Sorry It’s taken me awhile to finish this blog, but life happens! ;)
Day 3 – July 28th 2010:
After spending the night in West Wendover, NV, we headed out to Ely, NV to get some supplies and gas on our way back to the dry lake bed. I can’t stress enough how good the sandwiches are at Ridley’s supermarket!!! We arrived at the dry lake bed about 11 am and unloaded the quad. From our experiences on day 1, we had had already mapped out areas of the dry lake bed we wanted to explore. As we only brought one ATV, we all loaded on to it: me on the front, Rick driving, Jason on the back. Riding on the front was one of the highlights of the trip for me….it was like flying! We arrived at our spot and put on our Camel Back Packs and headed out in different directions.
My first find of the day was a nice 36 gram meteorite! The color of the dry lake meteorites a is a beautiful reddish-purple and once we knew what they looked like, they were easy to spot. I would hold a meteorite in my left hand while searching so that I could match the color to meteorites on the ground. It seems that most of the meteorites I found were in pockets, groups of fragments scattered in a 20 x 20 area.
Jason also did very well on this day. He found a pocket of 70+ fragments. I heard him yell “Got one!” so I decided to head over in his direction to see what he found. That’s when I found this beauty. When I finally made it over to Jason, he was picking up meteorites left and right with his meteorite magnet pole. I decided to help him out! ;) This was a nice pocket and kept us busy for over an hour. We were so busy, I didn’t get any pictures….sorry Jason.
Rick also made some very nice finds. Maybe I can get him to post a few pictures of his finds. Here is another picture of a Nevada dry lake bed meteorite as it was found. All of us were getting good at spotting these meteorites, and I would recommend to anyone who is going to hunt at this dry lake to purchase a specimen before you go. Having one will help you spot others because of the unique color.
Another tip if you go to this dry lake bed, don’t get stuck!!! Most of the areas of this dry lake bed are soft soil. A heavy truck will sink if you’re not careful. Even our ATV bogged down in some spots. We parked our truck about 2 miles from the spot where we found meteorites. Also, Jason and I have Verizon cell phones and did get a weak signal in some spots. We were able to call and send text messages. Ricks AT&T cell phone didn’t get any signal.
All in all, day 3 was an outstanding day!!! All of us had pockets full of meteorites, the weather was perfect, and we all had loads of fun. Evening was fast approaching, we were all tired, and it was time to head back to Ely for dinner and rest.
Day 4 – July 29th 2010:
We decided to get an early start on this day, but we woke up to see that it was raining outside our Hotel Nevada room window. As we were still on a “meteorite high” from the day before, and this was our last day, we weren’t going to let a little rain detour us from finding more meteorites! After stopping at Ridley’s supermarket for more sandwiches, we headed once more to the dry lake bed. It was sprinkling with dark clouds all around when we arrived. We quickly unloaded the ATV and with no plan, headed out to find a “good” spot. After wondering around for about an hour with out much luck, this thunderstorm moved down quickly from the western mountains and. It started to rain very hard and we were getting soaked!!! Rick came speeding over to pick us up on the ATV, and we speeded back to the truck. All this seemed to happen very fast and we didn’t have time to put on our rain ponchos. By the time we reached the truck, all of us were soppin wet!
We decided this was a good opportunity to have lunch while we waited out the storm. Man…those Ridley’s sandwiches hit the spot! Within a 1/2 hour, the storm had passed and the sun was shining bright. We decided to give it another go, knowing we would have to leave for home in a few hours. Good thing we gave it another go, because I found this beautiful 57 gram meteorite! This beauty was the exception to the pocket rule, it was sitting all by itself. After examining it closely, it has many fractures in it and most likely after another year of freezing and thawing it would have split into many smaller fragments. ;)
Alas, all good things must come to an end. It was 2:30 pm and time to make the 6.5 hour drive back to Las Vegas. We had actually planned to shoot some video earlier in the day, but got side tracked by the rain. We used the video camera tripod to take this portrait. The smiles on our faces is worth a thousand words!!! This trip was very memorable and we will treasure the memories for the rest of our lives!!! :)
**A special Thank You to John Harrison!!!**
P.S. – Jason found this cow skull while hunting meteorites. We decided to put it on a fence post and write our names on it. After seeing a repeat of the Meteorite Men – Dry Lake episode, I believe it is the same cow skull that they found on their show! ;)
Ever since witnessing this amazing celestial event on November 18, 2009 at 12:07 am from our balcony in Las Vegas, Jason and I have put countless hours researching and hoping to one day be able to search for this meteorite. Well, today WAS that day!!!
After having breakfast, fueling up the truck and ATV, and stocking up on supplies at Ridley’s supermarket, we left Ely Nevada for the 3 hour drive to Callao Utah. Just after passing the Nevada/Utah border on Highway 50/6, the road to Grandy/Callao was on the left. We were surprised to find out that it was a well maintained dirt road, not a paved road. This didn’t slow us down though, as Rick has a lead foot (LOL) and we were all eager to set our eyes on the massive Dugway Proving Grounds (DPG) dry lake bed. After about a hour, we came up over a rise, and there it was Dougway Proving Grounds….what a beautiful sight!!! We stopped to take a few pictures of the Callao sign and almost got ran over by some crazy girl on a motorcycle. This was our only impression of Callao, as there wasn’t anyone else around. We then headed to the spot where I calculated we might find some meteorites from the Utah fireball.
Now, I have spent 8 months watching all the video I could find of this fireball. I have read numerous comments on local Utah TV news station websites, watched other meteorite hunters triangulating the terminal burst on YouTube, and spent hundreds of hours pinpointing video camera locations and flying over DPG from different angles on Google Earth. All this effort to try to figure out just where pieces of this meteorite might have landed. I kept hearing over and over again how it most likely landed on DPG, a top secret Army base where access is all but impossible. But, according to my calculations, this meteorite or parts of it could have fallen in areas where it could be recovered. So this trip was to see if that was possible.
