Wednesday, July 12

We licked our wounds, walked around dazed at our campsite that appeared closer to a war zone than the peaceful camp we had left the morning before. And again we all agreed we were lucky, no one was hurt, only things, things that are replaceable. Still camp looked like a war zone!

After a nice camp breakfast we went to visit a rancher friend of mine to introduce my friends to him. We eventually made our way out to the triceratops dig site and worked more on overburden rock removal toward the edges of the existing bones in view. Unfortunately, again we found no more evidence of new finds. We still have a little more to excavate toward the east side of the dig so maybe more will appear in that last possible direction. If not, it appears we’ve found and will be excavating in plaster soaked burlap “field jackets” approximately 25 bones. Still very cool and Steve is still in search of his first dinosaur skull!

We removed a couple of smaller bones that were on the outside edges of the mass pile of bones so they will be out of the way as we start in on jacketing the larger bones that criss-cross over each other. My friends are sure hard workers, taking turns swinging the heavy pick axe to break up the concrete-like dense clay into chunks manageable enough to be picked up and tossed into one of the spoils piles. Hard work for sure. And with little payoff (finding bones) it becomes even harder work.

Clearing away at the edges of the dig site while keeping a close eye out for any sign of fossil bone being exposed. Hard workers for sure!

We wrapped up for the evening and sat to admire our work at the site with a cold drink (think beer). Very important to stop, see what you’ve done, enjoy the process, congratulate each other, and generally just take it all in. We often find that in the early even with the heat lessening and the sun starting to go toward the horizon, it’s difficult to leave the dig site. No noise, no other people, no airplanes overhead, just you and the wide open ranch land as far as we can see in every direction.

Green, green, green (and yellow clover). Unusually lush land for this time of year. I understand it’s been abnormally wet this early summer.