars Good science but few fossils
Fern Fernbank Museum of Natural HistoryWikipedia       Atlanta GA 2018/2/23 2 Stars Small Collection
CFB Clarkia Fossil BedsWikipedia LagerstätteWikipedia Langhian Stage of the Miocene Epoch 23-5.3 Clarkia ID 2020/10/13    
CFM Field Museum of Natural HistoryWikipedia       Chicago IL 2017/10/27 5 Stars Excellent
MCFB Mazon Creek Fossil BedsWikipedia LagerstätteWikipedia Langhian Stage of the Miocene Epoch 23-5.3 Morris IL 2020/6/9    
ANI Audubon Nature Institute       New Orleans LA     Not open to public
Ben Beneski Museum of Natural HistoryWikipedia       Amherst MA 2018/5/8 3 Stars Small but representative collection.
BMS Museum of ScienceWikipedia       Boston MA 2018/5/15 3 Stars Well-designed to attract young people to science, its fossil collection was merely ordinary.
Harv Harvard Museum of Natural HistoryWikipedia       Cambridge MA 2018/5/15 5 Stars Informative if somewhat incomplete and ill-organized fossil collection
HMCZ Harvard Museum of Comparative ZoologyWikipedia       Cambridge MA 2018/5/15 5 Stars Informative collection of taxidermied animals
Nash Nash Dinosaur Tracks       Granby MA 2018/5/8 3 Stars Prototypical roadside attraction, but dig site has real dinosaur tracks.
CFDC Canadian Fossil Discovery CentreWikipedia       Morden MB 2017/9/5 4 Stars Good collection of local fossils, including large mosasaur
UMMNH University of Michigan Museum of Natural HistoryWikipedia       Ann Arbor MI 2020/5/19    
Cran Cranbrook Institute of Science       Detroit MI 2020/5/19    
SMM Science Museum of MinnesotaWikipedia       Minneapolis / St. Paul MN 2017/10/3 4 Stars Good Collection
MOI Missouri Institute of Natural Science       Springfield MO 2017/12/11 3 Stars Small but well-done, some local fossils
Vick Vicksburg National Military Park       Vicksburg MS 2017/12/19   I could actually visualize the fighting on one of the battlefields.
MRock Museum of the RockiesWikipedia       Bozeman MT 2020/9/22    
TSA Two Medicine Dinosaur CenterWikipedia       Bynum MT      
Car Carter County MuseumWikipedia       Ekalaka MT 2020/9/1    
Yell Yellowstone National ParkWikipedia       West Yellowstone MT 2021    
BGL Bear Gulch LimestoneWikipedia LagerstätteWikipedia Bashkirian Stage, Pennsylvanian Subperiod, Carboniferous Period 323-315 White Sulphur Springs MT      
DMLS Museum of Life & ScienceWikipedia       Durham NC 2018/3/13 2 Stars Models, but no fossils, of Cretaceous dinosaurs.
NCMNH North Carolina Museum of Natural SciencesWikipedia       Raleigh NC 2018/3/13 4 Stars Good but spotty collection
Ash Ashfall Fossil BedsWikipedia LagerstätteWikipedia Serravallian Stage, Miocene Epoch 13.8-11.6 Royal NE 2017/9/19 4 Stars Good collection of local Miocene fossils, plus active dig.
Rutg Rutgers Geology MuseumWikipedia       New Brunswick NJ      
GMrn Gros Morne National ParkWikipedia           2018/7/6    
GP   Green PointWikipedia GSSPWikipedia Early Ordovician period 485-443 Rocky Harbor NL 5 Stars Awesome
Table   TablelandsWikipedia   Ordovician period          
FH Fortune Head Ecological ReserveWikipedia GSSPWikipedia Fortunian Stage of Cambrian Period 541-429 Fortune NL 2018/7/17 5 Stars Awesome
GEO Johnson GEO CentreWikipedia       St. John's NL 2018/7/17 5 Stars Informative geological collection
MP Mistaken Point Wikipedia LagerstätteWikipedia Ediacaran Period 635-541 St. Johns NL 2018/7/17 5 Stars Awesome
NMMNH New Mexico Museum of Natural History and ScienceWikipedia       Albuquerque NM 2019/9/3    
GR Ghost RanchWikipedia LagerstätteWikipedia Triassic Period 252-201 Ghost Ranch NM 2019/8/27    
Chaco Chaco Culture National Historical ParkWikipedia       Nageezi NM 2019/8/6    
Carl Carlsbad CavernsWikipedia       Carlsbad NM 2019/9/17    
Jog Joggins Cliff Wikipedia LagerstätteWikipedia Moscovian Stage, Pennsylvanian Subperiod, Carboniferous Period 315-307 Amherst NS 2018/8/14 5 Stars Awesome
Hfx Nova Scotia Museum of Natural HistoryWikipedia       Halifax NS 2018/8/7 4 Stars Good collection of local Carboniferous plant fossils
CBFC Cape Breton Fossil Centre   Carboniferous Period 358-299 Sydney Mines NS 2018/8/3 4 Stars Good collection of local Carboniferous plant fossils
Arrow Arrow CanyonWikipedia GSSPWikipedia Bashkirian Stage of Pennsylvanian Subperiod 323-315 Las Vegas NV 2021    
Buff Museum of ScienceWikipedia       Buffalo NY 2018/9/25 4 Stars Small fossil collection in an old, underfunded museum.
NYMNH American Museum of Natural HistoryWikipedia       New York NY 2018/4/17 4 Stars Good collection of post-Cambrian fossils, with some apparent gaps. Excellent documentation of specimens.
Beech Beecher's Trilobite BedWikipedia LagerstätteWikipedia Ordovician Period 458-453 Rome NY 2020/5/5    
WRQ Walcott-Rust QuarryWikipedia LagerstätteWikipedia Ordovician Period 458-453 Rome NY 2020/5/5    
