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Beyond The Timberline: A Cyber-CD

Inyo Plays 32 Covers and Original Solo, Acoustic 6 And 12-String Guitar Instrumentals


This is the "cover" of my Cyber-CD, "Beyond The Timberline," in which I play 32 selections of covers and original solo, acoustic 6 and 12-string guitar instrumentals.

The cover of my CD is a vista southward amidst the Sierra Nevada mountain range, along the National Pacific Crest Trail (whose narrow, twisting path can be seen in the lower half of the image), roughly two miles south of Carson Pass, Amador County, California. Elevation along this portion of the Pacific Crest Trail is approximately 9,200 feet...well above the local timberline. Here is one of my very favorite places to hike, packing in with a guitar so that I can play in serene solitude amidst the glorious splendor of California's great Sierra Nevada range. Photograph by Inyo during the month of August--note the patches of snow still on the ground. Cyber-CD cover designed and created by Inyo (my Cyber-handle, by the way).


Here are 32 audio MP3 tracks of covers and original solo, acoustic, instrumental 6 and 12-string guitar renditions. It is my Cyber-CD, called "Beyond The Timberline: A Cyber-CD."

The Cyber-CD--that is, a web-based compact disk where visitors may download at their convenience, for free, a number of music files that would, in a commercial venue, be considered a traditional CD--contains an inclusive cross-section of the kinds of acoustic, instrumental guitar arrangements I have become "recognized" for--my primary influences remain: Bluegrass; Ragtime; Americana; Pop-Rock; Blues; American Country Music; Folk; old time Jazz; and of course 1960s and 70s Classic Rock.

A special note here: I have not multi-tracked--that is, double-recorded--the musical selections at this Web Page. All have been played in solo, acoustic, instrumental style--in other words, the performances here consist of "one person, one guitar only," in which I used no multiple recording techniques, or overdubbing--just a guitar in my own "hot little hands."

All That Legal Stuff--It's All Free Music

And now for the legal matters. Here's the lowdown--You have my permission to download any or all of the songs for your personal, noncommercial use only (all of my recordings here are of course copyrighted). In other words, you may--(1) download any or all of the performances to your computer's hard drive for personal, noncommercial use only; or, (2) burn any or all of the renditions here to a CD for personal, noncommercial use only; or, (3) record any or all of the performances to a cassette tape for personal, noncommercial use only. OK, legal disclaimers are here and now finished, concluded, get the idea, I'm sure.

For more free music, visit my pages, The Acoustic Guitar Solitaire Of Inyo--A Cyber-CD (that's where you can here me play 30 cover selections of some of my favorite songs); The Distant Path--A Cyber CD (where I play 32 covers and original compositions) and Inyo And Folks--A Musical History (my parents I play 159 arrangements of popular songs on acoustic 6 and 12-string guitars, banjo, kazoo, and tambourine); Acoustic Stratigraphy (I play 34 six and and twelve-string guitar covers of some of my favorite songs).

Shop Talk: All About The Recording Process:

For my acoustic, instrumental guitar Cyber-CD, Beyond The Timberline--A Cyber CD, I used three different guitars--a 1976 Martin D-35 6-string, a 1998 Sigma DMC-1STE 6-string, plus a 1968 Stella 12-string.

During the recording sessions with the Martin D-35, I used two microphones plugged into a mixer, which in turn fed directly to the computer; while recording one song with the Sigma DMC-1STE, I plugged the guitar's pickup plug directly into a mixer. I processed the raw Wav files exclusively through the freeware GoldWave audio editor (a much better audio editor than the ubiquitous "Audacity" program, in my own personal estimation)--versions 4.24 and 4.26, the last versions of GoldWave to be offered free of charge. Also helpful is an inexpensive utility called Wavclean, which miraculously removes annoying hisses in raw Wav files without degrading the overall sound quality. All the music files are in MP3 format.

The Cyber-CD--Beyond The Timberline

Running Time Is: 79 minutes and 54 seconds

With no pause between tracks

Selection #1: Take Me Home, Country Roads (John Denver's first US Billboard Top 40 hit and the specific song that launched him to international celebrity status; written by Bill Danoff, Taffy Nivert and John Denver. Soared to #2 in the summer of 1971, eventually spending 14 weeks in the Top 40. Entered the Top 40 on June 26, 1971. Played on a 1976 Martin D-35; recorded directly to stereo digital format with a 1990s Packard Bell computer on 12-27-2002). 3:12

Selection#2: Ragtime Ramble (An Inyo original composition. 1976 Martin D-35. Recorded directly to stereo digital format with a 1990s Packard Bell computer on 10-6-2004) 2:16

Selection #3: Green Green (The first US Billboard Top 40 song by American Folk legends The New Christy Minstrels, and, indeed, this became their highest charting single ever, topping out at #14 in the summer of 1963. Initially entered the Top 40 on July 27, 1963--and then went on to spend seven weeks in the Top 40; composed by Christy member Barry McGuire and group leader Randy Sparks. Played on a 1968 Stella 12-string guitar and originally recorded with a 1977 stereo Teac cassette tape machine on 7-22-1985) 1:48

