Last year, whilst adventuring, we discovered an amazing fossil shop not far away from Besancon. The elderly proprietor took time with us and showed us how to dowse. It was an amazing experience.
While we were there, he mentioned he often found fossils along stretches where they are building new train tracks and they have dug deep into the rocks. We tucked this information into our back pockets and, last Sunday, put it to the test.
We had, last year, explored the abandoned train tracks near our home. For the past 6 months or so, they have been working on these old tracks, widening them and renewing them for a high speed line set to go through the area. That meant there had been a whole lot of digging.
We wandered over hoping we would find something interesting. In fact, we succeeded beyond our wildest dreams. After a few minutes of fruitless searching, we found our first pure quartz crystals. We moved on to find more crystals and many, many fossils of small seashells and trilobites. We even found what we think might be petrified wood. The finds were all over the place.
In fact, there were so many, there was no way we could carry them all out with us. The kids (of course) wanted to keep every single one. We tried to break some of the larger crystal cored rocks up to make them more portable. You can see Griffin at left, insisting on carrying one of the larger ones to the car.
The truly awesome thing about this activity, I think, was that all five of us were totally into it and happy as could be. Usually there is at least one member of the family feeling left out or left behind when we do group activities, despite our best efforts. During this, everyone was happy and absorbed, silence only broken by excited shouts from whoever had found the latest treasure. Of course, we all would rush over to see it! Free and fun, real treasure hunting – the perfect family activity. It’s really too bad we are not technically allowed to go into the work area- I could do this every day.