Cleve Cleveland Museum of Natural HistoryWikipedia       Cleveland OH 2020/5/12    
BKR Black Knob RidgeWikipedia GSSPWikipedia Katian Stage of Late Ordovician Period 453-455 Atoka OK 2020/7/7    
Ott Canadian Museum of NatureWikipedia       Ottawa ON 2018/9/11 3 Stars Modest fossil collection
Tor Royal Ontario MuseumWikipedia       Toronto ON 2018/9/18 3 Stars Modest fossil collection
JDFB John Day Fossil BedsWikipedia LagerstätteWikipedia Eocene Epoch 56-33 Redmond OR 2021    
ANSD Academy of Natural SciencesWikipedia       Philadelphia PA 2018/4/10 3 Stars Small collection of mainly Cretaceous dinosaurs
Wag Wagner Free Institute of ScienceWikipedia       Philadelphia PA 201804/10 3 Stars Large but poorly curated collection, primarily of invertebrates
FI Franklin InstituteWikipedia       Philadelphia PA 2020?    
Carn Carnegie Museum of Natural HistoryWikipedia       Pittsburgh PA 2018/10/2 4 Stars Good collection of mainly Cretaceous dinosaurs
MNP Miguasha National ParkWikipedia LagerstätteWikipedia Devonian Period 419-358 St. Johns QC 2018/8/23 5 Stars Fabulous collection of local Devonian plant fossils
Edia Enorama CreekWikipedia GSSPWikipedia Ediacaran Period 635-541  Flinders Range SAus 2020/4/7    
SAus Adelaide Natural History MuseumWikipedia       Adelaide SAus 2020/4/7    
BHI Black Hills InstituteWikipedia       Hill City SD 2020/8/4    
Mamm Mammoth SiteWikipedia LagerstätteWikipedia Pleistocene Epoch 2.58-0.01 Hot Springs SD 2020/8/4    
Badl Badlands National ParkWikipedia       Rapid City SD 2020/8/4    
SDSMT Museum of Geology, South Dakota School of Mines & TechnologyWikipedia       Rapid City SD 2020/8/4    
RSM Royal Saskatchewan MuseumWikipedia       Regina SK 2017/9/1 4 Stars Good Collection
Pink Pink Palace Museum and PlanetariumWikipedia       Memphis TN 2020/2/25    
BBNP Big Bend National Park FossilsWikipedia LagerstätteWikipedia Creataceous Period 145-66 Big Bend National Park TX 2019/10/8    
TMM Texas Memorial MuseumWikipedia       Austin TX 2019/11/19    
BMMNH Brazos Valley Museum of Natural HistoryWikipedia       Bryan TX 2020/12/24    
Waco Waco Mammoth SiteWikipedia       Waco TX 2020/12/24    
DVSP Dinosaur Valley State ParkWikipedia       Glen Rose TX 2020/1/14    
Perot Perot Museum of Nature and ScienceWikipedia       Dallas TX 2020/1/14    
FWMSH Fort Worth Museum of Science and HistoryWikipedia       Fort Worth TX 2020/1/14    
Brazo Brazosport Museum of Natural ScienceWikipedia       Houston TX 2019/12/17    
Houst Houston Museum of Natural ScienceWikipedia       Houston TX 2019/12/17    
JSFC Johnson Space Flight CenterWikipedia       Houston TX 2019/12/17    
Vine Robert A Vines Environmental Science Center       Houston TX 2019/12/17    
TTU Museum of Texas Tech UniversityWikipedia       Lubbock TX      
GMNP Guadalupe Mountains National ParkWikipedia
Permian Period 299-252 Pine Springs TX 2019/9/17    
  Guadalupian Epoch 272-260
Capi   Nipple HillWikipedia GSSPWikipedia   Capitanian Stage 265-260    
Word   Guadalupe PassWikipedia GSSPWikipedia Wordian Stage 269-265    
Road   Stratotype CanyonWikipedia GSSPWikipedia Roadian Stage 272-269    
Witte The Witte MuseumWikipedia       San Antonio TX 2019/10/29    
WS Wheeler ShaleWikipedia LagerstätteWikipedia Cambrian Period 541-485 Delta UT 2021    
NHMU Natural History Museum of UtahWikipedia       Salt Lake City UT 2019/5/21 5 Stars Informative geological collection
DNM Dinosaur National MonumentWikipedia   Late (Upper) Jurassic Period 149 Vernal UT 2014 3 Stars A fascinating wall of dinosaur fossils.
2019/6/4
Vern Utah Field House of Natural HistoryWikipedia       Vernal UT 2014 3 Stars Good collection
2019/6/4
VMNH Virginia Museum of Natural HistoryWikipedia       Martinsville VA 2018/3/13 4 Stars Good collection of local fossils
Fair Fairbanks MuseumWikipedia       St. Johnsbury VT 2018/5/25 5 Stars Old and musty, with lots of taxidermied animals, it had only a few casts of fossils.
UWis University of Wisconsin Geology MuseumWikipedia       Madison WI 2017/10/20 5 Stars Comprehensive and well documented
BBH Blackberry Hill LagerstätteWikipedia LagerstätteWikipedia Cambrian Period 541-485 Marathon County WI 2017/10/10 n/a Explored, then quarried. Not available to public.
MPM Milwaukee Public MuseumWikipedia       Milwaukee WI 2017/10/20 3 Stars Good but Cluttered Collection
Devil Devil's Tower National MonumentWikipedia         WY 2020/9/8    
GrTe Grand Teton National ParkWikipedia       Jackson WY 2021    
FBut Fossil Butte National MonumentWikipedia LagerstätteWikipedia Eocene Epoch 56-33 Kemmerer WY 2019/5/28 3 Stars Small but focused and representative collection of local Eocene fossils  
UWy University of Wyoming Geological MuseumWikipedia       Laramie WY 2018/10/17 3 Stars Modest collection of Wyoming fossils
WDC Wyoming Dinosaur CenterWikipedia       Thermopolis WY 2020/9/15    