Selection #4: Five O'Clock World: (Written by Allen Reynolds. #4 US Billboard and #1 Canadian for The Vogues, 1966; #16 US Billboard Country for Hal Ketchum, 1992. Used as opening song for the second season of television's The Drew Carey Show (1996-'97). 1976 Martin D-35. Recorded directly to stereo digital format with a 1990s Packard Bell computer on October 18, 2002) 2:40

Selection #5: Drifter's Theme (HP-Inyo original; played on a 1976 Martin D-35; recorded directly to stereo digital format with a 1990s Packard Bell computer on 1-16-2003) 2:24

Selection #6: Song Sung Blue (A #1 effort for singer and song's composer Neil Diamond during the late Spring and Summer of 1972--spent one week atop the US Billboard Top 40 charts; entered the Top 40 on May 13, 1972, and remained there for 12 weeks. Played on a 1968 Stella 12-string guitar; originally recorded with a 1977 stereo Teac cassette tape machine on 7-22-1985). 2:11

Selection #7: The Implosion (An Inyo original composition. Played on a 1976 Martin D-35; recorded directly to stereo digital format with a 1990s Packard Bell computer on 11-5-2003) 2:44

Selection #8: A World Of Our Own (A Tom Springfield--brother of Pop singer Dusty Springfield--composition, originally recorded by the Australian folk group The Seekers whose version topped out at #19 US Billboard during the summer of 1965. A cover arrangement by American Country Music superstar Sonny James reached #1 US Country Billboard in 1967; I recorded my rendition on a 1968 Stella 12-string guitar through a portable 1978 General Electric stereo cassette machine on 7-25-1983). 1:40

Selection #9: There's A Place (Here's a song with an interesting distinction. It was the very first track The Beatles ever recorded specifically intended for an album, recorded on February 11, 1963, during 10 takes for the group's UK debut LP release, "Please Please Me." "There's A Place" is a John Lennon-Paul McCartney composition that when eventually released in the US in 1964, climbed to #74 on the Billboard Pop charts. Played on a 1976 Martin D-35; recorded directly to stereo digital format with a 1990s Packard Bell computer on 1-23-2003) 2:05

Selection #10: One Dozen Blues (An Inyo original composition. 1968 Stella 12-string. Digitally remastered from the original 1977 steareo Teac cassette machine recording on 7-25-1985). 2:54

Selection #11: O Holy Night (The classic Christmas song; melody written by Adolphe Adam in 1847 to the words of a French poem "Minuit, chrétiens"--Midnight, Christians--by Placide Cappeau. Singer Martina McBride has enjoyed the best chart success with song in the United States, taking it to #41 on the US Billboard Country Music charts in 2001--the last of five separate US Country Music Top 100 entries of McBride's version of "O Holy Night"--all from 1997 to 2001. My arrangement is perhaps radically different than most others. I've picked up the pace dramatically, so that what comes across is closer to what could likely best be described as a "triumphant march." Played on a 1976 Martin D-35; recorded directly to stereo digital format with a 1990s Packard Bell computer on 4-12-2002) 2:01

Selection #12: Beyond The Timberline (An Inyo original composition. Played on a 1968 Stella 12-string guitar. Digitally remastered from the original 1977 stereo Teac cassette machine recording on April 5, 1987.) 3:23

Selection #13: (Now And Then There's) A Fool Such As I (A huge hit for Elvis Presley, who took "A Fool Such As I" to #2 US Billboard during Spring, 1959. Written by Bill Trader and published in 1952. American Country Music legend Hank Snow had already recorded it; Snow's original version soared to #4 US Billboard Country in early 1953; Even His Bobness himself Bob Dylan cut two arrangements, one in 1967 for "The Basement Tapes" and another in 1969, which wasn't released until 1973--that version actually charted at #51 US Billboard. I recorded my own version with a 1968 Stella 12-string guitar through a 1977 stereo Teac cassette tape machine on 12-28-1984.) 2:44

Selection #14: Saline Valley Breakdown (An Inyo original composition. Played on a 1976 Martin D-35 6-string guitar; recorded directly to stereo digital format with a 1990s Packard Bell computer on 6-17-2002) 1:58

Selection #15: Hoochie Coochie Man (A Variation...) (The classic Blues song; written in 1954 by the legendary Willie Dixon, but widely popularized by Blues master Muddy Waters, who took the song to #8 on the US Billboard Black Singles chart. Played on a 1968 Stella 12-string guitar; originally recorded on a 1977 stereo Teac cassette tape machine on April 5, 1987.) 2:36

Selection #16: River To Heaven (An Inyo original composition; played on a 1976 Martin D-35; recorded directly to stereo digital format with a 1990s Packard Bell computer on 2-18-2004) 2:29

Selection #17: This Land (Is Your Land) (One of the great Folk songs of all time; written by Woody Guthrie in 1940, although he didn't get around to recording it until 1944--and the song wasn't even published until 1951. My opening intro, pounding on the lower register strings, is based on Glen Campbell's arrangement from his 1960s album, "The Astounding 12-String Guitar Of Glen Campbell." Played on a 1968 Stella 12-string guitar and originally recorded with a stereo 1977 Teac cassette tape machine on 12-26-1984.) 2:20

