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

Last revised: 2020-10-16

[Introduction]

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.

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.

Contents

  • For each entry, click for an enhanced description of that item.
  • To show the enhanced description of all items, click this .

Index

  • For each entry, click for an enhanced description of that item.
  • To show the enhanced description of all items, click this .

Revision History

Revisions Specific to this Itinerary

In addition to the changes described above, the follow changes have been made specifically to this Itinerary.

  • 2020.
    •  

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.

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 within the state (or province) and city where they are located.

ID Point of Interest Significance Age
(For Fossil Sites)
MYA City State Date to Visit Rating
Notes
USA: AL AK AZ AR CA CO CT DC FL GA HI ID IL IN IO KS KY LA ME MA MD MI MO MS MT 
NE NV NH NJ NY NC ND OH OK OR PA RI SC SD TN TX UT VA VT WA WV WI WY
Canada: AB BC MB NB NL NS ON PI QC SK
Australia
Fossils: Fos
Geology: Geo
History: His
Other: Oth
 
Alabama
Birm McWane Science CenterWikipedia Museum     Birmingham AL 2020/2/25 Fossils: 3 Stars Excellent science museum for kids, with modest fossil collection
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.
Arizona
AZMNH Arizona Museum of Natural HistoryWikipedia Museum     Phoenix AZ      
GCNP Grand CanyonWikipedia National Park Paleozoic Era 525-270   AZ   Geology: 5 Stars  
MNAZ Museum of Northern ArizonaWikipedia Museum     Flagstaff AZ      
California
Bar Barstow FormationWikipedia LagerstätteWikipedia Miocene Epoch 23-5.3 Barstow CA      
Brea La Brea Tar PitsWikipedia LagerstätteWikipedia Pleistocene Epoch 2.58-0.01 Los Angeles CA      
NHMLA Natural History Museum of Los AngelesWikipedia Museum     Los Angeles CA      
SDNHM San Diego Natural History MuseumWikipedia Museum     San Diego CA      
SDZ San Diego ZooWikipedia Zoo     San Diego CA      
CAS California Academy of SciencesWikipedia Museum     San Francisco CA      
UCMP University of California Museum of PaleontologyWikipedia Research Museum     Berkeley CA      
Yose Yosemite National ParkWikipedia National Park     Groveland CA      
Colorado
Dunes Great Sand DunesWikipedia National Park     Alamosa CO 2019/7/9 Geology: 3 Stars  
UCo University of Colorado Museum of Natural HistoryWikipedia Museum     Boulder CO 2019/7/9 Fossils: 2 Stars Small fossil collection
MVerd Mesa VerdeWikipedia National Park Neolithic 7500 BCE - 1300 CE Cortez CO 2019/8/6 History: 4 Stars Extensive 13th Century cliff dwellings
Denv Denver Museum of Nature and ScienceWikipedia Museum     Denver CO 2019/7/9 Fossils: 3 Stars Good collection of fossils
RMNP Rocky Mountain National ParkWikipedia National Park     Denver CO 2019/7/9 Geology: 5 Stars Spectacular mountain range
PRSRA Pueblo Reservoir SRAWikipedia GSSPInternational Commission on StratigraphyWikipedia Turonian Stage 93.9 Pueblo CO 2019/7/9 Fossils: 1 Star No access to LagerstätteWikipedia
CAnc Canyon of the AncientsWikipedia National Monument Neolithic 7500 BCE - 1300 CE Dolores CO 2019/8/6 History: 4 Stars Wonderful archeological sites
BGun Black Canyon of the GunnisonWikipedia National Park Paleoproterozoic Era 2000 Grand Junction CO 2019/6/18 Geology: 5 Stars Spectacular canyons with base in Ediacaran strata
CNM Colorado National MonumentWikipedia National Monument Late Cretaceous Period 66 Grand Junction CO 2019/6/18 Geology: 4 Stars Beautiful drive around the mesa
Paleoproterozoic Era 2000
DJM Dinosaur Journey Museum Museum     Grand Junction CO 2019/6/18 Fossils: 3 Stars Small but well-curated collection of fossils
GMesa Grand MesaWikipedia National Forest Eocene Epoch 10 Grand Junction CO 2019/6/18 Geology: 4 Stars Beautiful drive around the mesa
MWest Museum of the West Museum     Grand Junction CO 2019/6/18 History: 3 Stars Modest historical museum
Connecticut
DSP Dinosaur State ParkWikipedia State Park     Hartford CT 2018/4/24 Fossils: 3 Stars Intriguing site of dinosaur footprints from Late Triassic to Early Jurassic periods
Pea Yale Peabody Museum of Natural HistoryWikipedia Museum     New Haven CT 2018/4/24 5 Stars Informative if somewhat incomplete and ill-organized fossil collection
District of Columbia
SMNH Smithsonian Museum of Natural HistoryWikipedia Museum     Washington DC 2018/3/27
Fossils: 5 Stars The main collection was closed for renovation. What was available was excellent.
Florida
Flor Florida Museum of Natural HistoryWikipedia Museum     Gainesville FL 2018/1/9 Fossils: 4 Stars Good science but few fossils
JAX Jacksonville Museum of Science and HistoryWikipedia Museum     Jacksonville FL 2018/2/13 Fossils: 3 Stars Good science but few fossils
Everg EvergladesWikipedia National Park     Miami FL 2018/1/23 Geology: 4 Stars  
KennSP Kennedy Space CenterWikipedia Museum     Orlando FL 2018/2/6 History: 5 Stars  
SMar Castillo de San MarcosWikipedia Museum     St. Augustine FL 2018/2/13 History: 4 Stars  
SAug St. AugustineWikipedia       St. Augustine FL 2018/2/13 History: 4 Stars  