Flying through Time

During the tour I jump back and forth through time. At Ashfall in Nebraska, I see fossils from only 12 thousand years ago; at Mistaken Point in Newfoundland, the fossils are over half a billion years old. No reasonable route through all the sites will follow their temporal order.

For you who like to see things in order, I list below (oldest to youngest) the geological ages of the fossil sites I plan to visit. (The list of ages below is incomplete.)

The dates for the various ages are taken from the Global Boundary Stratotype Section and Point (GSSP) of the International Commission on Stratigraphy, which serves as as close to an international standard for geological matters as one can get. The colors that are associated with the various ages, in the list to follow, in the fossil sites in the itinerary, and for that matter in Wikipedia (for example, the Cambrian period), also come from that source.

  • Click on
    • The name of the age for more information about it, whether it be a page here in the Phoenix Nest, or at the very least its Wikipedia entry.
    • The name of the fossil site to view to view its entry in the above list of destinations, along with other information about it, and links to useful web pages.
    • The dates to see my the entry in my itinerary for my visit to that site.
Visiting the Ages of GaiaVisiting the Ages of Gaia

Flying the Grand Fossil Tour

What follows is my current itinerary, or as close to current as I can make it. This is very much a living document. In long-term traveling, change happens, as I discover more about possible points of interest, or revise my choice of campgrounds. I discovered to my embarrassment in making this revision that much of what I had described in the future tense of prospects, had to be redescribed in the past tense of memories.

I have divided the Tour into three parts. This is a change from my original plan, which would have had me traveling continuously for at least three year. But life happened.

  1. During Part 1, I traveled through Canada and most of the eastern United States. It took a year and a half, and is now complete, as I have settled down for the winter in Bothell, Washington.
  2. During Part 2, I will travel through the eastern Rockies, winter in Texas, return to the Smithsonian Museum to see their newly renovated Fossil Hall, and return through the northern Great Plains.
  3. During Part 3, I will travel through the western Rockies, visit the Grand Canyon, and return along the Pacific Coast.

By the time I'm finished I will have camped in all 48 lower states and all the Canadian provinces, and visited all the Points of Interest listed above.

Grand Fossil Tour - Part 1

The first part of my Tour began near Seattle, Washington in July of 2017.

  • I started by swinging through western Canada,
  • wandered through the northern Midwest as far east as Indiana for some much-needed repairs to my trailer,
  • swung back to Kansas in time for Thanksgiving with family,
  • spent Christmas in Vicksburg and New Years near New Orleans,
  • looped along the Gulf Coast for winter,
  • climbed back along the eastern seaboard during the stormy spring,
  • stopped in New Hampshire for some more family visits,
  • continued on through New Brunswick and Nova Scotia to Newfoundland, where I saw some of the oldest fossil sites on the continent,
  • headed north to Quebec and west along the St. Lawrence River to Toronto, and
  • returned to the US at Niagara Falls.

It was at that point in late October that I decided to spend the winter back around Seattle. So, not wanting to get caught in an early mountain snowstorm, I made a rapid sprint back to Washington. A good thing too, because the snows did come early.

Maps of the Grand Fossil Tour - Part 1

Here is the map of Part 1 of the Grand Fossil Tour. Maps of the whole Tour can be found above.

Grand Fossil Tour - Complete

Grand Fossil Tour, Part 1.Phoenix
(Click here to see the highest resolution version that map in a separate window.)

The map for such a complex route is unfortunately confusing, so I've added the gallery below, which shows all the sequence of places I visited in calendar sequence. Each location is marked by circles, and captioned with the location visited. By clicking your way through the maps, you can get a visual overview of my route.