Selection #18: Eight Days A Week (A #1 US Billboard hit for The Beatles in early 1965. First appears on The Fab Four's UK-released album "Beatles For Sale"--was also included on the US LP "Beatles VI" The song has variously been attributed to Paul McCartney alone, though many believe that is was indeed a genuine Lennon-McCartney collaboration. I recorded my own cover on a 1976 Martin D-35 six-string guitar through a portable stereo cassette tape marchine on 9-18-2008) 2:21

Selection #19: Sliding (An Inyo original composition. Played on a 1998 Sigma DMC-1STE 6-string guitar plugged into a mixer, which in turn fed directly to the computer; Sigma is a subsidiary of the CF Martin company--the Sigma DMISTCE is an acoustic instrument that includes a pickup; recorded 6-8-2002) 2:20

Selection #20: Nights In White Satin (A Classic Rock Anthem by The Moody Blues, a Justin Hayward composition, recorded with the London Festival Orchestra; first appears on the Moodys' 1967 album, "Days Of Future Passed," then released as a single in the Fall of 1972, during which "Nights In White Satin" placed #2 US Billboard for two consecutive weeks--initial arrival in the Top 40 came on September 2, 1972, and the song eventually spent 14 weeks in the Top 40. Played on a 1976 Martin D-35; recorded directly to stereo digital format with a 1990s Packard Bell computer on 11-5-2003) 3:07

Selection #21: Darktown Strutters' Ball (The classic traditional/jazz song penned by Shelton Brooks in 1917. Covered by scores of folks through the decades. Played on a 1968 Stella 12-string guitar and recorded with a stereo 1977 Teac cassette tape machine on 7-26-1985.) 2:25

Selection #22: Tigris Rag (An Inyo original composition. Played on a 1976 Martin 6-string guitar; recorded directly to stereo digital format with a 1990s Packard Bell computer on 4-18-2003) 2:04

Selection #23: Freight Train (The ultra-classic American Folk song, penned by Elizabeth Cotten in the early 1900s when she was 12 years old. An oft-covered song, indeed. Rusty Draper had the biggest US Billboard success with "Freight Train," taking it to #6 during the late Spring and Summer of 1957--entered the Top 40 on May 27, 1957, then remained there for 13 weeks. Played on a 1968 Stella 12-string; recorded with a 1977 stereo Teac cassette tape machine on 12-28-1984) 1:58

Selection #24: The Letter (The wildly popular #1 US Billboard hit by The Box Tops during early Fall, 1967--it was, in fact, the #1 US song for the entire year of 1967. Composed by Wayne Carson Thompson. Covers by The Arbors and Joe Cocker went #20 and #7 US Billboard during Spring 1969 and late Spring 1970, respectively. I'm playing a 1968 Stella 12-string guitar, recorded through a 1977 stereo Teac cassette tape machine on 1-10-1984.) 2:22

Selection #25: White Rabbit (Written by Rock/Pop singing legend Grace Slick--real name Grace Barnett Wing--around 1965 or '66 when she was with a band called The Great Society. She carried the song over with her to Jefferson Airplane, with whom she recorded her signature song for the classic 1967-released album, "Surrealistic Pillow." "White Rabbit" climbed to #8 US Billboard in the summer of 1967. I'm playing a 1976 Martin D-35; recorded directly to stereo digital format with a 1990s Packard Bell computer on 10-15-2004.) 2:16

Selection #26: Your Love (An HP-Inyo original composition. Played on a 1976 Martin D-35 6-string guitar; recorded directly to stereo digital format with a 1990s Packard Bell computer on 6-22-2003) 2:44

Selection #27: I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry (The ultra-classic Hank Williams song, penned in 1949. The original release by Williams never actually charted in the US, per se--it was merely the B-Side (reverse side) to his 1949 #2 US Billboard hit, "My Bucket's Got A Hole In It"--still, it's one of the more memorable songs closely associated with Hank Williams; a posthumous release of the Williams record made it to #43 US Country Music Billboard in 1966; that same year a cover by B.J. Thomas rose to #8 US Billboard. And professional US football player Terry Bradshaw (four-time Super Bowl Champion with the Pittsburgh Steelers) made #17 US on the US Country Singles chart in 1976 with the song. Played on a 1968 Stella 12-string. Recorded through a 1977 stereo Teac cassette tape machine on 1-5-1984.) 1:56

Selection #28: I Call Your Name (Written primarily by John Lennon, with some contribution from Paul McCartney. First appears on the 1964 US-released LP, "The Beatles' Second Album" and then later in a UK ep called "Long Tall Sally." Before Lennon recorded "I Call Your Name" with The Beatles, he had actually given it to Billy J. Kramer of The Dakotas, who released it as an uncharted B-side to their year 1964 #9 US Billboard hit "Bad To Me"--a Lennon-McCartney collaboration that had gone #1 UK in 1963 for Billy J. Kramer and The Dakotas, also backed with the uncharted "I Call Your Name." The song was also famously covered by The Mamas And The Papas on their 1966 LP, "If You Can Believe Your Eyes And Ears." I'm playing a 1976 Martin D-35 six-string guitar; recorded directly to stereo digital format with a 1990s Packard Bell computer on 6-22-2003.) 2:35