Keys Florida KeysWikipedia       Sugarloaf Key FL 2018/1/26 Geology: 4 Stars  
Georgia
Fern Fernbank Museum of Natural HistoryWikipedia Museum     Atlanta GA 2018/2/23 Fossils: 2 Stars Small Collection
Savnah Savannah, GAWikipedia       Savannah GA 2018/2/27 History: 4 Stars  
Idaho
CMoon Craters of the MoonWikipedia National Monument              
CFB Clarkia Fossil BedsWikipedia LagerstätteWikipedia Langhian Stage of the Miocene Epoch 15 Clarkia ID      
Hgrmn Hagerman Fossil BedsWikipedia National Monument Pliocene Epoch 3.5 Hagerman ID 2019/5/7 Fossils: 2 Stars  
CSI  Herrett Center, College of Southern IdahoWikipedia Museum     Twin Falls ID 2019/5/7 Fossils: 2 Stars  
Malad Malad GorgeWikipedia State Park     Twin Falls ID 2019/5/7 Geology: 4 Stars  
Snake The Snake River CanyonWikipedia       Twin Falls ID 2019/5/7 Geology: 3 Stars  
Illinois
CFM Field Museum of Natural HistoryWikipedia Museum     Chicago IL 2017/10/27 Fossils: 5 Stars Excellent
MCFB Mazon Creek Fossil BedsWikipedia LagerstätteWikipedia Moscovian Stage of the Pennsylvanian Subperiod 309 Morris IL      
Louisiana
ANI Audubon Nature InstituteWikipedia Research Museum     New Orleans LA     Not open to public
Massachusetts
Ben Beneski Museum of Natural HistoryWikipedia Museum     Amherst MA 2018/5/8 Fossils: 4 Stars Small but representative collection.
BMS Boston Museum of ScienceWikipedia Museum     Boston MA 2018/5/15 Fossils: 3 Stars Well-designed to attract young people to science, its fossil collection was merely ordinary.
HMCZ Harvard Museum of Comparative ZoologyWikipedia Museum     Cambridge MA 2018/5/15 5 Stars Informative collection of taxidermied animals
Harv Harvard Museum of Natural HistoryWikipedia Museum     Cambridge MA 2018/5/15 5 Stars Informative if somewhat incomplete and ill-organized fossil collection
Nash Nash Dinosaur Tracks  Fossil Shop     Granby MA 2018/5/8 Fossils: 3 Stars Prototypical roadside attraction, but dig site has real dinosaur tracks.
Michigan
UMMNH University of Michigan Museum of Natural HistoryWikipedia Museum     Ann Arbor MI 2020/5/19   Closed due to COVID-19 pandemic
Cran Cranbrook Institute of Science  Museum     Detroit MI 2020/5/19    
Minnesota
SMM Science Museum of MinnesotaWikipedia Museum     Minneapolis / St. Paul MN 2017/10/3 Fossils: 4 Stars Good Collection
Missouri
MOI Missouri Institute of Natural Science  Museum     Springfield MO 2017/12/11 Fossils: 3 Stars Small but well-done, some local fossils
Mississippi
MMNS Mississippi Museum of Natural ScienceWikipedia Museum     Jackson MS 2020/2/11 Fossils: 3 Stars Good introductory national history museum, with terrarium of Mississippi fish and reptiles
Vick Vicksburg National Military ParkWikipedia National Park     Vicksburg MS 2017/12/19 History: 4 Stars I could actually visualize the fighting on one of the battlefields.
Montana
BGL Bear Gulch LimestoneWikipedia LagerstätteWikipedia Bashkirian Stage, Pennsylvanian Subperiod, Carboniferous Period 323-315   MT      
Car Carter County MuseumWikipedia Museum     Ekalaka MT 2020/8/30 Fossils: 4 Stars  
LBH Little Bighorn Battlefield National MonumentWikipedia National Memorial       MT 2020/9/4 History: 4 Stars  
MRock Museum of the RockiesWikipedia Museum     Bozeman MT      
TSA Two Medicine Dinosaur CenterWikipedia Museum     Bynum MT      
Yell Yellowstone National ParkWikipedia National Park     West Yellowstone MT      
Nebraska
Ash Ashfall Fossil BedsWikipedia LagerstätteWikipedia Serravallian Stage, Miocene Epoch 13.8-11.6 Royal NE 2017/9/19 Fossils: 4 Stars Good collection of local Miocene fossils, plus active dig.
Nevada
Arrow Arrow CanyonWikipedia GSSPInternational Commission on StratigraphyWikipedia Bashkirian Stage of Pennsylvanian Subperiod 323-315 Las Vegas NV      
New Jersey
Rutg Rutgers Geology MuseumWikipedia Museum     New Brunswick NJ      
New Mexico
NMMNH New Mexico Museum of Natural History and ScienceWikipedia Museum     Albuquerque NM 2019/9/3 Fossils: 4 Stars Good collection of fossils
Carl Carlsbad CavernsWikipedia National Park     Carlsbad NM 2014 Geology: 5 Stars Fantastic caverns
2019/9/17
Ghost Ghost RanchWikipedia LagerstätteWikipedia Late Triassic Period 237-201 Ghost Ranch NM 2019/8/27 Fossils: 3 Stars Modest collection of local fossils
Chaco Chaco Culture National Historical ParkWikipedia National Park Neolithic Period 850-1250 CE Nageezi NM 2019/8/6 History: 5 Stars Spectacular archeological site
BandNM Bandelier National MonumentWikipedia       Albuquerque NM 2019/9/3 History: 4 Stars  
Kasha Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National MonumentWikipedia       Albuquerque NM 2019/9/3 Geology: 4 Stars  
PetNM Petroglyph National MonumentWikipedia       Albuquerque NM 2019/9/3 History: 4 Stars  
Valles Valles Caldera National PreserveWikipedia       Albuquerque NM 2019/9/3 Geology: 4 Stars  
New York
Buff Museum of ScienceWikipedia Museum     Buffalo NY 2018/9/25 4 Stars Small fossil collection in an old, underfunded museum.
NYMNH American Museum of Natural HistoryWikipedia Museum     New York NY 2018/4/17 Fossils: 5 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   No longer available for public access.
