Thursday 8/4

When making up my bunk (bed) late last night the power suddenly clicked off to all the lights and the radio. It was late enough that I just finished making the bed and called it a night. Found it was just a fuse in the panel that burned out/tripped. Replaced the fuse and all was well. All well, that is, until I heard water rushing outside near the camper. Turned water off and found the hose line running to the camper kitchen sink had split and given up on me. So change of plans from heading out early to Clarence site to going to town to find a repair thing and/or a spare new hose. Proud of myself, in that I resisted stopping for a chai at “my” coffee shop; did my shopping at the farm store and headed directly back to camp. Tried the hose repair thing but didn’t; water squirted out quite a bit around the clamp pieces. So installed the new “extra heavy duty” hose. We’ll see how long it lasts.

Headed out to Clarence site to look for more fossil bone. Got canopy and side tarps set up as well as an extra shade umbrella. Was 101 degrees today and quite still, no breeze at first, which is rare here. It was hot and dry. Then the breezes started in early afternoon. The wind didn’t exactly provide much relief; the wind felt like you were sticking your head in from of an open oven door (an oven set on broil!). Ate a nice lunch then called my sweet daughter, Olivia, to check in with her. She answered on one ring and wondered what in the world was up? I think she was indicating I don’t call often enough! Nice talk, with me sitting in the shade of my hobo encampment set-up of shade providing, old, torn up tarps and jerry-rigged and tied off to anything nearby that doesn’t move. Photo here for your delight….

100% hobo camp, for sure. I have no pride and will do just about anything to create some semblance of shade at a dig site (especially when it’s 101 degrees)!

I was a little tired and decided to lay down for a little nap right then and there. Rolled out a tarp and rested my head on a kneeling pad and kind of fell in and out of sleep. Day dreaming of being a Bedouin eating in the midday sun somewhere in the Middle East, knowing one must get out of the blaring midday sun while your sheep are resting in the valley below. Had one hand on the shade umbrella as the wind had significantly picked up and wanted to pick up my umbrella! Just listened to the loud flapping of our canopy and tarps and rested right there. Woke up and was no longer a sheepherder in the desert, just an old bone hunter in the badlands of Montana! Worked more on the north edges of the Clarence dig to little avail. Found just a couple of bone scrap pieces, some turtle shell and one cute, tiny vertebra from the tail of a turtle (I think). Dug about a 3 foot by 5 foot area, removed the overburden then sifted through the orange rock layer where things have been found, but seems played out in this spot. Getting closer to thinking Clarence has provided all he’s going to provide. My friend, Jason, is arrive for our last week of this field season on Sunday; I’ll assign him the task of determining exactly where the skull may be hiding – then politely ask him to dig it up! We’ll finish up the Clarence site and do some prospecting for new finds on this big, beautiful ranch.

Took a couple of photos of the evening sunset over the western buttes; hard to resist.

Sun setting over Clarence dig site.
Ranch scenery at dusk