Selection #29: Reunions (An Inyo original composition. Played on a 1976 Martin D-35 6-string guitar; recorded directly to stereo digital format with a 1990s Packard Bell computer on 4-20-2003) 2:16

Selection #30: On Broadway (The classic song made popular by The Drifters; composed by Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil in collaboration with Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller. The Drifters' version climbed to #9 US Billboard during the Spring of 1963, remaining in the Top 40 for 8 weeks; first entry into the Top 40 came on April 6, 1963. My arrangement is loosely based on the fantastic cover by George Benson--went to #7 US Billboard in the Spring of 1978, having entered the Top 40 on April 22, 1978. Stayed there for 10 weeks. Benson's version won a Grammy Award for Best R&B Vocal Performance. Played on a 1968 Stella 12-string guitar; recorded with a portable 1978 stereo General Electric cassette tape machine on 7-31-1983.) 2:39

Selection #31: Shadow Shuffling (An Inyo original composition. Played on a 1968 Stella 12-string guitar; digitally remastered from the original stereo 1977 Teac cassette tape machine recording on 12-30-1984.) 2:03

Selection #32: If I Had A Hammer (1968 Stella 12-string); recorded on 3-27-1987 with a 1978 portable, stereo cassette tape machine. A Pete Seeger-Lee Hays composition. #10 US Billboard for Peter, Paul & Mary, 1962.) 1:36

Selection #33: You Can't Go Back To Kansas (My second-favorite John Stewart composition of all time, not far behind his 1969 classic, "July, You're A Woman." The late John Stewart--died January 19, 2008--was a member of the famous Folk group The Kingston Trio from 1961 to 1967; his biggest claim to commercial fame came when he penned "Daydream Believer" for The Monkees, a monster #1 hit in late 1967. But, he wrote hundreds of songs during a roughly 50-year career and recorded some 55 albums, including perhaps the finest example of Americana-genre music of all time--"California Bloodlines," 1969. His highest degree of commercial album success was 1979's "Bombs Away Dream Babies," recorded in collaboration with Fleetwood-Mac alumni, Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks.

Stewart included "You Can't Go Back To Kansas" on his 1983 LP, "The Last Campaign," ostensibly a tribute to Senator Robert Kennedy, with whom he'd worked quite assiduously during Kennedy's ill-fated 1968 run for a presidential nomination. And I am reminded that the song holds a very special place in my heart. On an April 26 of a year long ago and far away, I left my home in southeastern Kansas for California. Talk about your "long strange trip," indeed. Several years later, I journeyed back to eastern Kansas to help my folks move to a town in another state. I was really unprepared for the torrents of reminisce and memories that rushed through me as I watched the long Kansas plains move around me. And I kept reflecting on that John Stewart song practically all the way--"You Can't Go Back To Kansas." I'd spent quite a remarkable time in Kansas and to return to the state, finally, after an extended absence, encouraged intense emotions. Played on a 1976 Martin D-35; recorded directly to stereo digital format with a 1990s Packard Bell computer on 1-10-2003) 3:28

Music Links Of Interest

The Acoustic Guitar Solitaire Of Inyo--A Cyber CD: I play 30 solo acoustic instrumental covers of some of my favorite songs on a 1976 Martin D-35 guitar (all free music).

Inyo And Folks--A Musical History A page that features 203 songs I recorded with my parents on acoustic 6 and 12-string guitars, banjo, maracas, tambourine, and kazoo (all free music).

The Distant Path--A Cyber CD I play 32 solo acoustic instrumental covers and original compositions on 6 and 12-string guitars (all free music).

Acoustic Stratigraphy--A Cyber CD I play 34 solo acoustic instrumental covers of some of my favorite songs on 6 and 12-string guitars (all free music).

Back To Badwater--A Cyber-CD: I play 32 covers and original compositions on 6 and 12-string guitars (it's all free music).

All Inyo All The Time: All six of my cyber-cds in one place (includes a quintuple cyber-cd box set); links to all of my solo acoustic guitar playing, in addition to selections my parents and I recorded during the Golden Age of our spontaneous, impromptu recording sessions. Includes an option to stream all 364 selectons; thirteen hours, seventeen minues and forty seconds of music (it's all free music).

It's A Happening Thing--Music From The Year 1967: All songs that charted US Billboard Hot 100 (#1 to #100) and Bubbling Under (records that charted in positions #101 to #135) in 1967.

