Dinosaur Excavation and Taphonomic Research Project

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Thanks for the memory...
How lovely it was!
    Leo Robin & Ralph Rainger (and Bob Hope)



Notes from the Field - The Latest News!

2007

All times given are Texas time, (CDT). Local time is actually one hour earlier (MDT).


Tuesday, 29 May
Dr. Lee and Carl arrived early—they just could not wait!

Wednesday, 30 May
Drs. Larry and Cathy with grandsons Zachary and Matthew got to Camp Cretaceous in the middle of the afternoon. Some brief showers over the area produced some anxiousness as they turned off the highway, but the rain served to dampen down the dust and did not create any driving difficulties. The plan was to plan to help Al and Brenda get the camp facility ready for the main group's arrival on Friday. Dr. Lee and Carl had left earlier in the day to pick up Leslie at the Rapid City airport. All three arrived back at the camp early in the evening.

Thursday, 31 May
For the nine persons at the camp (including Al and Brenda), the night was cool. A full moon provided plenty of light so everyone could get oriented. The day dawned overcast with some light showers that grew more intense to a soaking rain throughout the day. Organizational work inside the camp facility continued.

For the group leaving Keene, the day started early—6:15am! Dr. Chadwick and Justin drove the van and the truck pulling our trailer. Included in this initial group were Rory, Lance, and Bethania. A brief stop in Oklahoma to pick up Austin permitted the car with Amy, Brian, Katherine, and Cooper to catch up and join the caravan for the remainder of the journey.

Friday, 1 June
Some showers in the night lulled the campers in their sleep. At daybreak, breaks in the overcast could be seen.

The caravan from Keene arrived about 8:30am. Because they had sufficient room in the vehicles, they had stopped on the way to purchase supplies. Therefore, they were ready (after a warm breakfast) to get to work! The morning and afternoon was spent in setting up tents, getting the satellite internet connection functioning, mounting a projector and DVD player and speakers. It was generally dry with an occasional brief light shower. In the late afternoon a number of arrivals as part of the Southern Adventist University's President's Project arrived to swell our total to 22. This group consisted of Clyde, Roger and Taylor, Miki, and Dr. Edwin.

Saturday, 2 June
This morning was one of those beautiful beginnings of the day. It was cool (50°) but still and clear except for clouds in the east (the general movement of clouds is west to east) so it was even more promising! After a great breakfast, Dr. Cathy, Zachary, and Matthew left. They were planning to leave Tuesday morning, but Zachary was not feeling well. Dr. Larry was blue the rest of the day! Dr. Lee led out in the worship study and Carl presented a spiritual study of Ezekiel's valley of dry bones.
After lunch the afternoon was one of the few lazy times. People took advantage of the cool sunny day to rest, explore, and generally recover from the trip to the site.
Sunday, 3 June
This morning is cool (50°) but sunny with a light gentle breeze. Two students, Dan and Luke, joined the group in time for breakfast. After breakfast and worship most of the group left for a climb up Crazy Horse. The few left worked on setting up the electronics, opening quarries, and other organizational activities.
Drs. Art and Lee left in the middle of the afternoon for a grocery and supply run and to pick up Tetsuya at the Rapid City airport. They all arrived back at camp safely late.
In the early evening the group returned from Crazy Horse with two additions: Drs. Gordon and Duane. Dr. Keith, Beth, and Ivan followed on their heels. This brings us to 27 persons ready to start finding bones tomorrow.

Monday, 4 June
This is the day we all get to start!
The breakfast crew had a hard time deciding what to make, they ended up waffling about the meal and, using the new waffle irons that Drs. Art and Lee had purchased, made waffles!
Much of the morning was taken up with instruction, getting tools, being oriented to the quarries. The day was almost perfect—perhaps a bit too much wind, but great progress was made for the it being the first day. Only North Main, South Main, and Southeast quarries were opened and active. A count of the bones recovered gives 29 first just the first day. This is phenomenal given the time spent in opening the quarries, cleaning out the material that has washed in, setting grids, etc. And this does not count the bones that have been exposed!
Dr. Lee left in the middle of the afternoon to pick up his wife Dr. Lucy. They will be back in camp tomorow.
Dr. Larry presented the lecture covering the history of the site starting with a young hadrosaur. It is with sadness to remember that for the first time Glenn will not be with us this year.

