Wednesday, 7/14

We had a good day yesterday on the ranch in Montana. Up early and out to explore and look for fossils. We went by several of our past dig sites and generally explored all over the ranch’s exposed badlands.

Here’s photo of the camp site we set up; like to stay on the ranch where we are working whenever possible to avoid having to drive back & forth from the nearest hotel.

We visited several overlooks on the ranch so Elizabeth could get oriented and get a feel for the expansiveness of this location. Our host ranch family has always been supportive and somehow puts up with our group coming to dig and live on their property for a month (or more) at a time. Here’s a photo from up on one of the highest points on the ranch named “Red Top” because of the ring of red rock at the rim that’s a landmark from most everywhere on the ranch. (Elizabeth wasn’t thrilled at a couple of points on the climb up and climb back down – but she overcame and enjoyed).

Here’s another ranch overlook view-

We did get around to some fossil prospecting on Tuesday. Walked around quite a bit in exposed badlands and Elizabeth got the hang of it, quickly starting to spot the difference between rock and fossils. She found a couple of neat pieces of fossilized turtle shell, some bone fragments and a fairly significant fragment from a larger limb bone. Good job Elizabeth!

We also had some success searching for petrified wood on Wednesday. There’s a special place on the ranch where I’ve seen quite of bit of small pieces of petrified wood that are becoming exposed at the surface through erosion. Here’s a photo of a few pieces we found and just rinsed off. Pretty cool!

You can see the wood on top of the blue container & leaning against it.