Links To My Fossils-Related Pages

Pages that I have created pertaining to matters paleontological

  • Fossils In Death Valley National Park: A site dedicated to the paleontology, geology, and natural wonders of Death Valley National Park; lots of on-site photographs of scenic localities within the park; images of fossils specimens; links to many virtual field trips of fossil-bearing interest.
  • Fossil Insects And Vertebrates On The Mojave Desert, California: Journey to two world-famous fossil sites in the middle Miocene Barstow Formation: one locality yields upwards of 50 species of fully three-dimensional, silicified freshwater insects, arachnids, and crustaceans that can be dissolved free and intact from calcareous concretions; a second Barstow Formation district provides vertebrate paleontologists with one of the greatest concentrations of Miocene mammal fossils yet recovered from North America--it's the type locality for the Bartovian State of the Miocene Epoch, 15.9 to 12.5 million years ago, with which all geologically time-equivalent rocks in North American are compared.
  • A Visit To Fossil Valley, Great Basin Desert, Nevada: Take a virtual field trip to a Nevada locality that yields the most complete, diverse, fossil assemblage of terrestrial Miocene plants and animals known from North America--and perhaps the world, as well. Yields insects, leaves, seeds, conifer needles and twigs, flowering structures, pollens, petrified wood, diatoms, algal bodies, mammals, amphibians, reptiles, bird feathers, fish, gastropods, pelecypods (bivalves), and ostracods.
  • Fossils At Red Rock Canyon State Park, California: Visit wildly colorful Red Rock Canyon State Park on California's northern Mojave Desert, approximately 130 miles north of Los Angeles--scene of innumerable Hollywood film productions and commercials over the years--where the Middle to Late Miocene (13 to 7 million years old) Dove Spring Formation, along with a classic deposit of petrified woods, yields one of the great terrestrial, land-deposited Miocene vertebrate fossil faunas in all the western United States.
  • Cambrian And Ordovician Fossils At Extinction Canyon, Nevada: Visit a site in Nevada's Great Basin Desert that yields locally common whole and mostly complete early Cambrian trilobites, in addition to other extinct organisms such as graptolites (early hemichordate), salterella (small conical critter placed in the phylum Agmata), Lidaconus diminutive tusk-shaped shell of unestablished zoological affinity, Girvanella (photosynthesizing cyanobacterial algae), and Caryocaris (a bivalved crustacean).
  • Late Pennsylvanian Fossils In Kansas: Travel to the midwestern plains to discover the classic late Pennsylvanian fossil wealth of Kansas--abundant, supremely well-preserved associations of such invertebrate animals as brachiopods, bryozoans, corals, echinoderms, fusulinids, mollusks (gastropods, pelecypods, cephalopods, scaphopods), and sponges; one of the great places on the planet to find fossils some 307 to 299 million years old.
  • Fossil Plants Of The Ione Basin, California: Head to Amador County in the western foothills of California's Sierra Nevada to explore the fossil leaf-bearing Middle Eocene Ione Formation of the Ione Basin. This is a completely undescribed fossil flora from a geologically fascinating district that produces not only paleobotanically invaluable suites of fossil leaves, but also world-renowned commercial deposits of silica sand, high-grade kaolinite clay and the extraordinarily rare Montan Wax-rich lignites (a type of low grade coal).
  • Ice Age Fossils At Santa Barbara, California--Journey to the famed So Cal coastal community of Santa Barbara (about a 100 miles north of Los Angeles) to explore one of the best marine Pleistocene invertebrate fossil-bearing areas on the west coast of the United States; that's where the middle Pleistocene Santa Barbara Formation yields nearly 400 species of pelecypod bivalve mollusks, gastropods, chitons, scaphopods, pteropods, brachiopods, bryozoans, corals, ostracods (minute bivalve crustaceans), worm tubes, and foraminifers.
  • Trilobites In The Marble Mountains, Mojave Desert, California: Take a trip to the place that first inspired my life-long fascination and interest in fossils--the classic trilobite quarry in the Lower Cambrian Latham Shale, in the Marble Mountains of California's Mojave Desert. It's a special place, now included in the rather recently established Trilobite Wilderness, where some 21 species of ancient plants and animals have been found--including trilobites, an echinoderm, a coelenterate, mollusks, blue-green algae and brachiopods.
  • Fossil Plants In The Neighborhood Of Reno, Nevada: Visit two famous fossil plant localities in the Great Basin Desert near Reno, Nevada--a place to find leaves, seeds, needles, foilage, and cones in the middle Miocene Pyramid and Chloropagus Formations, 15.6 and 14.8 to 13.3 million years old, respectively.
  • Dinosaur-Age Fossil Leaves At Del Puerto Creek, California: Journey to the western edge of California's Great Central Valley to explore a classic fossil leaf locality in an upper Cretaceous section of the upper Cretaceous to Paleocene Moreno Formation; the plants you find there lived during the day of the dinosaur.
  • Early Cambrian Fossils Of Westgard Pass, California: Visit the Westgard Pass area, a world-renowned geologic wonderland several miles east of Big Pine, California, in the neighboring White-Inyo Mountains, to examine one of the best places in the world to find archaeocyathids--an enigmatic invertebrate animal that went extinct some 510 million years ago, never surviving past the early Cambrian; also present there in rocks over a half billion years old are locally common trilobites, plus annelid and arthropod trails, and early echinoderms.