Tuesday, 5 June
This morning dawned with a few clouds. The 20 day old moon was almost due south. The bird calls were the only sound until about 6:00am when the meal crew arrived.
The morning was perfect for excavating—cool with a gentle breeze, but the afternoon grew quite warm (in the upper 80°'s). Everyone returned to camp tired and hungry. However, we have now logged over 100 bones so far, and this is only the second day! Dr. Lee returned in the afternoon with his wife, Dr. Lucy.
After dinner we celebrated Rory's birthday with a delicious cake. Dr. Art presented the evening's lecture, but a sudden wind and thunderstorms interrupted the presentation as everyone scrambled to make certain tents were still standing. The camp got a few showers while two dark cells with bright flashes of lightening passed to the south and the north. Unfortunately, we also had a power anomaly with one of the ac receptacles dying. It took out the power to the computer area. Drs. Larry and Edwin managed to identify the problem, and Dr. Art and Justin fixed it!

Wednesday, 6 June
This was a third great day in a row! Breakfast was great—we have now sampled the tasty offerings of all three groups. Another participant, Mary, arrived with Brenda and Al. The day was overcast which helped keep it cool. With light showers and lightening on the horizon, we closed the quarries for the day early—about 4:30. We had another celebration—this was Dr. Keith and Beth's silver wedding anniversary! The cake was great!
Dr. Art finished his interrupted lecture from Tuesday describing the project's on-line bone catalog. The catalog includes not only the descriptive material for each recovered fossil, but a photograph, and, for some items, a rotating "three-dimensional" view, and it is searchable by a variety of criteria! It is the largest on-line fossil catalog on the web! Afterwards Dr. Lee presented the evening's lecture on origins.

Thursday, 7 June
The exterior environment changed during the night. The anticipated rain, wind, and cold temperatures greeted the campers as they awoke. The sound of the light rain on the tents actually was soothing as long as:

The campers were nestled all snug in their beds.
While visions of dinosaurs danced in their heads.

By the time a filling breakfast of pancakes was consumed the showers at the camp had diminished considerably. A bright full-arc rainbow appeared in the southwest as the rising sun found a break in the clouds to shine directly on the falling droplets. We will take any such sign to portend another great day!
After breakfast Drs. Gordon and Duane left in their RV. The excavation group headed to the quarries. By 10:00am the wind had risen to the point with sprinkles and the temperature (45°) that there was concern about tents blowing away (or breaking) and diggers getting too chilled. We all returned to Camp Cretaceous while the wind howled!
Around 2:00pm a few brave souls returned to the quarries. The wind was still strong and with temperature near 50° the wind chill could really be felt. However, good progress was made!
During dinner we celebrated another birthday, Mary's!
The wind died down, the solid overcast broke, and the sun shone down on the camp. Dr. Lee presented a lecture on the structure of living organisms.
Kathleen arrived just about sundown—fortunately it was still light enough and the winds were still enough that she could still get her tent set up.

Friday, 8 June
At daybreak there was not a cloud in the sky and the winds were absent. The temperature was 41° but the tents were covered with a thin layer of frost. After breakfast, most of the Southern tour group left for a day's visit to the Mammoth Site in Hot Springs, SD and the South Dakota School of Mines Geological Museum in Rapid City, SD. Before returning they picked up to new additions from the Rapid City airport: Christina and Debbie.
Meanwhile, those that were left headed to the quarries for a great morning of excavation. Just before lunch Justin left—he will be returning on Monday. After lunch Dr. Keith, Beth, and Ivan left. Ten of the remaining group returned to camp, cleaned up, and went to Newcastle for laundry, phone calls, groceries, and a meal at a new Mexican Resturant in the Fountain Inn. A few were having so much fun, they remained to work in the quarries.
When everyone returned to camp, Mary had left with Al and Brenda, but Tyke and Ed had arrived. With all the comings and goings, we had 27 people in camp and comfortably settled in as the sun set. This makes a grand total so far of 37 (plus Al and Brenda).
Dr. Larry set up the telescope under the clear skies and trained it on Jupiter and Saturn for those that had not fallen asleep. By 11:30 the sky in the west was dark and the Milky Way could be seen stretching from horizon to horizon.

