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Fossils in the Crestones

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Postby stinkertodd » Thu Sep 21, 2006 8:49 pm

:shock: WOW!! Am I on the right website? 14ers.com?
This is some real serious earth-sciencey kinda stuff you guys got goin' here. Freakin' me kinda out.

First of all, as my buddy GV14 always reminds me when I start wondering this kind of stuff out loud: "The earth is only 6,000 years old, so start from there, Kemosabe!"

For what my feeble 2 cents are worth, unless that rock was planted there to confuse CC Geology students on a Stuctural fieldtrip, it looks like the gen-u-wine article. Assuming in-situ positioning, we can all agree that the only way that rock could possibly be igneous is if we're talking extrusive. Intrusive is out of the question.

Let's say you've got a fern minding it's own business, when a nearby volcano decides to let off some steam, and some ash to boot. The ash floats earthward, cooling on its way down, and covers the fern. Then more ash, then more ash, etc. The delicate fern is preserved under layer upon layer of ash, which welds and compresses under the weight above.

Later, this rock appears next to a popular hiking trail, and hikers are clearly flummoxed, as they also see intrusive examples on the same trail. Could this be a situation where the nature of this particular conglomerate has brought seemingly incongruous specimens into close proximity?

Finally, how hard would it be for me to take a hammer up there and get that fernbaby out of the rock and bring that sucker home?
"Are you talking to ME?" - Robert DeNiro

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Postby ccunnin » Thu Sep 21, 2006 11:09 pm

someone carved that sucker with a chisel and hammer many moons ago knowing, all too well, that people would one day talk about it. probably the same graffiti artist that did all the -glyphs in southern CO and in NM. that silly little punk even got a few licks in on the subways in NY. good graffiti though.
on a more serious note, was a conclusions ever gotten out of that long, yet educational, conversation? real or not real? it was there from the get-go or it was put there by sasquatch?
He who controls the spice, controls the universe.

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Postby Jack » Thu Sep 21, 2006 11:31 pm

Hey all,
It's nice to see that I am not the only one stopping to look at rocks during my fourteener hikes. As a recent graduate majoring in geology, the sedimentary and igneous geology of the Rockies is truly spectacular to observe. To complement the fossils from the Crestones, the southern Sangre de Cristos have left some amazing basaltic dikes exposed in the granitic cliffs surrounding Blanca and Ellingwood.

And that is a very good point that the conglomerates of the permian Fountain fm. (not to mention the rest of a 10,000+ ft thick sedimentary package) are relics of the massive ancestral rockies, originating much further west than the relatively young front range of CO.

Although the temptation to remove fossils is often great, please leave beautiful fossils such as this one on the mountain for others to enjoy in the future... Sad that it can take only a minute for someone to remove what the Earth took millions of years to preserve, bury, uplift and expose.

Enjoy the hikes and the rocks - they can be equally amazing. Peace.

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Postby stinkertodd » Fri Sep 22, 2006 6:20 am

Stellar first post, Jack. Welcome!

Back to the fern...
I was wondering if anyone may have entered the exact fossil location coordinates on their GPS and would be willing to share them with good old stinkertodd. Uh, just so I can go and take a good look at this lovely acquisition, er, specimen, for myself...

I we were to simply leave the fossil in place, would it be a selfish act to some degree? Consider those less fortunate that might never have the opportunity to view such an astounding relic. The very old, for example, or those among us that have been dealt the cruel hand of disability. Imagine not being able to simply strap on a nice pair of Scarpa GTX boots, because you can't afford them, or because you have no feet!


Shouldn't a beautiful example of Intelligent Design, such as this fern, be given the respect and admiration that it is certainly due? Why not give more people, indeed all people, a chance to run their fingers over this wondrous creation and partake of it's breathtaking splendor?

Besides, I think it would look really cool on my desk next to that little petroglyph that I scored down in Pinion Canyon a few years back.
"Are you talking to ME?" - Robert DeNiro

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Postby elkheart22 » Fri Sep 22, 2006 7:59 am

Actually, it should be more of a shock if we DIDN"T see
fossils......
Lakes below the mountains
Flow into the sea
Like oils applied to canvas,
They permeate through me. --- Jimmy Buffett

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Postby Jack » Fri Sep 22, 2006 8:08 am

Yeah...
I thought I would be inclined to do bodily damage when I saw cars the top of Evans after hiking bierstadt and sawtooth, but then I thought for a bit. Yeah there are those who weren't blessed with the ability or given the privilege to partake in such hikes, and for them I guess providing the ability to reach 14000 ft is nice. After all you can't just take that experience and deliver it to someone where ever they might be. A Crestones fossil on the other hand, as spectacular as it may be... that's what museums are for. If someone has that burning desire to see a fern imprint, they can go to the Smithsonian(or wherever else) and look at those fossils 'til their heart is content... but you will find me in the mountains.

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