When the summer heat is finally gone in late autumn, Troop 147 loves to camp out in the open desert. In November, the troop headed out to the Mojave Desert on old Route 66, past the ghost town of Chambless, California. The Troop camped on BLM land at the foot of the Marble Mountains. Scouts spent most of Saturday afternoon and Sunday morning hunting for trilobites from the Cambrian Period, in an exposed rock bed called the Latham Shale. These fossils are over 500 million years old, from creatures swimming around this area when it was under a shallow sea. Our budding geologists and paleontologists had a great time finding interesting minerals and fossils, including some trilobites.
Of course, we also had a great campfire under the desert sky, seeing the Milky Way and spotting a bright Venus, plus shooting stars and satellites. Though it was too windy to sit around long, scouts still managed to toast marshmallows and make some smores before heading to the tents. It was a long drive, but it was worth it.
Special thanks go to BLM Ranger Merl Shaver, who directed the troop to a good camping spot and pointed out how to find the fossil beds.