Route of the Phoenix, on the Grand Fossil Tour, Part 1. Phoenix

Grand Fossil Tour, Part 1
2017, June 1, Nisqually, Washington
2017, June 1, Nisqually, Washington
2017, June 30, La Conner, Washington
2017, July 14, Monroe, Washington
2017, July 25, Victoria, British Columbia
2017, August 1, Vancouver, British Columbia
2017, August 8, Kamloops, British Columbia
2017, August 11, Canyon Hot Springs, British Columbia
2017, August 15, Yoho National Park, British Columbia
2017, August 20, Canmore, Alberta
2017, August 22, Drumheller, Alberta
2017, August 29, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan
2017, September 1, Indian Head, Saskatchewan
2017, September 5, Winnepeg, Manitoba
2017, September 12, Grahams Island, North Dakota
2017, September 15, Aberdeen South Dakota
2017, September 19, Yankton, South Dakota, and Ashfall, Nebraska
2017, September 26, Des Moines, Iowa
2017, October 3, Minneapolis, Minnesota
2017, October 10, Tomah, Wisconsin
2017, October 17, Door County, Wisconsin
2017, October 20, Madison, Wisconsin
2017, October 27, Chicago, Illinois
2017, November 2, Elkhart, Indianba
2017, December 7, Bevier, Missouri
2017, December 8, Crawford County, Kansas
2017, December 11, Springfield, Missouri
2017, December 14, Neosho, Missouri
2017, December 17, Little Rock, Arkansas
2017, December 19, Vicksburg, Mississippi
2017, December 26, New Orleans, Louisiana
2018, January 2, Mobile, Alabama
2018, January 9, Perry, Florida
2018, January 16, Tampa, Florida
2018, January 23, Miami, Florida
2018, January 26, Florida Keys, Florida
2018, February 2, Miami, Florida
2018, February 6, Orlando, Florida
2018, February 13, Jacksonville, Florida
2018, February 20, Columbus, Georgia
2018, February 23, Atlanta, Georgia
2018, February 27, Charleston, South Carolina
2018, March 6, Charlotte, North Carolina
2018, March 13, Raleigh, North Carolina
2018, March 20, Williamsburg, Virginia
2018, March 37, Harpers Ferry, West Virginia, and District of Columbia
2018, April 3, Delaware
2018, April 10, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
2018, April 17, Florida, New York, and New York City
2018, April 24, Connecticut
2018, May 1, Rhode Island
2018, May 8, Springfield, Massachusetts
2018, May 15, New Hampshire
2018, May 25, St. Johnsbury, Vermont
2018, June 5, Bangor, Maine
2018, June 12, Penobsquis, New Brunswick
2018, June 19, Cornwall, Prince Edward Island
2018, June 26, North Sydney, Nova Scotia
2018, July 3, Grand Codroy, Newfoundland
2018, July 6, Gros Morne, Newfoundland
2018, July 12, Gander, Newfoundland
2018, July 17, St. John's, Newfoundland
2018, July 31, Argentia, Newfoundland
2018, August 3, North Sydney, Nova Scotia
2018, August 7, Halifax, Nova Scotia
2018, August 14, Joggins Fossil Cliffs, Nova Scotia
2018, August 23, Carleton-sur-Mer and Miguasha National Park, Quebec
2018, August 27, Quebec City, Quebec
2018, September 4, Montreal, Quebec
2018, September 11, Ottawa, Ontario
2018, September 18, Toronto, Ontario
2018, September 25, Grand Island, New York
2018, October 2, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
2018, October 5, Indianapolis, Indiana
2018, October 7, St. Louis, Illinois
2018, October 11, Leavenworth, Kansas
2018, October 15, Oakley, Kansas
2018, October 17, Laramie, Wyoming
2018, October 20, Brigham City, Utah
2018, October 22, Boise, Idaho
2018, October 24, Stanfield, Oregon
2018, October 25, Olympia, Washington
2018, December 1, Bothell, Washington

Schedule of the Grand Fossil Tour - Part 1

The following table shows more details of Part 1 of the Grand Fossil Tour: where I went and when, where I stayed, and the important things I saw there.