  • Plant Fossils At The La Porte Hydraulic Gold Mine, California: Journey to a long-abandoned hydraulic gold mine in the neighborhood of La Porte, northern Sierra Nevada, California, to explore the upper Eocene La Porte Tuff, which yields some 43 species of Cenozoic plants, mainly a bounty of beautifully preserved leaves 34.2 million years old.
  • A Visit To Ammonite Canyon, Nevada: Explore one of the best-exposed, most complete fossiliferous marine late Triassic through early Jurassic geologic sections in the world--a place where the important end-time Triassic mass extinction has been preserved in the paleontological record. Lots of key species of ammonites, brachiopods, corals, gastropods and pelecypods.
  • Fossil Plants At The Chalk Bluff Hydraulic Gold Mine, California: Take a field trip to the Chalk Bluff hydraulic gold mine, western foothills of California's Sierra Nevada, for leaves, seeds, flowering structures, and petrified wood from some 70 species of middle Eocene plants.
  • Field Trip To The Alexander Hills Fossil District, Mojave Desert, California: Visit a locality outside the southern sector of Death Valley National Park to explore a paleontological wonderland that produces: Precambrian stromatolites over a billion years old; early skeletonized eukaryotic cells of testate amoebae over three-quarters of billion years old; early Cambrian trilobites, archaeocyathids, annelid trails, arthropod tracks, and echinoderm material; Pliocene-Pleistocene vertebrate and invertebrate faunas; and late middle Miocene camel tracks, petrified palm wood, petrified dicotlyedon wood, and permineralized grasses.
  • Late Triassic Ichthyosaur And Invertebrate Fossils In Nevada: Journey to two classic, world-famous fossil localities in the Upper Triassic Luning Formation of Nevada--Berlin-Ichthyosaur State Park and Coral Reef Canyon. At Berlin-Ichthyosaur, observe in-situ the remains of several gigantic ichthyosaur skeletons preserved in a fossil quarry; then head out into the hills, outside the state park, to find plentiful pelecypods, gastropods, brachiopods and ammonoids. At Coral Reef Canyon, find an amazing abundance of corals, sponges, brachiopods, echinoids (sea urchins), pelecypods, gastropods, belemnites and ammonoids.
  • Fossils In Millard County, Utah: Take virtual field trips to two world-famous fossil localities in Millard County, Utah--Wheeler Amphitheater in the trilobite-bearing middle Cambrian Wheeler Shale; and Fossil Mountain in the brachiopod-ostracod-gastropod-echinoderm-trilobite rich lower Ordovician Pogonip Group.
  • Fossil Plants, Insects And Frogs In The Vicinity Of Virginia City, Nevada: Journey to a western Nevada badlands district near Virginia City and the Comstock Lode to discover a bonanza of paleontology in the late middle Miocene Coal Valley Formation.
  • Paleozoic Era Fossils At Mazourka Canyon, Inyo County, California: Visit a productive Paleozoic Era fossil-bearing area near Independence, California--along the east side of California's Owens Valley, with the great Sierra Nevada as a dramatic backdrop--a paleontologically fascinating place that yields a great assortment of invertebrate animals.
  • Fossils From The Kettleman Hills, California: Visit one of California's premiere Pliocene-age (approximately 4.5 to 2.0 million years old) fossil localities--the Kettleman Hills, which lie along the western edge of California's Great Central Valley northwest of Bakersfield. This is where innumerable sand dollars, pectens, oysters, gastropods, "bulbous fish growths" and pelecypods occur in the Etchegoin, San Joaquin and Tulare Formations.
  • Field Trip To The Kettleman Hills Fossil District, California: Take a virtual field trip to a classic site on the western side of California's Great Central Valley, roughly 80 miles northwest of Bakersfield, where several Pliocene-age (roughly 4.5 to 2 million years old) geologic rock formations yield a wealth of diverse, abundant fossil material--sand dollars, scallop shells, oysters, gastropods and "bulbous fish growths" (fossil bony tumors--found nowhere else, save the Kettleman Hills), among many other paleontological remains.
  • A Visit To The Sharktooth Hill Bone Bed, Southern California: Travel to the dusty hills near Bakersfield, California, along the eastern side of the Great Central Valley in the western foothills of the Sierra Nevada, to explore the world-famous Sharktooth Hill Bone Bed, a Middle Miocene marine deposit some 16 to 15 million years old that yields over a hundred species of sharks, rays, bony fishes, and sea mammals from a geologic rock formation called the Round Mountain Silt Member of the Temblor Formation; this is the most prolific marine, vertebrate fossil-bearing Middle Miocene deposit in the world.
  • High Sierra Nevada Fossil Plants, Alpine County, California: Visit a remote fossil leaf and petrified wood locality in the Sierra Nevada, at an altitude over 8,600 feet, slightly above the local timberline, to find 7 million year-old specimens of cypress, Douglas-fir, White fir, evergreen live oak, and giant sequoia, among others.
  • In Search Of Fossils In The Tin Mountain Limestone, California: Journey to the Death Valley area of Inyo County, California, to explore the highly fossiliferous Lower Mississippian Tin Mountain Limestone; visit three localities that provide easy access to a roughly 358 million year-old calcium carbate accumulation that contains well preserved corals, brachiopods, bryozoans, crinoids, and ostracods--among other major groups of invertebrate animals.