At the end of today's work, we have recovered 237 specimens.

Saturday, 9 June
The day began with low clouds in the east before sunrise—the kinds that produce a colorful dawn—with the rest of the sky clear. The 24 day old moon (waning crescent) in the southeast was brilliant. The air was still and not too cold—no frosty tents this morning. The only sounds were the low pitched calls of the cows in the next pasture and the twittering bird songs. The planet earth silently and smoothly rotated until the camp experienced the direct rays from the sun at about 6:20. At that point the camp began to stir, but most of the campers remained in, or went back to, the land of dreams.
Breakfast of scrambled eggs (some with cheese and some without), homemade biscuits, sautéed baby portabella mushrooms, and tofu and Zoom (for those who like some variety) was prepared by Drs. Larry, Lee, Lucy, Art, and others. Dr. Lee led out in the morning's worship discussion, and by 11:30am two vans of participants departed for Custer State Park to observe the buffalo, etc. A few went hiking and exploring on the ranch or stayed at Camp Cretaceous to get some extra rest. At noon the temperature was near 70° under a clear sky and a gentle breeze.
By about 5:30pm the expeditions to the next state had returned. Everyone seemed to have had a good time but were tired. The hikers that had returned were also glad to be back since the temperature had reached 77°. Ed left the cretaceous to return to the twenty-first century.
The rest of the evening was leisure time. Dan, Luke, and Lance softly played their guitars. Others sat and chatted. Some rested. Dr. Art led a brief worship to end the day.
Sunday, 10 June
Today promises to be another great day! The temperature as the breakfast crew assembled was around 50° under a clear sky and gentle breeze. The campers opened their tents to an audience—we were all thankful for the fence between us and "the cattle on a thousand hills."
Today is the open house for the project. Citizens from surounding towns and ranches have been invited to come and view the work. We try to leave some large bones partially excavated so that the visitors can observe the work in progress and visualize the incredible resource.
This morning several of the Southern group left: Roger and Taylor, Dr. Edwin, and Leslie.
During the open house between 60 and 70 visitors arrived and toured the camp facilities and the quarries during the afternoon.
Dr. Lee presented the evening's lecture. It was interrupted momentarily about 8:00pm when Curtis, Ed, and Melissa arrived with twelve wonderful students from Trinity Christian Academy in Dallas. It did not take them long to set up their tents and devour a meal of hot dogs!

Monday, 11 June
Well before breakfast, as soon as it was light, Miki drove away. The group had another great breakfast with help from the Trinity students. After breakfast Dr. Lee took the "real" students—those earning credit—for a field experience at Custer State Park. The Trinity group received instruction, tool kits, and were off to the quarries. We reopened the Teague quarry and, with only Tyke left in West quarry, West quarry was left for the day.
Ben arrived in the middle of morning and was immediately put to work. The day was warm with a slight breeze, but the clouds hiding the sun occasionally were welcome. Just before dinner, David arrived. His previous tent had died the year before. Poor David, his new tent was downsized so he could only fit in a queen-sized bed!
Dr. Lee and the students arrived back in time for a quick bite of supper and another lecture by Dr. Lee.
At dusk David unveiled his new addition for this season—a red lighted lawn flamingo that flapped its wings and bobbed its head!
About 2:30am Justin returned bringing with him Heather and Chloe. Uncle Larry had stayed up to greet Heather!

