Saturday, September 20, 2008

Fossil Hunting....and George Washington

We woke up this morning without any plans for the day at all, with the exception of running to Costco early to try and beat the crowds. Got that done, and decided to go home grab some lunch, and the camera and head South down Route 3. Our intent was to maybe head to King George, a small community about 20 miles from the house. I was studying the map and I realized that we would only be about 20 miles from Westmoreland State Park, and George Washington's Birthplace. So we bypassed King George and hit the road for Westmoreland State Park.

One of the features of Westmoreland State Park is the beautiful cliffs that overlook the Potomac River. Some of the cliffs are as high as 150ft, and the view is spectacular! I had heard about Fossil Beach from another Mom here and we decided to find it and get our own fossilized shark teeth.

I really had no idea what getting to Fossil Beach entailed, and I was in
flip flops and Carson was in sandals, the only appropriately dressed for a hike was Wayne, he was in sneakers. The beach is at the end of a downward hiking trail...funny thing about hiking downhill... it is uphill on the way back...ugghhh. Not a long hike at all, just steep at times, and very, very beautiful. Honestly, we could not have picked a more perfect day for this hike, the weather was GORGEOUS. Temps in the low 70's with a nice breeze coming off the water. The trail opens up at the Potomac River, with breathtaking views of the cliffs and the water.
Carson and I spent the afternoon searching for fossilized shark teeth and other ancient treasures. Wayne was the photographer.Carson and Wayne headed off up the beach to explore, while I continued searching for sharks teeth. A bit up the beach, a lot of the cliff side has eroded away over the years and trees have fallen into the surf. Carson had a lot of fun climbing on those. Good thing he was with Dad... I would have freaked out with him climbing on those over the water, Dad doesn't worry like I do.

A view from the top of the cliffs....crystal clear skies, and a gorgeous view. This is the ONLY shot I took on the hike back up the trail.... notice it is looking up at the canopy of trees.....before you ask if I was flat on my back gasping for breath...I wasn't....(much), I was resting on a bench the park provides at the top of the steep incline for all the out of shape folks.

Here is a very blurry picture of the sharks teeth we found... there are three easily recognizable teeth, along with a crocodile tooth (at least that is what the field guide says). The others are teeth, I just don't know what they are from....yet.

On the way home we decided to make a 2 mile detour and go to George Washington's Birthplace National Monument We did not do any of the tours on this trip, we basically drove through the park, and took some pictures. Carson was thrilled that there was a replica of the Washington Monument in D.C. here about 1/8th the size. Below is a field of yellow flowers, I don't know what they are, but they sure were beautiful.

This is just an old barn on the grounds of the Washington National Monument. I thought it was cool and made for an interesting picture. I don't know the relevance, but it was away from the actual homestead site.

This was probably one of the best whims we have ever followed. We enjoyed ourselves, spent some wonderful time as a family, made some neat memories, had a beautiful drive and a fabulous time hunting for fossils. We plan on going back real soon decked out with colanders and sieves to hunt for teeth, and at least wearing tennis shoes.


Til said...

What a lovely day trip! Thanks for taking us along. Spectacular photo's! I bet Carson had the best time!

Kariberry said...

What a great trip! TFS

Miner News said...

What are cool trip. The pics were awesome.