Sunday, 8/8

Got up to a pleasant but getting warmer morning today. It did eventually climb up to an even 100 degrees. I cleaned around camp, did some chores & unloaded most of the gear from my truck. Most importantly I unloaded the triceratops frill in camp by backing the truck into a little hillside with the tailgate down so I could basically just push/slide the piece right off the tailgate and onto the ground. It was still fully attached to my “sled” so it was easy. I carefully turned it over to disconnect the field jacket from the rubber sled and it was free, sitting on its top with the splints and the wood runners facing down keeping it off the ground. It should be fine sitting here for the week until I get ready to head home when I’ll push it back into the truck bed.

Just before I backed up to the hillside to push it out even with the ground in camp.

Went to visit Don as planned and we took off to check out some bones on his ranch and see if he & I could locate the K/T boundary line near where Don dug his T-rex in 2005. The paleontologist who helped him excavate the T-rex discovered and confirmed the existence of this special marker in the soil that corresponds to the last major extinction event that killed off all the dinosaurs. This band of soil has been confirmed around the entire globe, and corresponds with the last great dinosaur extinction event (65 million years ago) and has significant and unique properties that are extremely rare on earth. The approximately 3/4 inch thick layer of brownish soil contains an irregular amount of iridium (a radioactive substance predominantly found in meteorite chunks = a mineral not typically found on earth) and contains tektites (microscopic glass “beads” formed as molten rock descended from the sky, burning the air and everything in their path). This same thin layer of soil has been located & identified as matching all others like it across the globe. Gubio, Italy is where it was first observed and has since been located in India, Russia, the UK, South America, Australia and in the western US (particularly where the huge area of Hell Creek Formation ends and meets the next, later, rock formation). We collected a small sample and if were in the correct spot, we’ll be able to analyze this sample back in the lab to confirm the existence of those unique glass bead-like tektites.

The K/T Boundary marking the end of the era of dinosaurs is horizontal line of brownish soils just above the zip on this ziplock baggie.

We wandered over to an area where Don had noted some fossil bone starting to become exposed. We were glad to plop down and see what we could turn up. No idea what we’re into yet, but looks like we’re uncovering a large hip bone and several significant bone fragments so far. You never know what you’re going to get until you start digging in. May be a big skull just lurking inches away from where we dug today?

Special area of his ranch that keeps giving up ghosts from the dinosaur past.

So much science, so little time.

There’s more to this day but too tired to share. Will describe in all its glory In tomorrow’s post!