Tuesday, 12 June
The day began overcast and cool—great weather for digging! The "real" students left for Custer State Park with Dr. Lee, and the rest were off to the mines!
Whenever we think we have the perfect day for work, we get a better one! Today was cool, overcast, with a light wind. It sprinkled slightly in the mid afternoon, but not enough to halt the work. Those who sat around were probably slightly chilled. Those that were active felt great. Linee joined the group in the South quarry.
After dinner Dr. Art present a special lecture to the Trinity group.

Wednesday, 13 June
Before daybreak, the campers who were awake were serenaded by the coyotes in the distance. Even before breakfast Dr. Lee left to take Dr. Lucy to the airport. He missed a great meal and will miss his wife for the rest of season!
Throughout the day the temperature was not so hot and the slight overcast dulled the intense rays from the sun. Much good research was accomplished.
Just after lunch the Trinity group left. We will miss their enthusiasm and energy! Dr. Art left until Saturday.
After dinner Dr. Larry presented the lecture.

Thursday, 14 June
Camp Cretaceous seems so empty this morning without the Trinity group. But everyone's spirit is up under clear skies and a gentle breeze.
This has been a good day in the quarries. Many good bones were discovered and extracted; however, we were all ready for supper!
Dr. Lee presented the lecture for the evening. Dan left for the weekend before it got dark.

Friday, 15 June
We now a reached the halfway point. Each participant who stays the entire season will experience 27 nights in his or her tent. We have now spent 14 nights cozy in tents!

This is another beautiful day. The sun arose in a sky with a few clouds in the east to produce a colorful sunrise. Being rested and working in the quiet before everyone arrives to noisily prepare breakfast is a rejuvenation to the spirit.
We were privedged to have a morning worship from Tetsuya. Immediately afterward Dr. Lee drove him to the airport. His gentle spirit will be missed. Clyde and Ben also departed, but we all anticipate seeing them again next year, and the year after, and the year after, ....
With Dr. Larry driving, twelve of the group departed for Hot Springs for laundry and a visit to the Mammoth Site. They returned to Camp Cretaceous in the evening via Mt. Rushmore. On the return trip from Newcastle 115 pronghorn were spotted and, of course, counted. The remainder of the group worked in the morning, but since the GPS equipment was not set up for the day, limited progress was made. They made a laundry run to Newcastle in the afternoon.
Dr. Lee arrived back with a car load of groceries and Dr. Karen. As the group from Hot Springs turned off the road they could not help but notice a MOTOR HOME CAMPER parked just inside the fence line. Jim and Erin had arrived earlier in the afternoon.
Evening worship was greatly enhanced by the songbooks Dr. Karen had assembled for the camp!

Day is dying in the west;
    Heaven is touching earth with rest;
Wait and worship while the night
    Sets her evening lamps alight
Through all the sky.

As it grew dark Dr. Larry set up the telecope and a number observed three of those lamps: Jupiter, Saturn, and Venus. By midnight the skies were clear and dark and the moon was a new moon! Venus was low in the west, and the Milky Way was a bright span across the sky.

At the end of the day we have a bone count of 569. One year ago the count was 621 on the way to a record total of 1182. However, since today was a field trip day without the usual half day of full work, we are on track to collect at least 1000 fossils and possibly break the record!