  • Middle Triassic Ammonoids From Nevada: Travel to a world-famous fossil locality in the Great Basin Desert of Nevada, a specific place that yields some 41 species of ammonoids, in addition to five species of pelecypods and four varieties of belemnites from the Middle Triassic Prida Formation, which is roughly 235 million years old; many paleontologists consider this specific site the single best Middle Triassic, late Anisian Stage ammonoid locality in the world. All told, the Prida Formation yields 68 species of ammonoids spanning the entire Middle Triassic age, or roughly 241 to 227 million years ago.
  • Late Miocene Fossil Leaves At Verdi, Washoe County, Nevada: Explore a fascinating fossil leaf locality not far from Reno, Nevada; find 18 species of plants that prove that 5.8 million years ago this part of the western Great Basin Desert would have resembled, floristically, California's lush green Gold Country, from Placerville south to Jackson.
  • Fossils Along The Loneliest Road In America: Investigate the extraordinary fossil wealth along some 230 miles of The Loneliest Road In America--US Highway 50 from the vicinity of Eureka, Nevada, to Delta in Millard County, Utah. Includes on-site images and photographs of representative fossils (with detailed explanatory text captions) from every geologic rock deposit I have personally explored in the neighborhood of that stretch of Great Basin asphalt. The paleontologic material ranges in geologic age from the middle Eocene (about 48 million years ago) to middle Cambrian (approximately 505 million years old).
  • Fossil Bones In The Coso Range, Inyo County, California: Visit the Coso Range Wilderness, west of Death Valley National Park at the southern end of California's Owens Valley, where vertebrate fossils some 4.8 to 3.0 million years old can be observed in the Pliocene-age Coso Formation: It's a paleontologically significant place that yields many species of mammals, including the remains of Equus simplicidens, the Hagerman Horse, named for its spectacular occurrences at Hagerman Fossil Beds National Monument in Idaho; Equus simplicidens is considered the earliest known member of the genus Equus, which includes the modern horse and all other equids.
  • Field Trip To A Vertebrate Fossil Locality In The Coso Range, California: Take a cyber-visit to the famous bone-bearing Pliocene Coso Formation, Coso Mountains, Inyo County, California; includes detailed text for the field trip, plus on-site images and photographs of vertebrate fossils.
  • Fossil Plants At Aldrich Hill, Western Nevada: Take a field trip to western Nevada, in the vicinity of Yerington, to famous Aldrich Hill, where one can collect some 35 species of ancient plants--leaves, seeds and twigs--from the Middle Miocene Aldirch Station Formation, roughly 12 to 13 million years old. Find the leaves of evergreen live oak, willow, and Catalina Ironwood (which today is restricted in its natural habitat solely to the Channel Islands off the coast of Southern California), among others, plus the seeds of many kinds of conifers, including spruce; expect to find the twigs of Giant Sequoias, too.
  • Fossils From Pleistocene Lake Manix, California: Explore the badlands of the Manix Lake Beds on California's Mojave Desert, an Upper Pleistocene deposit that produces abundant fossil remains from the silts and sands left behind by a great fresh water lake, roughly 350,000 to 19,000 years old--the Manix Beds yield many species of fresh water mollusks (gastropods and pelecypods), skeletal elements from fish (the Tui Mojave Chub and Three-Spine Stickleback), plus roughly 50 species of mammals and birds, many of which can also be found in the incredible, world-famous La Brea Tar Pits of Los Angeles.
  • Field Trip To Pleistocene Lake Manix, California: Go on a virtual field trip to the classic, fossiliferous badlands carved in the Upper Pleistocene Manix Formation, Mojave Desert, California. It's a special place that yields beaucoup fossil remains, including fresh water mollusks, fish (the Mojave Tui Chub), birds and mammals.
  • Trilobites In The Nopah Range, Inyo County, California: Travel to a locality well outside the boundaries of Death Valley National Park to collect trilobites in the Lower Cambrian Pyramid Shale Member of the Carrara Formation.
  • Ammonoids At Union Wash, California: Explore ammonoid-rich Union Wash near Lone Pine, California, in the shadows of Mount Whitney, the highest point in the contiguous United States. Union Wash is a ne plus ultra place to find Early Triassic ammonoids in California. The extinct cephalopods occur in abundance in the Lower Triassic Union Wash Formation, with the dramatic back-drop of the glacier-gouged Sierra Nevada skyline in view to the immediate west.
  • A Visit To The Fossil Beds At Union Wash, Inyo County California: A virtual field trip to the fabulous ammonoid accumulations in the Lower Triassic Union Wash Formation, Inyo County, California--situated in the shadows of Mount Whitney, the highest point in the contiguous United States.
  • Ordovician Fossils At The Great Beatty Mudmound, Nevada: Visit a classic 475-million-year-old fossil locality in the vicinity of Beatty, Nevada, only a few miles east of Death Valley National Park; here, the fossils occur in the Middle Ordovician Antelope Valley Limestone at a prominent Mudmound/Biohern. Lots of fossils can be found there, including silicified brachiopods, trilobites, nautiloids, echinoderms, bryozoans, ostracodes and conodonts.
  • Paleobotanical Field Trip To The Sailor Flat Hydraulic Gold Mine, California: Journey on a day of paleobotanical discovery with the FarWest Science Foundation to the western foothills of the Sierra Nevada--to famous Sailor Flat, an abandoned hydraulic gold mine of the mid to late 1800s, where members of the foundation collect fossil leaves from the "chocolate" shales of the Middle Eocene auriferous gravels; all significant specimens go to the archival paleobotanical collections at the University California Museum Of Paleontology in Berkeley.