WRQ Walcott-Rust QuarryWikipedia LagerstätteWikipedia Ordovician Period 458-453 Rome NY 2020/5/5  
North Carolina
DMLS Museum of Life & ScienceWikipedia Museum     Durham NC 2018/3/13 Fossils: 2 Stars Models, but no fossils, of Cretaceous dinosaurs.
NCMNH North Carolina Museum of Natural SciencesWikipedia Museum     Raleigh NC 2018/3/13 Fossils: 4 Stars Good but spotty collection
Ohio
Cleve Cleveland Museum of Natural HistoryWikipedia Museum     Cleveland OH     Closed due to COVID-19 pandemic
Oklahoma
BKR Black Knob RidgeWikipedia GSSPInternational Commission on StratigraphyWikipedia Katian Stage of Late Ordovician Period 453-455 Atoka OK      
Oregon
JDFB John Day Fossil BedsWikipedia LagerstätteWikipedia Eocene Epoch 56-33 Redmond OR      
Pennsylvania
ANSD Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel UniversityWikipedia Museum     Philadelphia PA 2018/4/10 Fossils: 3 Stars Small collection of mainly Cretaceous dinosaurs
FI Franklin InstituteWikipedia Museum     Philadelphia PA     Chose not to visit
Wag Wagner Free Institute of ScienceWikipedia Museum     Philadelphia PA 201804/10 Fossils: 3 Stars Large but poorly curated collection, primarily of invertebrates
Carn Carnegie Museum of Natural HistoryWikipedia Museum     Pittsburgh PA 2018/10/2 Fossils: 4 Stars Good collection of mainly Cretaceous dinosaurs
South Carolina
Chrlstn CharlestonWikipedia City     Charleston SC 2018/2/27 History: 4 Stars  
FSum Fort SumterWikipedia Museum     Charleston SC 2018/2/27 History: 4 Stars  
South Dakota
Badl Badlands Wikipedia National Park     Rapid City SD 2020/7/28 Geology: 4 Stars  
BHI Black Hills InstituteWikipedia Museum     Hill City SD     Closed due to COVID-19 Pandemic
Crazy Crazy Horse MemorialWikipedia Monument     Custer County SD 2020/7/28 History: 4 Stars  
Mamm Mammoth SiteWikipedia LagerstätteWikipedia Pleistocene Epoch 2.58-0.01 Hot Springs SD 2020/7/28 Fossils: 3 Stars  
MRush Mount RushmoreWikipedia National Memorial     Pennington County SD 2020/7/28 History: 4 Stars  
SDSMT Museum of Geology, South Dakota School of Mines & TechnologyWikipedia Museum     Rapid City SD     Closed due to COVID-19 Pandemic
Tennessee
Smoky Great Smoky Mountain Wikipedia National Park       TN, NC 2020/3/17 Geology: 4 Stars  
Pink Pink Palace Museum and PlanetariumWikipedia Museum     Memphis TN 2020/2/25 Fossils: 3 Stars Excellent, comprehensive fossil collection
Texas
TMM Texas Memorial MuseumWikipedia Museum     Austin TX 2019/11/19 Fossils: 3 Stars Collection limited to Texas fossils
BBNP Big Bend National ParkWikipedia National Park,
LagerstätteWikipedia
Cretaceous Period 145-66 Big Bend National Park TX 2019/10/8 Fossils: 3 Stars
Geology: 5 Stars
Spectacular desert scenery
BVMNH Brazos Valley Museum of Natural HistoryWikipedia Museum     Bryan TX 2020/12/24 Fossils: 3 Stars Old, limited collection
Perot Perot Museum of Nature and ScienceWikipedia Museum     Dallas TX 2020/1/14 Fossils: 3 Stars Large, but disorganized fossil collection
DVSP Dinosaur Valley State ParkWikipedia State Park     Fort Worth TX 2020/1/14   Chose not to visit
FWMSH Fort Worth Museum of Science and HistoryWikipedia Museum     Fort Worth TX 2020/1/14   Chose not to visit
Monnig Monnig Meteorite GalleryWikipedia Museum     Fort Worth TX 2020/1/14 Fossils: 3 Stars Large collection of meteorites
Brazo Brazosport Museum of Natural ScienceWikipedia Museum     Houston TX 2019/12/17   Chose not to visit
Houst Houston Museum of Natural ScienceWikipedia Museum     Houston TX 2019/12/17 Fossils: 3 Stars Excellent, comprehensive fossil collection
JSFC Johnson Space Flight CenterWikipedia Point of Interest     Houston TX 2019/12/17   Chose not to visit
Vine Robert A Vines Environmental Science Center  Museum     Houston TX 2019/12/17   Chose not to visit
TTU Texas Tech University, MuseumWikipedia Museum     Lubbock TX 2019/10/29 Fossils: 3 Stars Collection limited to Texas fossils
GMNP Guadalupe MountainsWikipedia National Park Permian Period 299-252 Pine Springs TX 2019/9/17 Fossils: 2 Stars
Geology: 4 Stars
Spectacular scenery.
Small collection of fossils.
No public access to LagerstätteWikipedia
  Guadalupian Epoch 272-260
Capi   Nipple HillWikipedia GSSPInternational Commission on StratigraphyWikipedia   Capitanian Stage 265-260
Word   Guadalupe PassWikipedia GSSPInternational Commission on StratigraphyWikipedia Wordian Stage 269-265
Road   Stratotype CanyonWikipedia GSSPInternational Commission on StratigraphyWikipedia Roadian Stage 272-269
Waco Waco Mammoth SiteWikipedia Fossil Site     Waco TX 2020/12/24 Fossils: 3 Stars Bone bed (LagerstätteWikipedia) of Mammoth fossils
Witte The Witte MuseumWikipedia Museum     San Antonio TX 2019/11/12 Fossils: 3 Stars Collection limited to Texas fossils
Utah
WS Wheeler ShaleWikipedia LagerstätteWikipedia Cambrian Period 541-485 Delta UT      
GSL Great Salt LakeWikipedia Lake     Salt Lake City UT 2019/5/21 Geology: 3 Stars  
LDS Salt Lake TempleWikipedia Church     Salt Lake City UT 2019/5/21 Other: 4 Stars  
NHMU Natural History Museum of UtahWikipedia Museum     Salt Lake City UT 2019/5/21 5 Stars Informative geological collection
