Tuesday, August 8

Got up and went into Baker to do some chores. Especially stopping by the tire shop to check my right rear tire I keep needing to put air in it. Started there and yes it had a slow leak they patched for me. Found no foreign object but patched a leak. Went into town for a chai at my favorite coffee shop , some groceries, gas and ice, drop off a candy gift for a friend in town, and did my laundry. Spent most of the day in town. Look what I saw at the coffee shop that was new for the month of August –

Just for me?! Nope, apparently it’s Dinosaur month; who knew?

Back to camp and gathered some snacks for late lunch and drove out to the main dig site; didn’t get there until about 4pm. I set up one lean to tarp but didn’t need the top canopy because the sun was low enough already. Removed the cover over the bones and decided to chip away at the solid rock attached to both the long scapula bone and the frill piece. Frill running under the scapula. I piled loose soil up to brace the scapula when we would “flip” it over. Started by chipping away at the hard stone connecting the two pieces. Chipped out some stone then saw the whole scapula piece move; the link between the two bones was broken. Only thing left to see is how clean the separation is. Once I flip the bone over will the stone connection break clean or will some of frill come with the shoulder blade or the other way around – part of shoulder left stuck to stone stuck to the frill piece? Frill came with the shoulder. See the photos below. Could have been much worse. I’ve noted in our field log that some of the frill (030-042019) is now going to be in the plaster field jacket of bone 030-042-01. Once we open the jacket in the lab and clean the scapula bone we’ll try to carefully remove the frill pieces to see if they can be replaced where they belong on the frill section. Easy-Peasy!?

Frill, ID # 030-042-19, now separated from adjacent bones. Is “sitting” on top of several ribs and other smaller bones. We’ll soon see how well the field jacketed frill can be moved away without taking the bones below it.
Frill photo again with excess pieces wrapped in aluminum foil to be left right there inside the field jacket so will be close to where they came from when we work on this piece in the lab.

I also flipped the other long bone (possible other scapula?). Now both are ready for additional wood splits to be added for stability and the bottoms (now rolled over to be facing up) to be capped with plaster and to lock the additional splints into place. Mixed plaster and applied burlap soaked strips to both bones by myself. It’s possible to do the plastering alone but NOT preferred. Either the plaster sets up too fast and gets hard in the bucket or you just struggle to slather plaster on each burlap strip then crouch over the pieces to apply the strips then run back to the bucket of plaster and repeat. Good to have help with this chore and it can be done alone. Finished up late with both bones now totally free and completely plaster on both sides with wood splints added on top and bottom of each. That’s when one stands back, stretches out and admires ones own work. Good thing to remember to do; take a break and admire what you just accomplished. Sat down for a beer and watched the sun set at the dig. Stayed a little too late and drove back to camp in almost full darkness leaving the dig around 9pm. I was fine, but not the smartest idea. It was a good day.