Grand Fossil Tour - Part 1
Day Arrival Nights City St Miles Campground Points of Interest
Links: Blog         Campground POI Section Above
-∞ 1998/10/1 18+ years Olympia WA    
  • The home I lived in the longest of my life.
-54 2017/6/1 30 Nisqually WA 8 Riverbend Campground  
-24 6/30 14 La Conner WA 123 La Conner RV Park  
-8 2017/7/14 7 Monroe WA 62 Thunderbird RV Park  
1 7/21 4 La Conner WA 62 La Conner RV Park
  • This marks the "official" start of the Grand Fossil Tour.
3 7/25 7 Victoria BC 50 Oceanside RV Resort
10 2017/8/1 7 Vancouver BC 62 Burnaby Cariboo RV Park  
17 8/8 3 Kamloops BC 212 Kamloops RV Park
20 8/11 4 Revelstoke BC 141 Canyon Hot Springs Resort  
24 8/15 5 Golden BC 71 Whispering Spruce Campground
29 8/20 2 Canmore AB 98 Spring Creek RV  
31 8/22 7 Drumheller AB 148 Dinosaur Trail
38 8/29 3 Saskatoon SK 307 Campland RV Resort  
41 2017/9/1 4 Indian Head SK 212 Indian Head Campground
45 9/5 7 Winnipeg MB 335 Birds Hill Campground
52 9/12 3 Devils Lake ND 234 Grahams Island State Park  
55 9/15 4 Aberdeen SD 211 Wylie Park & Storybook Land  
59 9/19 7 Yankton SD 231 Missouri River KOA
66 9/25 7 Des Moines IA 280 Webb’s Camping  
73 2017/10/3 7 Minneapolis / St. Paul MN 283 Minneapolis Northwest KOA
80 10/10 7 Tomah WI 208 Oakdale KOA
87 10/17 3 Green Bay WI 212 Rustic Timbers Camping  
90 10/20 7 Madison WI 191 Madison KOA
  • Visit Anne & Frank Allen
97 10/27 6 Chicago IL 211 Woodland Village RV
103 2017/11/2 35 Elkhart IN 67 Candlewood Suites  
138 2017/12/7 1 Bevier MO 452 Shoemaker’s RV Park  
139 12/8 3 Farlington KS 288 Crawford State Park
  • Fort Scott, KS
    • Nu Grille
  • Pittsburg, KS
    • Pittsburg State University
    • Chicken Annie's
    • Chicken Mary's
142 12/11 3 Springfield MO 117 Springfield / Route 66 KOA
  • Joyce & Kerry
145 12/14 3 Neosho MO 71 Stage Stop Campground  
148 12/17 2 Little Rock AR 264 Cherokee Lakes RV Park  
150 12/19 7 Vicksburg MS 217 Magnolia RV Park Resort
157 12/26 7 New Orleans LA 161 Natalbany Creek Campground
164 2018/1/2 7 Mobile AL 185 Meaher State Park  
171 1/9 7 Perry FL 294 Perry KOA
178 1/16 6 Tampa FL 233 Winter Quarters Pasco RV Resort
  • St. Petersburg
  • Tampa
184 1/22 1 LaBelle FL 168 Port LaBelle Inn  
185 1/23 3 Miami FL 128 Miami Everglades RV Resort
188 1/26 7 Sugarloaf Key FL 98 Sunshine Key RV Resort & Marina
  • Florida Keys
195 2018/2/2 4 Miami FL 98 Miami Everglades RV Resort
  • Miami
  • Ft. Lauderdale
199 2/6 7 Orlando FL 249 Christmas RV Park
206 2/13 7 Jacksonville FL 158 Pecan Park RV Resort
213 2/20 3 Columbus GA 308 Lake Pines RV Park and Campground
216 2/23 4 Atlanta GA 131 Stone Mountain Park Family Campground
  2/27 7 Charleston SC 282 Charleston KOA
  • Fort Sumter
  • Charleston
  • Savannah, GA
230 2018/3/6 7 Charlotte NC 204 Charlotte / Fort Mill KOA  
234 3/13 7 Durham NC 245 Jordan Lake State Recreation Area
241 3/20 7 Richmond VA 225 Williamsburg KOA  
248 3/27 7 Harpers Ferry WV 205 Harpers Ferry/Civil War Battlefields KOA
255 2018/4/3 7 Lincoln DE 217 Yogi Bear's Jellystone Park Camp-Resort Delaware Beaches  
262 4/10 7 Clarksboro
Philadelphia
NJ
PA
189 Philadelphia South KOA
269 4/17 7 New York NY 106 Mahlon Dickerson Reservation
276 4/24 7 Hartford CT 176 Nelsons Family Campground
283 2018/5/1 7 Providence RI 54 Wawaloam Campground  
290 5/8 7 Amherst MA 54 Sunsetview Farm Camping Area
297 5/15 10 New Hampshire NH 106 Calef Lake Camping Area
  • Visit
    • Jay & Cherrie
    • Mark, Hannah & Emma
Boston MA
311 5/25 11 St. Johnsbury VT 122 Moose River Campground
318 2018/6/5 7 Bangor ME 207 Pumpkin Patch RV Resort  
325 6/12 7 Penobsquis NB 229 Pine Cone Campground  
332 6/19 7 Cornwall PE 141 Cornwall / Charlottetown KOA  
339 6/26 7 Cape Breton NS 226 Arm of Gold Campground
  • Ferry to Newfoundland
346 2018/7/4 3 Codroy Valley NL 113
(ferry)
+ 25
Grand Codroy RV-tent Camping Park  
349 7/6 6 Rocky Harbor NL 184 Grosmorne RV / Campground
353 7/12 7 Gander NL 231 Country Inn RV Park
360 7/17 14 St. John's NL 208 Pippy Park Campgrounds
374 7/31 3 Argentia NL 80 Argentia Sunset Park
  • Ferry to Nova Scotia
377 2018/8/3 4 Cape Breton NS 343
(ferry)
Arm of Gold Campground
381 8/7 7 Halifax NS 264 Woodhaven RV Park
388 8/14 9 Amherst NS 140 Loch Lomond RV Park
395 8/23 4 Carleton-sur-Mer QC 283 Camping de Carleton-sur-Mer
402 8/27 8 Quebec City QC 345 Quebec City KOA  
409 2018/9/4 7 Montreal QC 160 Montreal South KOA  
416 9/11 7 Ottawa ON 141 Recreationland Campground
423 9/18 7 Toronto ON 274 Milton Heights Campground
430 9/25 7 Buffalo NY 72 Cinderella Motel & Campsite
437 2018/10/2 3 Pittsburgh PA 257 Madison / Pittsburgh S.E. KOA
444 10/5 2 Indianapolis IN 354 Indianapolis KOA  
447 10/7 4 St. Louis MO 233 St. Louis N.E. / I-270 / Granite City KOA  
450 10/11 4 Leavenworth KS 291 Covenant Cove RV Resort  
457 10/15 2 Oakley KS 352 High Plains Camping and RV  
459 10/17 3 Laramie WY 376 KOA Laramie
462 10/20 2 Brigham City UT 399 Brigham City / Perry South KOA  
465 10/22 2 Boise ID 298 Boise / Meridian KOA  
468 10/24 1 Boardman OR 268 Boardman Marina Park  
479 10/25 37 Olympia WA 279 Riverbend Campground  
497 2018/12/1 ?? Bothell WA 68 Lake Pleasant Campground  

Grand Fossil Tour - Part 2

The second part of my Tour will begin in Bothell, near Seattle, Washington in May of 2019. Here's what I expect to do during this part:

  • Cross the Rockies through Utah and Colorado to Denver, stopping at Vernal and the Dinosaur National Monument.
  • Swing back southwest to Mesa Verde and Ghost Ranch.
  • Spend some time in Albuquerque and Carlsbad, visiting the Guadalupe Mountains.
  • Winter in Texas, from Big Bend National Park to Houston to Dallas.
  • Brave the spring in Kansas and take a side-trip to Australia and New Zealand.
  • Head east through Tennessee to revisit the Smithsonian (whose Fossil Hall was closed on my first trip).
  • Travel leisurely through the Midwest that I so abruptly passed through last year.
  • Visit several fossil sites and geological wonders in the northern Rockies.
  • Return to Bothell for the winter on 2020-21.

That's the plan, anyway. If you followed Part 1 of the Tour, you know that plans are where I begin, not where I end.

Maps of the Grand Fossil Tour - Part 2

Here is the map of Part 2 of the Grand Fossil Tour. Maps of the whole Tour can be found above.

Grand Fossil Tour - Complete

Grand Fossil Tour, Part 2.Phoenix
(Click here to see the highest resolution version that map in a separate window.)

This map is not quite so confusing as that for Part 1, but nonetheless I've added the gallery below, which shows all the sequence of places I visited in calendar sequence. Each location is marked by circles, and captioned with the location visited. By clicking your way through the maps, you can get a visual overview of my route.

