My favorite dig site. Mid-miocene marine life abounds in the Round Mountain Silt Formation in Kern County’s Bakersfield, California. An absolute mandatory pilgrimage for anyone into the huntings of Fossil Shark.
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The name “The La Brea Tar Pits” is redundant (translation: The The Tar Tar Pits), but it means well, is incredibly cool, and consistently tops rank as one of my favorite places to go in all of Los Angeles.
It is the single largest active ice age fossil dig on the planet, and everybody should go there at least once in their life, for it is glorious.
Active Tar Pits
They’re still bubbling today, and if you fell in you’d likely be screwed.
Paleontologists find predator to prey at a 10:1 ratio, likely because after the thirsty animal falls in and gets stuck, it cries out for help, ringing the chow bell for all predators within earshot.
Jokes on the predator.
They jump on the mammoth for a quick & easy steak dinner, but then they slip and get stuck in the tar, too.
Now they’re both screwed.
They die and sink and the world turns. Again and again the process repeats itself, over and over, for thousands of years, and today the fossil bed at La Brea Tar Pits is a densely packed super-concentration of perfectly preserved Ice Age fauna fossils. It is a truly impressive piece of the planet and its history, and all should go.
Active Fossil Dig
La Brea Tar Pits Paleontologists get to do Fossil Science every day. If you’re really into Paleo, you can Volunteer to work with fossils, too. Which is awesome.
We went to Shibuya Crossing inTokyo and everyone should go there. It’s a fast, wonderful, messy, organized piece of chaos.
All things you’d expect from the world’s busiest intersection.
The Grand Canyon was on Katie’s Bucket List, so we loaded up Ol’ Blue and rode the deserts of Arizona to the Grandest of Canyons.
I wore my “Grand Canyon” hoodie so as to blend in with the locals.
What’s cool about the Grand Canyon is that it evolved over the course of about three thousand million years during a period of slow and gradual glacial migration, which is pretty frickin cool. Three cheers for Stratigraphy!
Thus, adventure ensued.
Sky-Diving the Swiss Alps was on my Bucket List, so we flew to Switzerland.
At Interlaken, they told me the plane was full.
It was our last day.
I walked into a pizza shop across the street and announced to no one and everyone: “I’m tryin’ to sky dive the Alps but their plane’s full across the street. Anybody know another way for me to jump today!?”
A man walks out from behind closed doors and says: “I can get you up there. But it’s not a plane, it’s a helicopter. You cool with that?”
He pulls out his phone, “Gimme a minute” he says, and walks away.
2 minutes later he walks out and says “Van’ll be outside in 15 minutes. Be ready”
And now we’re off.
We chartered a helicopter up and through the mountains, high and tight up and over the Swiss Alps, hovering at 15,000 feet for a while, just staring down, suspended in between the lakes.
And then we jumped.
And you should, too.
For it was glorious.
Everybody should go to Nara, where the deer are polite and bow back. It’s an easy ~45-minute train ride from Kyoto, we took a day-trip to Nara and hung out with Nature.
And because you definitely got the JR Rail Pass, go use it. Train station in Kyoto’s big and wonderful, hop on/hop off, and you’re back in time for supper.
I recommend CHAOCHAO’s, without question the best dumplings in Kyoto, and not to oversell them: but also planet Earth.
Antelope Canyon was on Katie’s Bucket List, so we loaded up Ol’ Blue and crossed the desert to Navajo Country and you should, too. For it is glorious. They’re a pair of slot canyons in the American Southwest. On Navajo land east of Arizona, Antelope Canyon includes two separate, scenic slot canyon sections, referred to individually as “Upper Antelope Canyon” or “The Crack”; and “Lower Antelope Canyon” or “The Corkscrew”.
Deep Time Equations: 1 line = 100 years, 1 inch = 1000 years