DNM Dinosaur National MonumentWikipedia National Monument Late (Upper) Jurassic Period 149 Vernal UT 2014 Fossils: 3 Stars
Geology: 3 Stars
A fascinating wall of dinosaur fossils.
2019/6/4
FanC Fantasy CanyonWikipedia Museum     Vernal UT 2019/6/4 Geology: 3 Stars  
FlamG Flaming GorgeWikipedia Canyon     Vernal UT 2019/6/4 Geology: 4 Stars  
Vern Utah Field House of Natural HistoryWikipedia Museum     Vernal UT 2014 Fossils: 3 Stars Good collection of local fossils
2019/6/4
Virginia
VMNH Virginia Museum of Natural HistoryWikipedia Museum     Martinsville VA 2018/3/13 Fossils: 4 Stars Good collection of local fossils
Wlmsbrg Colonial WilliamsburgWikipedia       Williamsburg VA 2018/3/20 History: 4 Stars  
Vermont
Fair Fairbanks MuseumWikipedia Museum     St. Johnsbury VT 2018/5/25 5 Stars Old and musty, with lots of taxidermied animals, it had only a few casts of fossils.
Wisconsin
BBH Blackberry HillWikipedia LagerstätteWikipedia Cambrian Period 541-485 Marathon County WI   Not available to public Not available to public.
MPM Milwaukee Public MuseumWikipedia Museum     Milwaukee WI 2017/10/20 Fossils: 3 Stars Good but Cluttered Collection
UWis University of Wisconsin Geology MuseumWikipedia Museum     Madison WI 2017/10/20 Fossils: 5 Stars Comprehensive and well documented
Wyoming
Devil Devil's TowerWikipedia National Monument       WY 2020/9/8 Geology: 4 Stars  
GrTe Grand TetonsWikipedia National Park     Jackson WY      
FBut Fossil ButteWikipedia National Monument,
LagerstätteWikipedia
Eocene Epoch 56-33 Kemmerer WY 2019/5/28 Fossils: 3 Stars Small but focused and representative collection of local Eocene fossils
UWy University of Wyoming Geological MuseumWikipedia Museum     Laramie WY 2018/10/17 Fossils: 3 Stars Modest collection of Wyoming fossils
HotSSP Hot SpringsWikipedia State Park     Thermopolis WY 2020/9/15 Geology: 4 Stars Billed as the largest mineral hot springs
Legend Legend Rock PetroglyphsWikipedia State Park     Thermopolis WY 2020/9/15 Geology: 4 Stars Worthwhile array of petroglyphs.
WDC Wyoming Dinosaur CenterWikipedia Museum     Thermopolis WY 2020/9/15 Fossils: 4 Stars Excellent collection for a small town
Alberta. Canada
Tyr Royal Tyrrell Museum of PalaeontologyWikipedia Museum     Drumheller AB 2017/8/22 Fossils: 5 Stars Excellent!
British Columbia. Canada
Burch Burchart Gardens  Flower Garden     Victoria BC 2017/7/25 Other: 5 Stars Beautiful flower garden
McA McAbee Fossil BedsWikipedia LagerstätteWikipedia Eocene Epoch 56-33 Kamloops BC 2017/8/8   No public access
BCM Royal British Columbia MuseumWikipedia Museum     Victoria BC 2017/7/25 3 Star
1 Star
Yoho YohoWikipedia National Park     Yoho National Park BC 2017/8/15 4 Star
  Burgess ShaleWikipediaPhoenix LagerstätteWikipedia Cambrian Period 541-485 Fossils: 2 Stars Too high to climb; small but good collection at visitors center
Manitoba. Canada
CFDC Canadian Fossil Discovery CentreWikipedia Museum     Morden MB 2017/9/5 Fossils: 4 Stars Good collection of local fossils, including large mosasaur
Newfoundland. Canada
FH Fortune Head Ecological ReserveWikipedia GSSPInternational Commission on StratigraphyWikipedia Fortunian Stage of Cambrian Period 541-429 Fortune NL 2018/7/17 Geology: 5 Stars
Fossils: 3 Stars
Awesome
GMrn Gros Morne Wikipedia National Park     Rocky Harbor NL 2018/7/6 Geology: 5 Stars Awesome
GP   Green PointWikipedia GSSPInternational Commission on StratigraphyWikipedia Early Ordovician period 485-443
TB   TablelandsWikipedia   Ordovician period  
GEO Johnson GEO CentreWikipedia       St. John's NL 2018/7/17 Geology: 5 Stars
Fossils: 3 Stars
Informative geological collection
MP Mistaken PointWikipedia LagerstätteWikipedia Ediacaran Period 635-541 St. Johns NL 2018/7/17 Geology: 5 Stars
Fossils: 4 Stars
Awesome
Nova Scotia. Canada
CBFC Cape Breton Fossil Centre  Museum Carboniferous Period 358-299 Sydney Mines NS 2018/8/3 4 Stars Good collection of local Carboniferous plant fossils
CBret Cape Breton HighlandsWikipedia National Park     North Sydney NS 2018/6/26 Geology: 4 Stars Magnificent coastline
Jog Joggins CliffWikipedia LagerstätteWikipedia Moscovian Stage, Pennsylvanian Subperiod, Carboniferous Period 315-307 Amherst NS 2018/8/14 Fossils: 5 Stars Awesome
Hfx Nova Scotia Museum of Natural HistoryWikipedia Museum     Halifax NS 2018/8/7 4 Stars Good collection of local Carboniferous plant fossils
Ontario. Canada
Ott Canadian Museum of NatureWikipedia Museum     Ottawa ON 2018/9/11 Fossils: 3 Stars Modest fossil collection
Tor Royal Ontario MuseumWikipedia Museum     Toronto ON 2018/9/18 Fossils: 3 Stars Modest fossil collection
Quebec. Canada
MNP Miguasha National ParkWikipedia National Park,
LagerstätteWikipedia
Devonian Period 419-358 St. Johns QC 2018/8/23 Fossils: 5 Stars Fabulous collection of local Devonian plant fossils
Saskatchewan. Canada
RSM Royal Saskatchewan MuseumWikipedia Museum     Regina SK 2017/9/1 Fossils: 4 Stars Good Collection
Australia
SAus Adelaide Natural History MuseumWikipedia Museum     Adelaide SAus 2020/4/7    
Edia Enorama CreekWikipedia GSSPInternational Commission on StratigraphyWikipedia Ediacaran Period 635-541  Flinders Range SAus 2020/4/7    

