Friday, 8/20/21

My drive home went just fine. As usual it took longer than I figured to break down camp, pack everything up, load all fossils and get everything in its place for the trip home. I didn’t leave the camp area on the ranch until 10:45am local (mountain) time Sunday morning. I drove north for 45 minutes to join up with I-94 East. Then no turns, just follow I-94 due East through N Dakota, to Minnesota, through the Twin Cities, then slightly veer SE toward Madison, WS. Interstate travel is generally boring and no fun but it is direct and easy driving. I’ve done this trek home to Indiana before on smaller state roads but it can be painfully slow as I lower my speed as we approach then pass through each small town. When I’m on a mission to get home, I drive the interstate system. Ended up spending the night in a hotel in Rockford, IL. Drove until @1:30 (my time). Listened to some radio but mostly enjoyed tuning in to a couple of podcasts. One, called “Running from Cops,” was about the impact that “Cops” show has had on community policing and another was called “Missing Richard Simmons.” It sure reminded me that all people are complex and often are much more than what may be obvious on the surface. Podcasts sure do entertain & inform me on these long drives.

Got up Monday morning and stopped at a Starbucks before I left town. Kind of weird to be back in with all the people but also is my norm. I like both situations just fine. Got home at @3:45pm (eastern time) and Elizabeth & I celebrated our anniversary with a very nice meal made at home. Good to be home. The total trip home was 1303 miles and took me 19-3/4 hours driving time.

Stack of fossil bones in plaster jackets just unloaded from the truck.

I’ve been a bit tired and maybe a touch lazy since I’ve been home. Still need to open up the camper, empty it, clean up a bit and do a few minor repairs that built up over the 5 weeks we were out and it was in use. I’ll get my second wind here soon and charge into it all.

Elizabeth sent me this photo when I was out in the field a couple of weeks ago; apparently this little dinosaur just happened by and elected to take a break on the little table sitting out next to the fossil workshop. Our neighbor, Joe, is a likely giver of something out of the blue like this but he firmly denied having any part in it. Maybe this guy was on a walk-a-bout and simply got tired and needed a break. Seeing some evidence of like-mindedness about the fossil shop he/she just decided to stay put? No matter, he’s now indoors with friends in the shop!

My new buddy who just showed up outside the workshop while Steve was off in Montana.

Lastly, although I’ve been avoiding cleaning up and putting all the gear away I have been unable to stop myself from doing some prep work on the scapula, the last bone we dug, plaster casted, and brought out on the last day of this field season. Here’s a shot showing a little progress on uncovering the big blade-like process that’s part of this dinosaur’s shoulder blade.

Starting to expose the fossil bone surface; see the difference between bone and surrounding rock matrix?