Route of the Phoenix, on the Grand Fossil Tour, Part 2. Phoenix

Grand Fossil Tour, Part 2
2018-19. Bothell, Washington
2018-19. Bothell, Washington
2019/05/01. Pendleton, Oregon
2019/05/01. Pendleton, Oregon
2019/05/07. Twin Falls, Idaho
2019/05/07. Twin Falls, Idaho
2019/05/21. Salt Lake City, Utah
2019/05/21. Salt Lake City, Utah
2019/05/28. Kemmerer and Fossil Butte, Wyoming.
2019/05/28. Kemmerer and Fossil Butte, Wyoming.
2019/6/4. Vernal, Utah: Dinosaur National Monument.
2019/6/4. Vernal, Utah: Dinosaur National Monument.
2019/6/18. Grand Junction, Colorado: Museum of the West.
2019/6/18. Grand Junction, Colorado: Museum of the West.
2019/7/9. Denver, Colorado.
2019/7/9. Denver, Colorado.
2019/7/30. South Fork, Colorado.
2019/7/30. South Fork, Colorado.
2019/8/6. Dolores River, Colorado: Mesa Verde and Chaco Culture.
2019/8/6. Dolores River, Colorado: Mesa Verde and Chaco Culture.
2019/8/27. Abiquiu, New Mexico: Ghost Ranch.
2019/8/27. Abiquiu, New Mexico: Ghost Ranch.
2019/9/3. Albuquerque, New Mexico: Museum of Natural History.
2019/9/3. Albuquerque, New Mexico: Museum of Natural History.
2019/10/1. Carlsbad, New Mexico: Carlsbad Caverns and Guadalupe Mountains National Park.
2019/9/17. Carlsbad, New Mexico: Carlsbad Caverns and Guadalupe Mountains National Park.
2019/10/15. El Paso, Texas.
2019/10/1. El Paso, Texas.
2019/10/15. Big Bend National Park, Texas.
2019/10/8. Big Bend National Park, Texas.
2019/10/29. Fort Stockton, Texas.
2019/10/22. Fort Stockton, Texas.
2019/11/5. San Antonio, Texas.
2019/10/29. San Antonio, Texas.
2019/12/3. Austin, Texas: Texas Memorial Museum.
2019/11/19. Austin, Texas: Texas Memorial Museum.
2019/12/17. Houston, Texas: Many Museums.
2019/12/3. Houston, Texas: Many Museums.
2020/1/14. College Station, Texas: Brazos Valley Museum of Natural History.
2019/12/24. Bryan & College Station, Texas: Brazos Valley Museum of Natural History.
2020/2/11. Dallas-Ft. Worth, Texas: Many Museums.
2020/1/14. Dallas-Ft. Worth, Texas: Many Museums.
2020/2/4. Shreveport, Louisiana.
2020/2/4. Shreveport, Louisiana.
2020/2/11. Jackson, Mississippi.
2020/2/11. Jackson, Mississippi.
2020/2/18. Birmingham, Alabama.
2020/2/18. Birmingham, Alabama.
2020/2/25. Memphis, Tennessee.
2020/2/25. Memphis, Tennessee.
2020/3/3. Nashville, Tennessee.
2020/3/3. Nashville, Tennessee.
2020/3/10. Chattanooga, Tennessee.
2020/3/10. Chattanooga, Tennessee.
2020/3/17. Knoxville, Tennessee.
2020/3/17. Knoxville, Tennessee.
2020/3/24. Charleston, West Virginia.
2020/3/24. Charleston, West Virginia.
2020/3/31. Washington, D.C.
2020/3/31. Washington, D.C. Smithsonizn National Museum of Natural History.
2020/4/7. South Australian Museum, Adelaide.
2020/4/7. Enorama Creek, South Australia. GSSP for Ediacaran Period.
2020/4/28. Scranton, Pennsylvania.
2020/4/28. Scranton, Pennsylvania.
2020/5/12. Cleveland, Ohio.
2020/5/12. Cleveland, Ohio.
2020/5/19. Ann Arbor and Detroit, Michigan.
2020/5/19. Ann Arbor and Detroit, Michigan.
2020/5/26. Columbus, Ohio.
2020/5/26. Columbus, Ohio.
2020/6/2. Louisville, Kentucky.
2020/6/2. Louisville, Kentucky.
2020/6/9. Champaign / Urbana, Illinois.
2020/6/9. Champaign / Urbana, Illinois.
2020/6/16. Leavenworth, Kansas.
2020/6/16. Leavenworth, Kansas.
2020/6/23. Fort Scott and Pittsburg, Kansas.
2020/6/23. Fort Scott and Pittsburg, Kansas.
 2020/6/30. Springfield, Missouri.
2020/6/30. Springfield, Missouri.
2020/7/7. Oklahoma City and Atoka, Oklahoma.
2020/7/7. Oklahoma City and Atoka, Oklahoma.
2020/7/14. Wichita, Kansas.
2020/7/14. Wichita, Kansas.
2020/7/21. Omaha and Lincoln, Nebraska.
2020/7/21. Omaha and Lincoln, Nebraska.
2020/7/28. North Platte, Nebraska.
2020/7/28. North Platte, Nebraska.
2020/8/4. Rapid City, South Dakota.
2020/8/4. Rapid City, South Dakota.
2020/9/1. Ekalaka, Montana.
2020/9/1. Ekalaka, Montana.
2020/9/8. Devil's Tower, Wyoming.
2020/9/8. Devil's Tower, Wyoming.
2020/9/25. Thermopolis, Wyoming.
2020/9/15. Thermopolis, Wyoming.
2020/9/22. Boseman, Montana.
2020/9/22. Boseman, Montana.
2020/10/6. Missoula, Montana.
2020/10/6. Missoula, Montana.
2020/10/13. Spokane, Washington.
2020/10/13. Spokane, Washington.
2020/10/20. Bothell, Washington.
2020/10/20. Bothell, Washington.