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. (This is not a complete listing of the ages of the Earth.)

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 Gaia
  • ...
  • Proterozoic EonWikipedia
    • ...
    • Neoproterozoic EraWikipedia
      • ... (No fossil sites for earlier ages.)
      • Ediacaran PeriodWikipedia
        • Enorama CreekPhoenix, South Australia
        • Mistaken Point LagerstättePhoenix, Newfoundland
  • Phanerozoic EonWikipedia
    • Paleozoic EraWikipedia
      • Cambrian PeriodWikipedia (541-485 mya)
        • Burgess ShalePhoenix, British Columbia
        • Blackberry Hill Fossil SitePhoenix, Wisconsin
        • Fortune Head LagerstättePhoenix, Newfoundland
        • Wheeler ShalePhoenix, Utah
      • Ordovician PeriodWikipedia (485-443 mya)
        • Early Ordovician EpochWikipedia (485-470 mya)
          • Green Point LagerstättePhoenix, Newfoundland
        • Middle Ordovician EpochWikipedia (470-458 mya)
        • Late Ordovician EpochWikipedia (458-443 mya)
          • Sandbian StageWikipedia (458-453 mya)
            • Beecher's Trilobite BedPhoenix, New York
            • Walcott-Rust QuarryPhoenix, New York
          • Katian StageWikipedia (453-455 mya)
            • Black Knob RidgePhoenix, Oklahoma
      • Silurian PeriodWikipedia (443-419 mya)
      • Devonian PeriodWikipedia (419-358 mya)
      • Carboniferous PeriodWikipedia (358-289 mya)
        • Mississippian SubperiodWikipedia (358-323 mya)
        • Pennsylvanian SubperiodWikipedia (323-298 mya)
          • Bashkirian StageWikipedia (323-315 mya)
            • Arrow Canyon GSSPPhoenix, Nevada
            • Bear Gulch LimestonePhoenix, Montana
          • Moscovian StageWikipedia (315-307 mya)
            • Joggins Cliff LagerstättePhoenix, Nova Scotia
          • Kasimovian StageWikipedia (307-303 mya)
          • Gzhelian StageWikipedia (303-298 mya)
      • Permian PeriodWikipedia (289-252 mya)
        • Cisuralian EpochWikipedia (298-272 mya)
        • Guadalupian EpochWikipedia (272-259 mya)
          • Roadian StageWikipedia (272-268 mya)
            • Guadalupe Mountains National ParkPhoenix, Texas
        • Lopingian EpochWikipedia (259-252 mya)
    • Mesozoic EraWikipedia
      • Triassic PeriodWikipedia (252-201 mya)
        • Ghost Ranch LagerstättePhoenix, New Mexico
      • Jurassic PeriodWikipedia (201-145 mya)
      • Cretaceous PeriodWikipedia (145-66 mya)
        • Early Cretaceous EpochWikipedia (145-100 mya)
        • Late Cretaceous EpochWikipedia (100-66 mya)
    • Cenozoic EraWikipedia
      • Paleogene PeriodWikipedia (66-23 mya)
        • Eocene EpochWikipedia (56-33 mya)
          • McAbee Fossil BedsPhoenix, British Columbia
          • Fossil Butte National MonumentPhoenix, Wyoming
          • John Day Fossil BedsPhoenix
      • Neogene PeriodWikipedia (23-2.58 mya)
        • Miocene EpochWikipedia (23-5.3 mya)
          • Langhian StageWikipedia (16-13.8 mya)
            • Ashfall LagerstättePhoenix, Nebraska
            • Clarkia Lagerstätte for LanghianPhoenix
          • Serravallian StageWikipedia (13.8-11.6 mya)
            • Barstow lagerstättePhoenix, California
      • Quaternary PeriodWikipedia (2.58 mya - present)
        • Pleistocene EpochWikipedia (2.58-0.01 mya)
          • La Brea Tar PitsPhoenix, California
          • Mammoth SitePhoenix, Wyoming
        • Holocene EpochWikipedia (0.01 mya - present)