Plan A for day 2 was to take this road to get closer to the DPG dry lake bed, about 5-6 miles from this sign. But as you can see, that wasn’t going to happen. **Just a side note: We were prepared and aware at ALL times to stay on public BLM land and not trespass on DPG or break the law at any time. We had all the GPS coordinates of the DPG boundaries pre-loaded in our GPS units.** Since we didn’t want to trespass, we decided to go with plan B which was to drive up the road to Gold Hill and find a dirt road that would take us down towards the lake bed.
We found this dirt road and followed it down about a mile and a half until it turned to the left and ran parallel to the dry lake bed. We found a place to park and decided to make this our starting point. We strapped on our Snake Gaitors, grabbed our magnet poles, and proceeded to start our search for the Utah fireball. I think I can speak for Jason and Rick when I say how excited I was to finally be on the ground searching for this meteorite!
We decided to walk about 10 feet apart through the bushes and drainage arroyos towards the dry lake bed to try to grid a path without missing a possible meteorite. As we we were beginning to learn, this area is vast and could take a lifetime searching this area on foot. We didn’t use the ATV because it would have been hard to find a path down the arroyos and the small cliffs before you actually get to the dry lake bed.
We had hiked about 5 miles, still about 1.5 miles from the DPG boundary. Suddenly, 3 F/A-18 jets flew overhead. We really didn’t think anything about it and kept hunting. About 10 minutes later they flew by again, this time even lower!!! This got our attention and we decided maybe it was time to head back to the truck. Just then a single jet came from a different direction a fired 5 flares in our direction. This was enough warning for us, we made a beeline straight to the truck. They flew by a couple more times and must have been satisfied that we were leaving.
We decided to head to our hotel in West Wendover to evaluate what we had learned. We took the back way out, which took us thru Gold Hill. This old mining town still has an active gold mine with a few modern residences, and a few remnants of the old ghost town.
No meteorites were found. We originally planed to spend 3 days searching for the Utah fireball, but decided to take what we learned to plan a return trip in the fall. I now know what it’s going to take to find this meteorite….and I will be back!!!
Up next, day 3, Sonny Clary’s Meteorite Men dry lake bed.
Great job on the 1st days report Jason!
I would just like to add that the RUSH of finding a meteorite is like nothing else I’ve ever experienced. I got to experience that RUSH seven times on this day, life is good! ; )
Here are a few more pictures from day #1:
Greetings fellow meteorite enthusists!
This post comes to you from the comfort of our room here at the Hotel Nevada in Ely, Nevada. Despite it being past midnight, and feeling absolutely drained, I find myself quite enthused to report on our first day of our trip!
The day started out with the long drive from Las Vegas to the remote Great Basin, NV to hunt a dry lake bed featured on a certain episode of a certain television show.
With threatning clouds overhead, we pressed on further down the seemingly endless dirt roads that lead to the dry lake bed. We were so tantilizingly close! But…rain intervened in our plans. Not risking the chance of getting stuck in the mud, we found ourselves sitting in the truck waiting out the downpour. This yielded the perfect opportunity to grab some lunch.
A rainshower and sandwich later, we were back on the trail. Finally, after delays, we made it to the dry lake bed. Our old friend, The Rain, decided to make yet another appearance, forcing us to return to the truck after only a very limited amount of search time.
As the rain weakened, we decided that it would be a great time to unload the ATV from the truck and explore the remote parts of the lake bed. This surely paid off!
Dale found the first meteorite of the day weighing in at 6.1 grams! He then went on to find six more beauties, as well as a few small fragments.
I quickly fired back, finding an absolutely gorgeous 11.4 gram meteorite!
With the day coming to a close, we decided to get back on the quad and head back to the truck. But wait….what is this?! Rick spots a beautiful 58.4 gram honker right from the ATV! We slammed on the brakes, hopped off the quad, and went running towards it. It was a beauty. But, she brought friends! All around the giant meteorite were decently sized fragments, allowing all of us to score some awesome meteorites fairly quickly! It was a real treat!
After we milked the patch of meteorites dry, the sun was sinking fast. We made a beeline to the truck, just as it started to rain again.
At the end of the day, I got seven beautiful pieces including an 18.7 gram whopper (all pictured below), Dale got seven gorgeous specimens (plus a few fragments), and Rick found himself five unbelieveable meteorites, all totalling to an impressive 146.3 grams!
Today was such a great day. Who wouldn’t love finding all of these meteorites? Let’s just hope that we can carry this momentum into tomorrow as we hunt for the infamous Utah Fireball Meteorite!
You can follow all of the action here on the website, or get updates as we post them via Twitter. (@findameteorite)
Goodnight from three tired meteorite hunters,
Jason, Dale, Rick
Hello all meteorite enthusiasts!
Today marks the beginning of Dale Romero’s, Jason Romero’s, and Rick Swift’s excursion up north to find the much elusive Utah meteorite. We have studied many videos and countless documents, and have calculated what we think is the precise location of this meteorite. We intend to be up north for four days, spending all of Tuesday through Thursday looking for it.
In case you haven’t heard, on the night of November 17th, 2009, a giant bolide meteor lit up the skies of the western United States. Video below.
We’ll be posting daily updates here on the website, so be sure to follow all of the action on here! To be notified when a new story is posted, you can follow us on our official Twitter account at @findameteorite.
I hope you all will enjoy the updates! Hope to report back with many findings and photos!
Jason, Dale, Rick
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