Monday, July 15

Ej and I had a good day prospecting for fossils. We walked several buttes on this ranch that I had not ever looked at. We saw some bits and pieces and found a couple of areas that seemed to have an abundance of micro fossils (lots of small pieces and parts of fossils – most likely from an area that had been in/near an ancient river or other water feature). I found a tiny theropod tooth (from a meat eating dinosaur) and Ej found some neat small pieces of dinosaur bone and fossilized turtle shell.

He’s done well at figuring out the difference between plain ol’ rocks and fossilized bone or shell. Not easy, as the fossils are fully camouflaged by being the same color as surrounding rocks.

View from on top of “Red Top” a landmark on the ranch that can be seen from nearly all of the property.

It was a really pleasant day out in the badlands today. We had a good amount of cloud cover, so less direct hot sun and a classic Montana breeze most of the day. Those two things combined made for a really comfortable day for walking and climbing around on the buttes searching for hidden treasure. The cloud cover offers another benefit in that it’s often easier to see evidence of fossils without the harsh, direct sun shine beating down on everything.

We decided to go out for a meal tonight so called it a day a little early, cleaned up and drove into town so someone else would cook and clean the dishes tonight. Had a nice meal and ran into some friends so we hung around, shared a drink and conversation. It was a great way to finish up Ej’s trip out on his first fossil finding adventure.

We’ll be up tomorrow and head into Dickinson, ND to drop Ej off at the airport for his trip back home to Los Angeles. I trust he had a good time and enjoyed being away from so much hustle and bustle of LA and just “being” here in the wide open, beautiful spaces I enjoy so much in Montana.