Back at my own camp this morning and slept well. Got up and going to tackle a few chores today in town; laundry, groceries, stopped in at Russell’s to say hello to the ranch owner, Merri, and to pick up a package my college roommate, Tim, sent me. So nice, he sent me a neat electric kettle to enhance our camp experience! It’s great, compact and boils water very quickly (used it for my tea Thurs morning). Got some ice for the coolers and headed back to camp to go out and see what we can find today.
Headed to the Clarence dig not sure what to expect. Hard to know when to stop at a dig site; how far do we dig past the last bone found? Same dilemma every time; don’t want to leave anything undiscovered, possibly just 2 inches more and we’ll find the xxx, or yyy. But that can obviously go too far; could dig forever searching for the last missing bone. Is the skull there? Where are Clarence’s arms and finger bones? We have half the rib cage, where are the other ribs? Of course, they could have been exposed already and long ago weathered and turned to dust or they could have been scattered and scavenged and are not to be found near here? I’m not ready to call it yet.
I got to the dig site and set up our shade canopy cover and an extra shade umbrella. Classic hot and dry day here with a slight breeze that feels great. Don’t know why exactly but started to clear some overburden off down to the old “bone layer” of orangish colored rocks on the north side of the site, an area where the cover is about 18” above this layer and then going uphill. Haven’t found any bone in that direction for some time, but also haven’t been digging that way, so…. Used the pick axe to peel back some overburden after I moved one of the grid stakes back about a foot. And, I directly saw the tell tale sign of some distinctive brown bone piece(s)! Very cool. Don’t know what you have until you remove the soils and get down to where the edge of the bone is revealing itself.
Found a series of small pieces that just kept going. I hadn’t cleared a very big area, about 3’ wide by 1 foot back into the hillside. But in this relatively small area we came up with quite a few bone fragment pieces and an assortment of other things. Found: a gar fish scale, a partial triceratops tooth, lots of bone fragments, some turtle shell, a theropod tooth, another unidentifiable tooth (looks rodent or mammal like?), a crocodile bone fragment that looks like it’s from the skull area, some thin short 3” bones (limbs – not from Clarence!), and a couple of cute little vertebrae (possibly turtle). No Clarence bones but a plethora of small items that appear to have been pushed, or washed up into this sediment a long time ago. Getting late so I cleaned up the site and took off for camp, a shower and nice meal.
Sun was setting on the nearby butte tops so I snapped a few photos. At least one could be used in the next Chevy truck TV commercial; you can see it, right? “Like a rock, Chevy built tough, tough enough to take on the dinosaur badlands of Montana!” Maybe? Anyway, the sunset was magnificent as it just kissed the tops of the red rock jutting out on nearby buttes.