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

The gallery below shows the map location of places I visited in Part 1 of the Tour, 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 traversal of the route.

(Click on the Phoenix button to view the journal entry for that location. Click on the 🏞 button to see the map in higher resolution. Both buttons will open a new window.)

Maps of the Route of the Phoenix
Grand Fossil Tour, Part 1

ALT-TEXT

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
  • Royal British Columbia MuseumPhoenix
  • Burchart GardensPhoenix
10 2017/8/1 7 Vancouver BC 62 Burnaby Cariboo RV Park  
17 8/8 3 Kamloops BC 212 Kamloops RV Park
  • McAbee Fossil BedsPhoenix
    (56-33 mya)
    (NOT OPEN TO PUBLIC)
20 8/11 4 Revelstoke BC 141 Canyon Hot Springs Resort  
24 8/15 5 Golden BC 71 Whispering Spruce Campground
  • Burgess ShalePhoenix (541-485)
29 8/20 2 Canmore AB 98 Spring Creek RV  
31 8/22 7 Drumheller AB 148 Dinosaur Trail
  • Royal Tyrrell Museum of PalaeontologyPhoenix
38 8/29 3 Saskatoon SK 307 Campland RV Resort  
41 2017/9/1 4 Indian Head SK 212 Indian Head Campground
  • Royal Saskatchewan MuseumPhoenix
45 9/5 7 Winnipeg MB 335 Birds Hill Campground
  • Canadian Fossil Discovery CentrePhoenix
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
  • Ashfall Fossil BedsPhoenix
    (13.8-11.6 mya)
66 9/25 7 Des Moines IA 280 Webb’s Camping  
73 2017/10/3 7 Minneapolis / St. Paul MN 283 Minneapolis Northwest KOA
  • Science Museum of MinnesotaPhoenix
80 10/10 7 Tomah WI 208 Oakdale KOA
  • Blackberry Hill Fossil SitePhoenix
    (541-485 mya)
    (NOT FOUND)
87 10/17 3 Green Bay WI 212 Rustic Timbers Camping  
90 10/20 7 Madison WI 191 Madison KOA
  • Visit Family
  • Milwaukee Public MuseumPhoenix
  • University of Wisconsin Geology MuseumPhoenix
97 10/27 6 Chicago IL 211 Woodland Village RV
  • Field Museum of Natural HistoryPhoenix
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
  • Visit Family
  • Missouri Institute of Natural SciencePhoenix
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
  • Vicksburg National Military ParkPhoenix
157 12/26 7 New Orleans LA 161 Natalbany Creek Campground
  • Audubon Nature InstitutePhoenix
    (Not open to public)
164 2018/1/2 7 Mobile AL 185 Meaher State Park  
171 1/9 7 Perry FL 294 Perry KOA
  • Florida Museum of Natural HistoryPhoenix
178 1/16 6 Tampa FL 233 Winter Quarters Pasco RV Resort  
184 1/22 1 LaBelle FL 168 Port LaBelle Inn  
185 1/23 3 Miami FL 128 Miami Everglades RV Resort
  • Everglades National ParkPhoenix
188 1/26 7 Sugarloaf Key FL 98 Lazy Lakes RV Resort
  • Florida KeysPhoenix
195 2018/2/2 4 Miami FL 98 Miami Everglades RV Resort  
199 2/6 7 Orlando FL 249 Christmas RV Park
  • Kennedy Space CenterPhoenix
206 2/13 7 Jacksonville FL 158 Pecan Park RV Resort
  • Museum of Science and HistoryPhoenix
  • Castillo de San MarcosPhoenix
  • St. AugustinePhoenix
213 2/20 3 Columbus GA 308 Lake Pines RV Park and Campground
  • Ingersoll ShaleWikipedia (100-66
mya)
216 2/23 4 Atlanta GA 131 Stone Mountain Park Family Campground
  • Fernbank Museum of Natural HistoryPhoenix
  2/27 7 Charleston SC 282 Charleston KOA
  • Fort SumterPhoenix
  • CharlestonPhoenix
  • Savannah, GAPhoenix
230 2018/3/6 7 Charlotte NC 204 Charlotte / Fort Mill KOA  
234 3/13 7 Durham NC 245 Jordan Lake State Recreation Area
  • North Carolina Museum of Natural SciencesPhoenix
  • Museum of Life & SciencePhoenix
  • Virginia Museum of Natural HistoryPhoenix
241 3/20 7 Richmond VA 225 Williamsburg KOA
  • Colonial WilliamsburgPhoenix
248 3/27 7 Harpers Ferry WV 205 Harpers Ferry/Civil War Battlefields KOA
  • District of Columbia
  • Smithsonian Museum of Natural HistoryPhoenix
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
  • Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel UniversityPhoenix
  • Wagner Free Institute of SciencePhoenix
269 4/17 7 New York NY 106 Mahlon Dickerson Reservation
  • American Museum of Natural HistoryPhoenix
276 4/24 7 Hartford CT 176 Nelsons Family Campground
  • Yale University
    • Yale Peabody Museum of Natural HistoryPhoenix
  • Dinosaur State ParkPhoenix
283 2018/5/1 7 Providence RI 54 Wawaloam Campground
  • Visit
    • Brown University
    • Home during late 60s
290 5/8 7 Amherst MA 54 Sunsetview Farm Camping Area
  • Beneski Museum of Natural HistoryPhoenix
  • Nash Dinosaur TracksPhoenix
297 5/15 10 New Hampshire NH 106 Calef Lake Camping Area
  • Visit Family
Boston MA
  • Harvard University
    • Museum of Comparative ZoologyPhoenix
    • Museum of Natural HistoryPhoenix
  • MIT
  • Museum of SciencePhoenix
311 5/25 11 St. Johnsbury VT 122 Moose River Campground
  • Fairbanks MuseumPhoenix
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 Gros Morne RV / Campground
  • Gros Morne National ParkPhoenix
353 7/12 7 Gander NL 231 Country Inn RV Park
360 7/17 14 St. John's NL 208 Pippy Park Campgrounds
  • Mistaken Point LagerstättePhoenix
Johnson GEO CentrePhoenix
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
  • Cape Breton Fossil CentrePhoenix
  • Cape Breton HighlandsPhoenix
381 8/7 7 Halifax NS 264 Woodhaven RV Park
  • Nova Scotia Museum of Natural HistoryPhoenix
388 8/14 9 Amherst NS 140 Loch Lomond RV Park
  • Joggins Cliff LagerstättePhoenix
395 8/23 4 Carleton-sur-Mer QC 283 Camping de Carleton-sur-Mer
  • Miguasha National ParkPhoenix
    (419-358 mya)
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
  • Canadian Museum of NaturePhoenix
423 9/18 7 Toronto ON 274 Milton Heights Campground
  • Royal Ontario MuseumPhoenix
430 9/25 7 Buffalo NY 72 Cinderella Motel & Campsite
  • Buffalo Museum of SciencePhoenix
437 2018/10/2 3 Pittsburgh PA 257 Madison / Pittsburgh S.E. KOA
  • Carnegie Museum of Natural HistoryPhoenix
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
  • University of Wyoming Geological MuseumPhoenix
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 1 - Complete