  • Early Cambrian Fossils In Western Nevada: Explore a 518-million-year-old fossil locality several miles north of Death Valley National Park, in Esmeralda County, Nevada, where the Lower Cambrian Harkless Formation yields the largest single assemblage of Early Cambrian trilobites yet described from a specific fossil locality in North America; the locality also yields archeocyathids (an extinct sponge), plus salterella (the "ice-cream cone fossil"--an extinct conical animal placed into its own unique phylum, called Agmata), brachiopods and invertebrate tracks and trails.
  • Fossil Leaves And Seeds In West-Central Nevada: Take a field trip to the Middlegate Hills area in west-central Nevada. It's a place where the Middle Miocene Middlegate Formation provides paleobotany enthusiasts with some 64 species of fossil plant remains, including the leaves of evergreen live oak, tanbark oak, bigleaf maple, and paper birch--plus the twigs of giant sequoias and the winged seeds from a spruce.
  • Ordovician Fossils In The Toquima Range, Nevada: Explore the Toquima Range in central Nevada--a locality that yields abundant graptolites in the Lower to Middle Ordovician Vinini Formation, plus a diverse fauna of brachiopods, sponges, bryozoans, echinoderms and ostracodes from the Middle Ordovician Antelope Valley Limestone.
  • Fossil Plants In The Dead Camel Range, Nevada: Visit a remote site in the vicinity of Fallon, Nevada, where the Middle Miocene Desert Peak Formation provides paleobotany enthusiasts with 22 species of nicely preserved leaves from a variety of deciduous trees and evergreen live oaks, in addition to samaras (winged seeds), needles and twigs from several types of conifers.
  • Early Triassic Ammonoid Fossils In Nevada: Visit the two remote localities in Nevada that yield abundant, well-preserved ammonoids in the Lower Triassic Thaynes Formation, some 240 million years old--one of the sites just happens to be the single finest Early Triassic ammonoid locality in North America.
  • Fossil Plants At Buffalo Canyon, Nevada: Explore the wilds of west-central Nevada, a number of miles from Fallon, where the Middle Miocene Buffalo Canyon Formation yields to seekers of paleontology some 54 species of deciduous and coniferous varieties of 15-million-year-old leaves, seeds and twigs from such varieties as spruce, fir, pine, ash, maple, zelkova, willow and evergreen live oak
  • High Inyo Mountains Fossils, California: Take a ride to the crest of the High Inyo Mountains to find abundant ammonoids and pelecypods--plus, some shark teeth and terrestrial plants in the Upper Mississippian Chainman Shale, roughly 325 million years old.
  • Field Trip To The Copper Basin Fossil Flora, Nevada: Visit a remote region in Nevada, where the Late Eocene Dead Horse Tuff provides seekers of paleobotany with some 42 species of ancient plants, roughly 39 to 40 million years old, including the leaves of alder, tanbark oak, Oregon grape and sassafras.
  • Fossil Plants And Insects At Bull Run, Nevada: Head into the deep backcountry of Nevada to collect fossils from the famous Late Eocene Chicken Creek Formation, which yields, in addition to abundant fossil fly larvae, a paleobotanically wonderful association of winged seeds and fascicles (bundles of needles) from many species of conifers, including fir, pine, spruce, larch, hemlock and cypress. The plants are some 37 million old and represent an essentially pure montane conifer forest, one of the very few such fossil occurrences in the Tertiary Period of the United States.
  • A Visit To The Early Cambrian Waucoba Spring Geologic Section, California: Journey to the northwestern sector of Death Valley National Park to explore the classic, world-famous Waucoba Spring Early Cambrian geologic section, first described by the pioneering paleontologist C.D. Walcott in the late 1800s; surprisingly well preserved 540-510 million-year-old remains of trilobites, invertebrate tracks and trails, Girvanella algal oncolites and archeocyathids (an extinct variety of sponge) can be observed in situ.
  • Petrified Wood From The Shinarump Conglomerate: An image of a chunk of petrified wood I collected from the Upper Triassic Shinarump Conglomerate, outside of Dinosaur National Monument, Colorado.
  • Fossil Giant Sequoia Foliage From Nevada: Images of the youngest fossil foliage from a giant sequoia ever discovered in the geologic record--the specimen is Lower Pliocene in geologic age, around 5 million years old.
  • Some Favorite Fossil Brachiopods Of Mine: Images of several fossil brachiopods I have collected over the years from Paleozoic, Mesozoic and Cenozoic-age rocks.
  • For information on what can and cannot be collected legally from America's Public Lands, take a look at Fossils On America's Public Lands and Collecting On Public Lands--brochures that the Bureau Of Land Management has allowed me to transcribe.
  • In Search Of Vanished Ages--Field Trips To Fossil Localities In California, Nevada, And Utah--My fossils-related field trips in full print book form (pdf). 98,703 words (equivalent to a medium-size hard cover work of non-fiction); 250 printed pages (equivalent to about 380 pages in hard cover book form); 27 chapters; 30 individual field trips to places of paleontological interest; 60 photographs--representative on-site images and pictures of fossils from each locality visited.

United States Geological Survey Papers (Public Domain)

Online versions of USGS publications

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