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2019 Alumni & Friends Peccary Trip to Barstow

Alumni and friends are invited to join members of the Alf Museum's Board of Trustees and staff for a fun weekending searching for fossils in the Mud Hills near Barstow, Calif.

WHEN: May 3-5, 2019
WHERE: Owl Canyon Campground, north of Barstow
LEADERS: Museum Director, Dr. Don Lofgren, Augustyn Family Curator & Director of Research and Collections, Dr. Andy Farke, and Museum Board Chairman, Larry Ashton ’70.  

Friday May 3: Some participants will arrive at Owl Canyon Campground before dinner and set up camp. The museum will bring two BBQ’s, charcoal and lighter, gas stoves, coffee pots, cooking utensils, etc… Basically, the museum will set up a cooking area where people can cook and eat. Participants should bring their own food, drink and folding chairs. We will have an evening campfire to gather for conversation, cool beverages etc.

Saturday May 4: For breakfast, we will break out the peccary pans and you can cook your own eggs, bacon, and pancakes or “golden browns” (museum supplies eggs, bacon, and pancake batter); just like Webb students did with Ray Alf 50 years ago with the exact same pans. After breakfast, it’s out to the badlands to search for the “documents of life.” We will leave camp at 9:00 a.m., so if you plan to arrive on Saturday morning, be there before 8:45 a.m. We will be away from camp until about 4 p.m., so pack a lunch. We drive out to sites from the campground (20 minute drive) and if you can, please bring a high clearance vehicle, otherwise you can ride along with someone who does. The museum will supply the fossil collecting tools. At the end of the day, it’s back to camp for a BBQ dinner and a campfire gathering that includes a raffle for prizes and singing the Peccary Song. Museum Board Chair Larry Ashton '70 will lead evening activities.
Sunday May 5: After another breakfast using peccary pans, we will visit the “Peccary Site” where in 1936, Bill Webb ’39 found the skull of a fossil pig, a discovery that inspired Ray Alf to pursue a career in paleontology. Also, we will hike around Rainbow Basin and see the beautiful Barstow Syncline. We will then return to the campground at about 11 a.m. to pack up and head home.
There is no charge for the trip and participants can come and go at their discretion. There is a $6/per night charge for camping which is paid directly to the BLM via envelopes. The campground has no running water but there are new pit toilets and swing sets for kids. Some participants opt to bring a motor home or stay overnight in Barstow.

Questions? Contact Don Lofgren at:    
To get to Owl Canyon Campground, near Barstow, California, from the Los Angeles Basin, take Interstate 15 north over Cajon Pass and proceed through Victorville (remain on Interstate 15). 
  • As you approach Barstow on Interstate 15, go past the Lenwood (where the outlet stores are) and the Hwy 58 (Bakersfield) exits. Take the L Street/Main Street exit. Turn left after exiting, go about 1/3 mile and turn right onto Main Street.
  • Proceed east about 1 1/2 to 2 miles on Main Street and turn left on Ist Street which is also marked as to Highway 58 (the Starlight Donut Shop will be on the corner to your left as you turn left).
  • Proceed exactly 0.8 mile and turn lef, CAt on Irwin Road that is 100 yards past a large rock hill on the left side of the road.\
  • Go 6/10's of a mile and you will encounter a stop sign at the junction with Highway 58 (a convenience store is on your left). At this stop sign go straight. After 1/10th of a mile you will encounter another stop sign, go straight again.
  • Go exactly 5.4 miles (you will go uphill then downhill through a gap between two sets of medium sized hills) and then turn left on Fossil Road (a dirt road). The turn to Fossil Road is not well marked, so it is easy to miss. Proceed 3 miles west on Fossil Road and turn right onto Rainbow Basin Scenic Drive (marked with sign usually). Rainbow Basin Scenic Drive is the first main dirt road that goes to the right you will encounter.
  • Proceed 4/10's of a mile and turn right on the road to Owl Canyon Campground (marked with a sign usually).
  • Proceed 2 1/2 miles and you will enter Owl Canyon Campground. It is a small campground so you will have no trouble locating us; look for the museum group.
Happy Trails!

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