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 VerdePhoenix and Ghost RanchPhoenix.
  • 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

The gallery below shows the map location of places I visited in Part 2 of the Tour, 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 traversal of the route.

(Click on the Phoenix button to view the journal entry for that location. Click on the 🏞 button to see the map in higher resolution. Both buttons will open a new window.)

Maps of the Route of the Phoenix
Grand Fossil Tour, Part 2

ALT-TEXT

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, as well as where I plan to go, at least as far as I have reservations. The above list of Points of Interest offers some insight into the places I intend to go, sometime.

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
  • Pendleton RoundupWikipedia
7 5/7 14 Twin Falls ID 340 Twin Falls / Jerome KOA
  • Herrett Center, College of Southern IdahoPhoenix
  • Hagerman Fossil Beds National MonumentPhoenix
  • Malad Gorge State ParkPhoenix
  • The Snake River CanyonPhoenix
21 5/21 7 Salt Lake City UT 217 Salt Lake City KOA
  • Great Salt LakePhoenix
  • Salt Lake TemplePhoenix
  • Natural History Museum of UtahPhoenix
28 5/28 7 Kemmerer WY 137 Riverside RV Park
  • Fossil Butte National MonumentPhoenix
    (LagerstätteWikipedia, 56-33 mya
35 2019/6/4 21 Vernal UT 156 Fossil Valley RV Park
  • Dinosaur National MonumentPhoenix
  Jurassic Fossils (150 mya)
Petroglyphs (1000 ya)
  • Fantasy CanyonPhoenix
  • Flaming GorgePhoenix
  • Utah Field House of Natural HistoryPhoenix
49 6/25 14 Grand Junction CO 148 RV Ranch
  • Black Canyon of the Gunnison National ParkPhoenix
  • Colorado National MonumentPhoenix
  • Dinosaur Journey MuseumPhoenix
  • Grand MesaPhoenix
  • Museum of the WestPhoenix
70 2019/7/9 21 Denver CO 232 Dakota Ridge RV Park
  • Denver Museum of Nature and SciencePhoenix
  • Rocky Mountain National ParkPhoenix
  • University of Colorado Museum of Natural HistoryPhoenix
91 7/30 7 South Fork CO 221 Peacock Meadows
  • Great Sand Dunes National ParkPhoenix
  • San Juan Mountains (eastern)Wikipedia
98 2019/8/6 21 Dolores CO 151 Dolores River Campground
  • Mesa Verde National ParkPhoenix
    (Neolithic, 7500 BCE - 1300 CE)
  • Canyon of the AncientsPhoenix
    (Neolithic, 7500 BCE - 1300 CE)
  • San Juan Mountains (western)Wikipedia
119 8/27 7 Abiquiu NM 206 Riana Abiquiu Lake COE
  • Ghost RanchPhoenix
    (Late Triassic, 237-201 mya)
  • Chaco Culture National Historical ParkPhoenix
126 2019/9/3 14 Albuquerque NM 118 Stagecoach Stop RV Park
  • New Mexico Museum of Natural History and SciencePhoenix
  • Petroglyph National MonumentPhoenix
  • Bandelier National MonumentPhoenix
  • Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National MonumentPhoenix
  • Valles Caldera National PreservePhoenix
140 9/17 14 Carlsbad NM 282 Carlsbad KOA
  • Carlsbad CavernsPhoenix
  • Guadalupe Mountains National ParkPhoenix
  Capitanian Stage GSSPInternational Commission on StratigraphyWikipedia, 265-260 mya
Wordian Stage GSSPInternational Commission on StratigraphyWikipedia, 269-265 mya
Roadian Stage GSSPInternational Commission on StratigraphyWikipedia, 272-269 mya
154 2019/10/1 7 El Paso TX 182 Road Host RV  
161 10/8 14 Big Bend National Park TX 364 Big Bend National Park
  • Big Bend National ParkPhoenix
    (145-66 mya)
175 10/22 7 Fort Stockton TX 150 Fort Stockton RV Park  
182 10/29 7 Lubbock TX 244 Lubbock RV Park
  • Texas Tech University MuseumPhoenix
189 2019/11/5 7 Abilene TX 179 Buck Creek RV Park  
196 11/12 14 San Antonio TX 296 Alamo River RV Resort
  • Witte MuseumPhoenix
210 11/26 14 Austin TX 113 Hwy 71 RV Park
  • Texas Memorial MuseumPhoenix
224 2019/12/10 35 Bryan TX 85 Paradise RV Park
  • Houston Museum of Natural SciencePhoenix
  • Brazos Valley Museum of Natural HistoryPhoenix
  • Waco Mammoth SitePhoenix
259 2020/1/14 21 Dallas/Fort Worth TX 169 Texas Ranch RV Resort
  • Monnig Meteorite GalleryPhoenix
  • Perot Museum of Nature and SciencePhoenix
280 2020/2/04 7 Shreveport LA 207 Shreveport / Bossier City KOA  
287 2/11 7 Jackson MS 232 Wendy Oaks RV Park
  • Mississippi Museum of Natural SciencePhoenix
294 2/18 7 Memphis TN 240 Memphis KOA
  • Pink Palace Museum and PlanetariumPhoenix
301 2/25 7 Birmingham AL 266 Cullman Campground
  • McWane Science CenterPhoenix
308 2020/3/3 7 Chattanooga TN 146 Lookout Mountain / Chattanooga West KOA  
315 3/10 7 Nashville TN 125 Nashville East / Lebanon KOA  
322 3/17 7 Knoxville TN 179 Riverside Campground & Resort Great Smoky Mountain National ParkPhoenix
329 3/24 6 Charleston WV 319 Flatwoods KOA  
335 3/30 8 Millersville MD 305 Washington DC / Capitol KOA  
343 2020/4/7 7 Allentown PA 168 Allentown KOA  
350 4/14 28 Ovid NY 229 Sned-Acres Family Campground
  • Finger Lakes
378 2020/5/12 21 Petersburg
Ann Arbor
Detroit
MI 448 Monroe Co. / Toledo North KOA
  • Cranbrook Institute of SciencePhoenix
  • University of Michigan Museum of Natural HistoryPhoenix