Saturday, 16 June
The sky in the east slowly brightens. The stars in the sky fade away. The breeze is cool and calm. The birds begin to sing. The clouds above the east horizon turn red and purple. The cattle on the hills joined the chorus to make their presence known even before they can be seen. Some wild creatures are stirring. Some are settling in to sleep. Some are moving out to absorb energy from the sun. It is the dawning of another glorious day!
The campers enjoyed a leisurely late breakfast prepared by the project leaders. Later in the morning we gathered in the great outdoor cathederal under the big tent for worship. Dr. Karen supplied the music and Rory led out in the discussion on wisdom.
After a late lunch the group split into several activities or lack of activities for those who felt the need for extra rest or who flet it was too hot (approximately 80°). At about 6:00 Dr. Lee led several on birding trip down by the Cheyenne River. Even as they left, the storms could be seen approaching, the winds rose, and temperature dropped.
Silvia, Karla, and Arcelia arrived just in time to get their tent set up and join the group for dinner with David's potato salad. Fortunately, the river company had also arrived back after extracting the stuck truck to enjoy the meal with the rest of the group. After threatening for a couple of hours, the rain briefly fell on Camp Cretaceous—just enough to dampen down the dust and cool things off! However, as the setting sun dropped between the clouds and the horizon, a rainbow appeared in the east where it was still raining.
As the Sabbath drew to a close, Carl presented a short worship talk.
Sunday, 17 June
There was some wind throughout the night, but not so bad that it threatened any tents! Dr. Art arrived back with Dr. Berney about 1:30am. The morning was another ideal working morning, with many great fossils located, excavated, measured, photographed, and returned to Camp Cretaceous for shipment to Southwestern. After lunch David drove Chloe to the Rapid City airport.
The afternoon's work was cut short by about 30 minutes as a storm moved in threaten to drench everyone. But by the time the quarries were closed for the day, the storm actual came and went with just a brief cooling light shower.
Cathy, Karen, and Shannon arrived towing a fifth-wheel just in time for dinner. After the regular meal Bethania made a special cake for Father's Day. All the father's in the group were delighted! It was served Texas style: "Remember the À la Mode."
Dr. Art concluded the day's activities with a lecture.

Monday, 18 June
The wind rattled and shook the tents early in the night either lulling occupants to sleep or keeping them awake. By the time the sky began to brighten in the east, it had dropped to a calm. The resident coyotes could be heard sending a wakeup call in the cool (42°) pre-dawn air even before the birds opened their eyes and voices. By 6:15 the camp was bustling as the meal crew prepared another good breakfast and set out the lunch fixin's.
Breakfast, worship, and it was off to the mines! It was a perfect day for working—not too hot, slight wind, clear. Lunch time arrived long before anyone was expecting it—they all were having so much fun! However, it did not take many calls before everyone gathered to enjoy what they had prepared that morning and probably wished they had packed more. In the afternoon more great fossils were found, measured, and excavated.
The evening meal was a camp tradition: David's lima bean lasagna!
Dr. Art presented the evening's lecture.

Tuesday, 19 June
The campers got a good night's rest under calm skies. We are now in the "eat leftovers and foodstuffs on hand" mode, and breakfast was still great! Dr. Larry was sharpening his awl on the newly acquired bench grinder. David's question was, "Is that the daily grind?" After breakfast and worship, Amy, Brian, Katherine, and Cooper left for home. They will be missed. Amy provided good leadership for the Southeast Quarry. The remaining group gathered their packs, water, and tools and left for the quarries. Carl and Marla arrived and were immediately put to work.
Stair Quarry was reopened in the morning after a four-year hiatus.
In the afternoon the last bone was excavated from West Quarry, and the quarry closed. This 4m by 4m "sample quarry" was started in 2003, and finally reached empty matrix below the bone layer. Over the past five seasons the quarry has yielded 527 specimens. This is almost 33 fossils per square meter!
After dinner, the group said their good byes to Jim and Eryn. They will be departing in the morning to continue their cruise of the highways.
Dr. Lee ended the official activities with a lecture on hominids.

Wednesday, 20 June
In the middle of a realtively warm night, the sky was so clear and the stars so bright there was no need for any additional light to avoid tents to find a path to the camp facilities. The Milky Way with Cygus dominated the zenith. Jupiter was brilliant in Scorpius. The Andromeda galaxy could be easily discerned with the unaided eye.
The work in the quarry started with great optimism; however, as the morning wore on and the bones began to accumulate in the quarries and the GPS did not materialize, work slowed. After lunch it was decided that it would be best to utilize the afternoon for laundry and a meal at Isabella's while the GPS was restored. Actually, having phone service in Newcastle is a considerable plus to the restoration of this essential service. We do have considerable redundancy in having two systems that we can do some mixing and matching, but the "dogbone" computer is a critical single-point failure. Several of the group decided to stay and work—we shall see if they regret that decision sometime next week when clean clothes become in short supply for some.
Carl and Marla left after dinner. It was great that they could join us and enjoy working with the bones.
The groups from town returned after the sun had dropped below the western horizon but before it got dark.

