Wednesday, Aug. 2

Up early in camp for Tim’s first day here. we had a nice breakfast and gathered our lunch stuff, stocked the cooler, etc. Two new friends of mine agreed to come join us out on the dig to see what this work is all about. I met them just last week impact the gas station and as these things go for me, ended up inviting them to come out. I invite a lot of people, some known to me some strangers, and very, very few agree. David and Cassie said yes, so here they are on a Wednesday morning at our camp ready to go. We started at a know site that has micro fossil parts and bits that I knew about so I could help them identify the difference between fossils and rocks. It can be very hard and takes time and practice. It didn’t take long for them to start right in on finding and beginning to identify some fairly common pieces.

Looking to determine the difference between possible and rocks!
David and Cassie learning how to open and close cattle gates

We moved on to the Olivia triceratops dig site so they could see how a dinosaur excavation works. They pitched right in and got to work helping to field jacket several smaller pieces with burlap strips soaked in wet plaster. Had lunch breaks and other breaks for hydration because it was a ver hot day. Then we started in on completing the field jacket on an arm bone that was started a few days before. Tim cut some boards to fit and we attached them to the radius. They got locked down in place tightly with the fresh burlap. Then we ganged up on the large bone that I think is a scapula (shoulder blade), undercutting the rock below it to create an area for the plaster field jacket to grip the bottom. Then covered it completely with aluminum foil and we got started in on the plastering. All helped and we had a good time dipping and filling and adhering the long plaster soaked burlap strips to the bones surface. Being careful to take the strips in alternate directions and being sure to cinch it around the two ends of bone we “wrapped up” the first coats of this field jacket. Hopefully we’ll be back on it tomorrow to add more plaster and strips and some wood to act as splints to strengthen and solidify the large field jacket.

Wrapping up bones in field jackets under our shade canopy.

We relaxed a bit and then cleaned up the site and our tools and covered the bones up with a tarp and tools and chairs and rocks to weigh it down. We enjoyed a last beverage up at the dig then started back to camp for a dinner meal for all. Tim elected to ride in the back of the truck for the trip back and said he throughly enjoyed the unobstructed views. We cleaned up once at the camper and all pitched in to help make dinner of steaks on the grill, salad and fresh potatoes fried with olive oil and fresh garlic. We don’t suffer much for good food while on digs. We shared a nice red wine with dinner then played some cards with David & Cassie. Not to tell tales but…. Cassie demurred when the four of us talked about playing euchre saying she wasn’t so good at it, would probably need some help, oh poor her! Poor her, right! She dealt the first hand and dealt herself a loner which she called and successfully played, getting her team four points! But she needed so much help, yeah right! The moral of the story is that the good guys did win out in the end; Tim and I were card partners and did capture two of the 3 games played, so basically he and I are the grand champions!

All to bed, David Cassie in their van converted to a fun mobile home for five weeks of travel from Cincinnati around the western US then back to Cincy and Tim and I each in our bunks in the camper.