Both closed due to COVID-19 pandemic

399 2020/6/2 14 Lima OH 102 Back 40 Campground  
413 6/16 7 Louisville KY 214 Guist Creek Marina & Campground  
420 6/23 7 North Vernon IN 102 Muscatatuck Park  
427 6/30 7 Greenwood IN 66 La Quinta Inn  
434 2020/7/7 7 Mount Pleasant IA 346 Crossroads RV Park  
441 7/14 7 Omaha-Lincoln NE 306 Pine Grove RV Park  
448 7/21 7 Ogallala NE 296 Country View Campground  
455 7/28 30 Rapid City SD 270 Southern Hills RV Park
  • Badlands National ParkPhoenix
  • Mount RushmorePhoenix
  • Crazy Horse MemorialPhoenix
Hot Springs, SD
  • Mammoth SitePhoenix
485 2020/8/27 5 Devil's Tower WY 125 Devil's Tower KOA
  • Devil's Tower National MonumentPhoenix
Ekalaka MT
  • Carter County MuseumPhoenix
490 2020/9/1 7 Billings MT 221  
  • Little Bighorn Battlefield National MonumentPhoenix
497 9/8 4 Thermopolis WY 256 Eagle RV Park
  • Wyoming Dinosaur CenterPhoenix
  • Hot Springs State ParkPhoenix
  • Legend RockPhoenix
501 9/12 3 Rawlins WY 204 Rawlins KOA  
504 9/15 7 Vernal UT 219 Fossil Valley RV Park  
511 9/22 7 Grand Junction CO 148 RV Ranch  
518 9/29 7 Dolores CO 236 Dolores River Campground  
525 2020/10/6 30 Taos NM 291    
555 2020/11/5 30 Las Cruces NM 358    
585 2020/1/5 30 Tucson AZ 275    
615 2021/1/4 30 Phoenix AZ 114    
645 2021/2/3 30 Yuma AZ 185    
675 2021/3/5 30 San Diego CA 174  
  • San Diego Natural History MuseumPhoenix
  • San Diego ZooPhoenix
705 2021/4/4 30 Los Angeles CA 121  
  • Barstow FormationPhoenix
  • La Brea Tar PitsPhoenix
  • Natural History Museum of Los AngelesPhoenix
735 2021/5/4 7 Las Vegas NV 270    
742 5/11 2 Topanah NV 226    
744 5/13 5 Yosemite National Park CA 201  
  • Yosemite National ParkPhoenix
749 5/18 30 San Francisco CA 186  
  • California Academy of SciencesPhoenix
  • University of California Museum of PaleontologyPhoenix
779 2021/6/17 5 Redding CA 207    
784 6/22 14 Ashland OR 136    
798 2021/7/6 7 Diamond Lake OR 93    
805 7/13 7 Redmond OR 110   John Day Fossil BedsPhoenix
812 7/20 30 Astoria OR 340    
842 2020/8/19 5 Ocean City WA 98    
847 8/24 7 Forks WA 102    
854 8/31 30 Port Angeles WA 56    
884 2020/9/30 5 Port Townsend WA 46    
889 2020/10/5 7 Gig Harbor WA 73    
896 10/12 ? Bothell WA 59    
Grand Fossil Tour - Part 2 - leftovers
Points of Interest that Were Lost in the Replanning Process
??? 10/13 7 Spokane WA 90  
  • Clarkia Fossil BedsPhoenix
    (Langhian Stage, 15 mya)
??? 2020/4/7 7 Adelaide AUS    
  • Adelaide Natural History MuseumPhoenix

How This Journal of the Grand Fossil Tour Works

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
All Phoenix Nest Pages Footer Home Page for the Phoenix Nest
Footer Top of the Current Page
Footer Introduction to the Current Page
Footer Conclusion of the Current Page
Footer Lets you send an email to the Phoenix
Footer Copyright rules for the Phoenix Nest
Grand Fossil Tour Itinerary
(Table Above)
Arrival Date Itinerary Stop When linked (underlined), goes to the journal entry for 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.

A Favorite Photo from the Grand Fossil Tour

Green Point. Gros Morne National Park. Newfoundland
Gaia's Autobiography Resting Pages Up in the Sea
July, 2018

Green Point. Gros Morne National Park. Newfoundland

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