Schedule of the Grand Fossil Tour - Part 2

The following table shows more details of Part 2 of the Grand Fossil Tour: where I went and when, where I stayed, and the important things I saw there.

Grand Fossil Tour - Part 2
Day Arrival Nights City St Miles Campground Points of Interest
Links: Blog         Campground POI Section Above
  2018/12/1   Bothell WA   Lake Pleasant Campground  
1 2019/5/1 6 Pendleton OR 283 Pendleton KOA  
7 5/7 14 Twin Falls OR 340 Twin Falls / Jerome KOA  
21 5/21 7 Salt Lake City UT 217 Salt Lake City KOA
28 5/28 7 Kemmerer WY 137 Riverside RV Park
35 2019/6/4 14 Vernal UT 156 Fossil Valley RV Park
49 6/18 21 Grand Junction CO 148 RV Ranch
70 2019/7/9 21 Denver CO 232 Dakota Ridge RV Park
91 7/30 7 South Fork CO 221 Peacock Meadows  
98 2019/8/6 21 Dolores River CO 151 Dolores River Campground
119 8/27 7 Abiquiu NM 206 Riana Abiquiu Lake COE
126 2019/9/3 14 Albuquerque NM 118  
140 9/17 14 Carlsbad NM 282  
154 2019/10/1 7 El Paso TX 182    
161 10/8 14 Big Bend National Park TX 364 Big Bend National Park
175 10/22 7 Fort Stockton TX 190    
182 10/29 21 San Antonio TX 311  
203 2019/11/19 14 Austin TX 79  
217 2019/12/17 21 Houston TX 163  
238 12/24 21 Bryan TX 149  
259 2020/1/14 21 Dallas / Fort Worth TX 171  
280 2020/2/04 7 Shreveport LA 221    
287 2/11 7 Jackson MS 217    
294 2/18 7 Birmingham AL 237    
301 2/25 7 Memphis TN 238    
308 2020/3/3 7 Nashville TN 212    
315 3/10 7 Chattanooga TN 132    
322 3/17 7 Knoxville TN 112    
329 3/24 7 Charleston WV 163    
336 3/31 7 Millersville MD 277 Washington DC / Capitol KOA
343 2020/4/7 7 Adelaide SAus    
350 4/14 14 Karori NZ    
  • Family
364 4/28 7 Scranton PA 222    
371 2020/5/5 7 Rome NY 155  
378 5/12 7 Cleveland OH 407  
385 5/19 7 Ann Arbor MI 176  
Detroit
392 5/26 7 Columbus OH 195    
399 2020/6/2 7 Louisville KY 245    
406 6/9 7 Champaign-Urbana IL 237  
413 6/16 30 Leavenworth KS 413  
  • Family
420 6/23 7 Fort Scott KS 127 Crawford State Park
  • Fort Scott
    • FSHS 60th Reunion
  • Pittsburg
  • Fried Chicken
427 6/30 7 Springfield MO 110 Springfield / Route 66 KOA
  • Family
434 2020/7/7 7 Atoka OK 154 Boggy Depot State Park
441 7/14 7 Wichita KS 301    
448 7/21 7 Omaha-Lincoln NE 305    
455 7/28 7 North Platte NE 254    
462 2020/8/4 28 Rapid City SD 328  
Hill City
Hot Springs, SD
490 2020/9/1 7 Ekalaka MT 167  
497 9/8 7 Devil's Tower WY 113  
504 9/15 7 Thermopolis WY 255  
511 9/22 14 Boseman MT 283  
525 2020/10/6 7 Missoula MT 207    
532 10/13 7 Spokane WA 90  
539 10/20 133 Bothell WA 299 Lake Pleasant Campground  

Journal of the Grand Fossil Tour

By the way, I intend to follow a common format in my journal of the tour (though that common format has changed slightly since the beginning). That means that not only will you find things in pretty much the same place in each blog (if the blog contains that item at all). I can include some additional standard navigation aids to help you go to specific items:

Pages Button Where What It Does
Grand Fossil Tour Itinerary
(Table Above)
Arrival Date Itinerary Stop When linked, goes to the blog of the corresponding stop on the Phoenix's Grand Fossil Tour.
Footer Goes to the map of the Phoenix's Grand Fossil Tour.
Footer Goes to the list of geological ages and their corresponding stops on the Phoenix's Grand Fossil Tour.
Footer Goes to the list of Points of Interest on the Phoenix's Grand Fossil Tour.
Footer Goes to the detailed list of stops on the Phoenix's Grand Fossil Tour.
Journal Entries for Stops on the Grand Fossil Tour Footer Goes to the Itinerary for the Phoenix's Grand Fossil Tour.
Footer Goes to the journal entry for the previous stop on the Phoenix's Grand Fossil Tour.
Footer Goes to the Journey section of the current page.
Footer Goes to the Locale section for the current page.
Footer Goes to the Campground section for the current page.
Footer Goes to the Points of Interest section for the current page.
Image Opens an image in a separate window to display it at the highest available resolution.
Footer Goes to the Museums section for the current page.
Footer Goes to the Fossils section for the current page.
Footer Goes to the Phoenix's Story for the current page.
Footer Goes to the journal entry for the next stop on the Phoenix's Grand Fossil Tour.
Footer Goes to the journal entry for the latest stop on the Phoenix's Grand Fossil Tour.

