Archive for May 23rd, 2010

Sweet Home Alabama

May 23rd, 2010

Lonely highway near Jefferson, Alabama, at one of our roadside outcrops (N 32.39412°, W 87.92422°).

DEMOPOLIS, ALABAMA — We practically had the state to ourselves on this steamy Sunday as we drove around western Alabama looking for outcrops of the latest Cretaceous and earliest Paleogene.  As is often the case, localities described in the literature disappear because of housing developments, road expansions, new dams on rivers, and the luxuriant growth of vegetation (especially kudzu down here).  Still, we found that even a meter-thick strip of the Prairie Bluff Formation in a roadside ditch can be loaded with encrusted and bored fossil shells, so we collected enough specimens to make the driving worthwhile.  Now we settle down for our last night in Alabama before crossing over into Mississippi tomorrow.  (This gives me time to soothe the chigger bites on my ankles!)

We promised Megan and Caroline that if they crossed the muddy creek to see what was on the other side, we would immortalize their heroics in the blog.

We all had our photographs taken under this most appropriate ranch sign. (For the non-geologists, "KT" is our code for "Cretaceous-Tertiary".)