Tuesday, 8/10

Great weather day today; almost like the Montana I remember from all the past years; breezy, sun was hot, had some cloud cover slowly roll in, etc.

Hung out with my friend Don and we dug on his ranch in an area “hot” with dinosaur fossils. We returned to the bones we started on Sunday; about 90 feet up above where he found & excavated a T-rex in 2005 (see the Houston (Texas) Museum of Natural Science for the original “Wyrex” T-rex skeleton). We got quite a bit more uncovered today. And while relaxing our backs, sitting on the ground & leaning against my truck tires – over sandwiches, we remarked about how wonderful this all is. Not the particular fossils, necessarily, but just life, the place we each find ourselves that allows taking our time, finding and slowly easing from the ground these never before seen by human eyes, fascinating fossils. And how we both enjoy the whole process through to working back in a lab on the second discovery that happens as bones are cleaned and prepared for study & display. Plus our good fortunes to just .. be .. here. It’s no National Park; it’s so much better to really be off the beaten path, taking this all in, and with a friend dig up some old dinosaur! Wonderful.

We’re not sure yet what animal we’re working on but are both leaning toward triceratops. We plaster field jacketed an ischium (one of the hip bones), and discovered/uncovered the beginnings of several new bones. Looks like maybe a humerus (upper arm bone) and some other long & thick bone (maybe a femur – thigh bone) as well as a rib and some long bones from the foot. All very cool. Here are a few photos from today –

Don working on a big femur (?) bone that’s encrusted in rock.
Humerus (arm) below and big bone above.
Ischium (one of 3 bones makes up the hips) now safe in its plaster & burlap field jacket.
Perched up high on a butte digging up & plastering old bones – we decided it was hard to thin of doing anything much better than that at this exact moment.

We had a strong wind most all day which made it feel great to be out digging bones. We called it a day around 6:30 and I headed back to camp for a shower (in my newly repaired shower tent!) and nice “home” cooked meal (camp cooked).

Plan to head to back my hadrosaur site (Clarence) tomorrow to tear into the sidewalls down to near the layer where most of the bones have been found so far. Crossed fingers that the skull or other interesting parts are just out of site now and we’ll discover them tomorrow!