Good 2nd day

I woke up in Bismarck, ND and there just happened to be a Starbucks next to the hotel (so I had no choice but to visit for a nice Chai latte!). Then went to visit the ND Heritage Center & State Museum. They have a few dinosaurs on display and I’ve not had the chance to visit there before as it was closed when I last tried several years ago. It’s on a “campus” along with other state buildings including the state Capitol Bldg. It’s a lovely setting with a lot of open green spaces. And it was a glorious morning with clear skies and mild temperature.

At the entry they’ve set up a large fallen petrified tree in sections and this interesting set of huge stone concretions. I pick some like these occasionally when fossil hunting but not this big!

I met the person who found the dino “mummy” named Dakota that’s highlighted in the museum. It’s very cool to see a hadrosaur skeleton still intact with a lot of its skin exposed. Zoom in on the photos and you’ll see the skin impressions. How they prepared and cleaned this specimen in the lab is beyond me – remove hard sandstone rock but preserve the thin, delicate skin layer!

Dakota, the dino mummy full of visible skin imprints.
You can zoom in to see bone fragments then see skin covering the foreleg and foot; amazing.

The rest of the museum was nicely done with a particularly moving section with words and stories and photos of native peoples of the land now known as North Dakota. Gorgeous photos which I did not try to take pictures of.

I drove on to camp on the ranch property near Baker, Montana. Totaled 1314 miles from my doorstep at home to camp and 22 hours of driving over those two days. Beautiful weather here as well. And I decided to fully set up camp then maybe go out into the field for a short walk about or go into town for some groceries and ice. Unfortunately I spent the whole afternoon getting the camper and shower and gear and water heater, etc… all set up. By the time I took a breath it was getting late and I was tired! Just relaxed after a nice warm shower and had supper at the camper. Made up my bunk in the camper and called it a day after hearing some coyote howling off in the distance.