Friday, Aug 4

It’s raining again today. After rain started around 2pm yesterday, it has not rally abated yet all day today. So no digging for fossils. It’s not that a little light rain would stop us but it’s driving to to the dig site that’s the real problem. The exposed bentonite (mostly referred to as “gumbo” around here) clay soils are unbelievably slick when just the slightest bit wet. When soaked with two full days of rain the trails I use to drive out to the site are absolutely unpassable in my truck even in 4 wheel drive low setting. And the Olivia triceratops site is basically in the middle of the ranch and takes 20 minutes to drive to the site on normal dry days. So no go.

We went into town after lounging around the camper all morning. Had lunch at a restaurant and visited the ranch owner, Merri, at her beautiful store in town called Russell’s. We’d may have a chance to get together, she and husband Don, with us for a meal tomorrow, we’ll see. And if I can convince Tim of the righteousness of the plan, we may go to “BrewTunes” at the Old Skool Brew Pub in Baker on Saturday evening where I have enjoyed the music trivia game they have about once a month.

We got some grocery items and ice for coolers then headed back to camp. Stopped by a friend’s ranch and checked out his fossil collection and other neat stuff. Tim got to use an air scribe tool (like a mini jack hammer) to work on a ball of rock holding onto tons of small fossil shelled critters. There’s a site near here where these marine fossils can be found. It’s in the Fox Hills Geologic Formation dating to about 67 million years old. (I’ll post a photo or two in a bit)

Tim working with a mini jack hammer on some marine fossils locked in hard rock matrix.
Tim and Don using air scribes to release fossils from surrounding rock matrix