If you'd like to bookmark the Tour:

You can of course always get to itinerary from any blog by using Calendar button as described above. And you can get to the blog for any particular stop by clicking the Arrival date for that stop in the itinerary.

Onward

Well, that's the plan, and like all travel plans, it's subject to change on whim or hard experience. We'll see what happens. See you around the campground.

Comments and Conversation

Readers of the Phoenix Nest have sent me comments about this page, which I include below, arranged by topic, along with any replies I have made.

Conversation 1: TOPIC1

COMMENT1

COMMENT1

Except for the obvious cases where I have embedded Google Maps, all the maps for the Grand Fossil Tour, unless otherwise specified, are screen-shots from RV Trip Wizard. I have made heavy use of that web application, and could not do without it, in planning my travels.

The maps for individual locations were captured as of my visit to the location, and reflect my projections of my then-future itinerary, and not the inevitable changes that any long, real tour undergoes. So by viewing these maps, you can also witness the evolution of my travel planning.

Route of Journey from Previous Location
Route of Journey from , , to NEXTCITYSTATE
Next Destination: NEXTRV, NEXTCITYSTATE

Oops! Could not find that item!

I have always embedded Google Maps™ of my routes from place to place. These maps not only gave you a general overview of where I was, they allowed you to open that route in Google Maps itself, to zoom in and out as you willed, in order to look more closely at the geography of my travels.

I am sad to report that I can no longer show you Google Maps™ of my routes. Google, in its infinite corporate wisdom, now charges a fee to embed such"advanced" features, a cost which a pro bono site like this cannot endure.

From now on, I will only show you Google Maps™ of the previous, current, and next locations where I stay (at least until Google gets even greedier, and puts a price on those too). In addition, I will show you non-interactive images (screen shots) of maps of my routes. All maps will be included in the Journey section of the blog (rather than having the next destination map at the end).

Nonetheless, you can still view my route, in Google Maps™, at no cost to either of us (yet). On either the Current Location or the Next Destination map:

  1. Click on "View larger map" to open the map in Google Maps™.
  2. Click on the "Directions" button.
  3. If you opened the Current Location map, replace"Your location" with "Olympia, Washington".
  4. If you opened the Next Destination map, replace"Your location" with ", ".
  5. Hit Return.

Of course this procedure doesn't show you which among alternative routes I took, or what side trips I ventured on, or what strange adventures my phone's GPS might have sent me down, but I will give you an approximation of my route.

Revisions to This Page

This panel describes the significant revisions made to the appearance and function of this page. It ignores corrections of spelling, grammar, and other clerical problems, as well as debugging of the underlying code, and style changes that apply to all of the Phoenix Nest.

Preface to Revision of 2019, June 8

This revision fixes some faulty information content and broken links, primarily having to do with the relationships between itinerary items and points of interest.

Preface to Revision of 2019, April

In addition to debugging some problems, the Phoenix has added sections for Parts 2 and 3 of the Grand Fossil Tour. He has also add a Maps subsection to the Planning section.

What do you think of the new look? Send him an email:

Preface to Revision of 2018, December

The Phoenix has revised the appearance of this itinerary and of new entries in his journal of his Grand Fossil Tour: The various sections are sometimes collapsed under their respective titles. Click on the + to expand any section you choose; click on the × to collapse it.

Often the structure of the page will be so obvious, that the Page Contents section won't be shown at all.

What do you think of the new look? Send him an email:

Preface to Revision of 2018, September 1

I've decided to take a hiatus in my tour, and spend the holiday season and the rest of the winter in the Seattle area near family. I hope to get a lot of work done while I'm there on developing an interesting and informative way for you to view my photos of fossils. When I'm ready to launch my tour again, I'll post the updated itinerary below.

May you all have a Happy Thanksgiving, a Merry Christmas, a Happy New Year, and a wonderful winter, however and whenever you celebrate. Namaste.

Preface to Revision of August, 2018

Just when I think I have things all planned out, something happens that requires revision. The trouble is that right now I just don't know what those revisions are going to be. I'm pretty sure I'm going to go back to the Olympia-Seattle area for the holiday season and the rest of the winter, but exactly what that's going to look like remains to be seen. So for now I've removed from view a good part of the future itinerary. I'll expand it when I know more.

Preface to Revision of June, 2018

Well, it's been a year since I started this tour, and it's time for a major replanning. Things have been going reasonably well, given the quirky, adventurous nature of RV travel, but some changes need to be made.

  1. I need to slow down! Weekly moves are doable, certainly better than the daily moves that Marilynn and I made on our motor home trip from Washington to Pennsylvania. But I'm changing the itinerary so that much of the time, I'll be moving monthly (actually every 5 weeks, so I'll still be changing parks on Tuesday, when the traffic is low). I anticipate several benefits:
    • I'll be able to see more, without having to play tourist every day.
    • I'll burn less fuel.
    • I can take advantage of the major discounts many parks offer for monthly stays.
    • I'll be able to get more of my writing done.
  2. I need to return to the Smithsonian after they reopen their Hall of Fossils. Not having access to that collection was a major bummer.

So the upshot is that I'll be spending another year east of the Mississippi, with a large number of monthly stops, before heading back west. The itinerary below reflects the changes my tentative plan.

Why, you ask, do I plan so far ahead? The answer is that I want to reconcile some major objectives:

  • See as many fossil sites and museums as possible.
  • Keep temperatures as comfortable as possible, by traveling south in the winter, and north in the summer.
  • Visit family and friends at times that make sense.

Of course, as this major replanning shows, no plan is final.

Preface to Revision of 2017, December 1

I had originally planned to present an episode of these stories with every issue of the blog. That plan proved too demanding of my time, and had to be rethunk. So from now, stories will be released when they are ready, as occasional prizes to spur readership.

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