Thursday, 21 June
Today is another day of promise. The break yesterday afternoon in the heat of the day, a good night's rest, and a filling breakfast renews everyone's optimism. The prediction is for this day to be a few degrees cooler than yesterday. The hope is that by afternoon the GPS will be functioning and many bones will be ready to be packed away in boxes tonight and a number more exposed. After a hearty breakfast the crew was off to the quarries. Brenda joined the workers in Stair quarry. A light overcast to provide some extra shade and a gentle breeze in the morning made things pleasant. David packed his tent (and flamingo) and drove away in the middle of the morning after coming out to the quarries to say good bye to everyone.
After lunch the wind rose (OK, a little too forceful), the sky cleared, so things were less than perfect. The wind died down somewhat in the late afternoon and the heat became a problem—it sapped everyone's energy but with the proper precautions was workable! However, by about 2:00pm the GPS was functional again and bones could be cleared for another round of discovery.
Dan left before dinner until Saturday, and Dr. Art presented the evening lecture. Karen and Shannon were so interested in the work in Stair quarry, they went back in the evening and worked until dark!

Friday, 22 June
Today is actually a Wednesday, since we had Friday two days ago, at least until about 9:30pm (just before the sun disappears).
After worship Kathleen drove Christina and Debbie to the Rapid City airport and Dr. Karen to Rapid City. Dr. Berney also said his good byes. Silvia, Karla, and Arcelia packed, fixed the camp some tasty food, and left just before lunch.
Brenda worked hard all day in the Southeast Quarry, and in the afternoon Al and a number of the Hanson family came and helped us excavate and process bones. We enjoy having them work with us!
After dinner Dr. Art gave the lecture. A few spent more time in the quarries, but most generally relaxed, until Friday arrived at 9:30pm.
As the sky drew dark Dr. Larry set the telescope to observe the first-quarter moon.

At the end of this day we have identified 919 fossils. This compares with the 982 logged last year by this date. Of course, we did have more participants working last year. It appears likely we will exceed 1000 but probably not reach last year's record of 1182 total!

Saturday, 23 June
The day dawned clear and pleasantly cool (mid 60's). We are all so thankful for a day of rest. Breakfast was at 9:00am—typical Dr. Larry's sabbath breakfast: homemade biscuits, scrambled eggs, and sautéed mushrooms with added tofu and gravy for the vegans and southerners. And, someone insisted on adding grits to the menu at the last minute. We all had plenty of food!
At 11:00 the group gathered under the tent in the outdoor cathederal for music, study and worship led by Dr. Art.
After lunch the afternoon grew rather hot. A few went to the Black Hills; the rest remained in camp and watched videos illustrating the debate between creation and evolotion.
At 6:00 those in camp piled into the van and drove to visit Carolyn and Vern. Before returning to camp we saw the triceratops horn and frill that had been recently discovered on the ranch. It was "frilling" to see the massive structure being excavated. We all returned to camp shortly before the sun dropped below the horizon in the west.
Sunday, 24 June
The beginning of the last week of the season!
This morning dawned warm—about 70°. As a result the normally still morning was filled with sounds of technology as refigerators and air conditioning units operated. It is predicted that today will be another century day with the temperature reaching 100° or above! The breakfast crew was scheduled to arrive an hour early; we plan to get to the quarry an hour and a half early; work to early afternoon; then take a break for a good meal, lecture, rest, study, etc.; and return to the work in the late afternoon and early evening. At 5:40 the meal crew arrived. The breakfast call went out at 6:05, and the meal was consumed by 6:35, and, since lunches did not need to be fixed, worship started promptly, and by 7:00 people began to depart for the quarries!
It was great to take advantage of the cool morning, but everyone was quite starved by the time lunch came at 2:00 even though some snacks were brought down to the quarries about 11:00. Dr. Marcus arrived in the late morning.
Drs. Art, Lee, Larry, and Marcus along with others headed off to the HRS board meeting. The rest of the group generally cooled their bones until about 6:00pm and returned to the quarries in the cool of the evening for 3 to 4 hours.

