Thursday, January 19, 2006

Fossils 1, Fossil Hunters 0

If you've never been fossil hunting, let me give you an idea of how it works. Imagine a ten-story building. Now imagine that you were in charge of demolishing that building. You supervised a team that set explosive charges so that the rubble would collapse inwards, not damaging the surrounding buildings. The big day arrives, you press the button, and BOOM. The building collapses perfectly into a giant mound of rock and debris.

Then your boss calls, tells you he left a dime in the break room on the second floor last week, and wants you to sift through the rubble until you find it.

Welcome to fossil hunting.

We didn't find any shark's teeth. We did look through approximately one million pieces of shale in thirty mph winds on the hottest day I have ever seen in January. And we were going up, and down, and up a rocky creek bed with boulders the size of beanbag chairs.

If I'm Bill Abner, I'm blowing out my ankle in the first five minutes.

I'm not, though, and even though the ligaments in my right ankle are made out of heavily overcooked spaghetti, I escaped with no damage, and there were no family casualties, either. Now we're sitting around exhausted, because climbing and bending and stooping and scooping and scraping for an hour or so turns out to be pretty tiring when you're old. Especially if you already swam a mile in the morning.

Best moment: Eli 4.5 saw a dead fish floating on the pond at Northwest Park and shouted "WOO HOO! DEAD FISH!"

As he likes to say, he's enthusiastica.

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