Saturday, July 22

We had a great day today. Jeff & I were up early(ish) had a light breakfast and left camp to drive to Glendive, MT to visit a friend of mine. I didn’t really say much about Bob to Jeff letting what he saw and learned just unfold. Bob is many things, not unlike most people I meet out west, he has done many things and seems like has always had more than (a lot more than) one job or occupation at a time. Not everything I repeat may be true, but most of it is!

Bob was a boxer, think Golden Gloves boxing, when he was a young man, he rode the rodeo circuit busting broncos, he turned his love of hunting into a guide service where he’d take people out to assist (gets them on an animal) including not just Montana and Wyoming but also guided fly in trips to Alaska to hunt bear, he is an expert trapper of wild game and nuisance animals (nuisance to the cattle ranchers), think coyote and bobcat and mountain lions who are attacking the cattle, he’s an expert taxidermist, making unbelievably artistic representations of the whole animals in action positions, he’s recently retired from a career as a manager in the oil fields, and, oh yeah, most importantly, he’s an avid fossil hunter who lives on the edge of wildly remote and rugged Hell Creek Formation badlands chock full of dinosaur bones!

Anyway, that’s Bob! He has an unbelievable “man cave” where he has fun and lots on display and his workshops for various activities. Jeff was in awe of all that was going on there. After a tour of what Bob has affectionately named “The Pit” we toured some nearby badlands exposures that he knows as typically showing micro fossils (small pieces of a variety of things and occasionally a meat eating dinosaur tooth or two). We each found some things and had a good time just out hunting and talking. I found a couple of teeny, tiny pieces, a raptor tooth and a raptor hand claw that were each barely 1 centimeter long. I also picked up a slightly larger, but not much larger, theropod tooth that looked a little more robust. Of course, Bob found the largest tooth of the day, a nice theropod tooth about 1-1/2” long and showing the characteristic gleam of dark brown-blackish enamel.

They are small and hard to see but zoom in on the lid of the can to see two small serrated meat eating dino teeth & one claw; along with the other small micro fossils I picked up today.

It was a new weather experience today out in the badlands. More classic Montana mid-summer than I’ve had yet in the past 3 weeks. Hot, clear skies and unusually, we had virtually no breezes. It was really hot – the truck read 102 degrees when we came back to his home. It felt plenty hot. And as usual when in the shade it’s okay. We relaxed in the shade of the awning of The Pit and had a cold drink and swapped some more stories until we’d taken too much of Bob’s time and we left for camp.

We wisely elected to stop in town, in Glendive, for an ice cream treat and some of the dairy shop’s A/C. Saw a family with two young boys in line waiting for their order and said hello then one of their boys noticed the foolish bling stuck on my croc shoes I had on (in public!). There were Pokémon and dino characters on my shoes. So I offered him a piece of dino bone I had picked up that afternoon and still had in my pocket for some reason. He seemed to really like it and Jeff had a small piece he nicely gave to the other little boy. We all talked dinosaurs for a moment or two and off they went with their ice cream.

We drove on toward camp and stopped in at the Beaver Creek Brewery in Wibaux, MT for a local beer and some pizza. Another nice break in the A/C. It’s Jeff’s last night here before he heads home to Indiana tomorrow morning. We got back to camp after supper and each enjoyed a nice shower then sleep. Great day today.