While it is just on the edge of what most consider a day trip, a good coffee and an early start are all you need to beat traffic and try your luck hunting for fossils in the the Cretaceous/Jurassic exposures that outcrop along Harrison Lake. For years we've collected ammonites, buchia&belemnites in the somewhat unyielding siltstones. Some of the plates, particularly the lovely belemnites with their calcite centres, are best captured with the lens and not the hammer as it leaves them for others to enjoy.
Most folks from the Vancouver area head out to Harrison Lake to enjoy the hot springs and perhaps spend a night in the hotel of the same name. I get the occasional chance to paddle out that way with my good friends, Philip Torrens&Leanne Sylvest. We've done the river and the lake and poked about camping a few nights to see if there was anything more than buchia protected in the rocks only accessible by boat - or in our case, a single and double kevlar kayak. Fresh water blows up fast & Harrison is a deep, large freshwater lake... well, mostly freshwater.
The bottom is filled with salt and I've often thought it would be interesting to take a peek down in the depths to and see who lives in that brackish mix. Ogopogo perhaps. Over the past few years, we've done some exploratory work to try and rediscover overgrown sites. At our traditional collecting sites we find ammonites of the Callovian Mysterious Creek Formation, including the small, fairly well preserved Cadoceras (Paracadoceras) tonniense and smallish Cadoceras (Pseudocadoceras) grewingki. Still, some say bigger is better.
While that may or may not be true, bigger is certainly rarer. It is almost unheard of to find a large, complete ammonite (unless you have access to an airscribe and are prepared to take out a huge block...), most find fragments of the coveted larger, smooth Cadoceras comma. Interestingly, these ammonites are quite similar to the ones found within the lower part of the Chinitna Formation of Alaska & Jurassic Point, Kyuquot, on the west coast of Vancouver Island.
Everything we find is lovingly catalogued and available for study. I've yet to leave Harrison and check into the Harrison Hotel to enjoy a much needed soak, but perhaps I'll make it a goal for this Fall.