Rock Stars: Exploring the Burgess Shale in Yoho National Park
My shoulders were burning with the weight of my pack. Sweat was rolling down my face, stinging my eyes. My lungs were working overtime from the last steep push to the top. But even with all my bodily discomfort, those final paces were significant as they followed in the exact footsteps of Charles Doolittle Walcott, the man responsible for discovering the Burgess Shale. The soreness seemed to just melt away as I caught my first glimpse of the famous fossil bed. My sole purpose for being 2,286 metres (7,500 feet) above sea level, perched on the side of a mountain ridge, was this exact spot: Walcott’s legendary quarry. It took only a matter of seconds for my eyes to spot a lone fossil peeking out from among the broken shale and from that point I was hooked.