I have a hard time stopping for side trips when I have a destination. However, Sadie’s love of fossils convinced me to turn off desolate highway 50 in Nevada. Another half hour down a gravel road brought us to a trilobite quarry called U-Dig Fossils. My expectations of walking around, mostly bored while looking at pieces of shale were blown away after breaking my first rock open to reveal a trilobite fossil!
The U-Dig quarry works like this:
- Pay $33 for two hours
- Get a bucket and a claw hammer
- Walk into a shale quarry
- Smash rocks along their sedimentary grain with the claw
- Look for fossils
- Feel pride at finding fossils or disappointment
This is a rare roadside stop I recommend. I thought it would be a tourist trap like panning for gold in Alaska but it wasn’t. Sadie and I both found a 2.5 inch long trilobite fossil and about a dozen other ones each in varying size and quality.
It’s also fun to smash open rocks and that made this much more engaging then walking around and just looking for them. It was easy to spend two hours there smashing rocks and finding fossils.
I was happy for this reminder to spend time along the journey. Take opportunities when they present in the moment. Don’t get too blinded by the destination.