Monday, 25 June
Because of predicted cooler temperatures today, we are back on a regular schedule. Last night was warm and the wind gusted which disturbed the sleep of some, but by morning it had grown calm.
This is the time of the season that we begin to think of closing the quarries gracefully. The mantra for the week is, "Don't find any new bones, especially big ones!" Of course, typically we encounter a femur during the last day or two!
It has been a splendiferous day of work. Granted, it was quite warm in the afternoon, but good progress was done in finishing excavating the exposed bones and closing down some quarries. Teague Quarry was closed for the season.
Dr. Lee presented the lecture. It was pleasant to have some relaxing time in the cool, calm evening.

The fossil count has now reached 1006! This is the second highest on the all-time list.

Tuesday, 26 June
The calm of the evening did not last. Sometime early in the morning, before the 11 day old moon sat, a Wyoming breeze arrived. The noise of the gusty wind was quite "intents" at times. The wind abated considerably by breakfast and an inspection showed that no tents were damaged..
Cathy, Karen, and Shannon said their good byes after worship, and drove slowly away as the remaining workers began the day's work in the remaining open quarries. The morning work was done under overcast skies and a cooling breeze—it was cool enough to dress in a few layers that were discarded by noon.
After lunch the actual students returned to camp for the afternoon to study and review all the wonderous things they were to have learned throughout the experience. The last bone for the season was extracted from North Quarry. Al and Brenda arrived at Camp Cretaceous in the middle of the afternoon.
Everyone was in the camp for dinner, and afterward a few went back to the quarries while Dr. Art lectured.

Wednesday, 27 June
The last scheduled day of work in the quarries for the season arrived under calm, clear skies. The plan is to extract the remaining fossils from the remaining open quarries, and close down and winterize all the quarries. The students will be sitting their final exam this morning.
Dr. Marcus left in the middle of the morning. After finishing the final exam, the students came down to help the rest cast and pull bones that had been previously found, By early afternoon all the quarries were closed with all the bones to be pulled extracted and sun shelters and other tools put away except for Stair Quarry. This morning the fundamental rule of the last week was violated: "Do not find any big bones!"
After dinner, Dr. Larry gave a talk about our planet in the universe. However, Dr. Art led a few back to tackle the last big bone!
The evening was cool, overcast with a slight wind, and the students relaxed since the study pressure was off.

The number of bones, teeth, tendons, etc. extracted in 2007 is 1038. This is comparable with other years: bones recovered. The number of bones catalogued is not necessarily the best measure of the success of a season. The number of fossils depends on the number of participants and does not distinguish between a small bone fragment or tendon and a femur.

yearfossils
catalogued
participant
days
ratio
2001721  
2002992  
200310024132.43
20048835871.50
20057756171.22
200611827821.51
200710386571.58

The participant days is the total number of days participants were on-site. It is not corrected for "days off." The ratio is the number of fossils recovered per participant per day.

Thursday, 28 June
Today is the day to break camp—tents come down, sleeping bags rolled, clothes and personal items packed, bones get put into vehicles, remaining food eaten, taken, or disposed, the kitchen utensils organized and wrapped, the camp cleaned, and everyone leaves! As it grows light out, the skies are overcast, it is cool, and the winds are calm—an ideal day for packing and leaving!
Mid-morning Dr. Lee and Carl drove away. By 1:00pm the van, driven by Dr. Art with Rory and Tyke left to drop Dr. Larry and Heather off at the Rapid City airport. The truck pulling the trailer loaded with bones and personal items left shortly thereafter and, with the car driven by Kathleen, headed south. Al and Brenda were left to complete some work and winterize the camp.

Friday, 29 June
The expedition arrived back in Keene about 4:00pm and after unloading the riders were happy to head off to see family and friends and take a long shower and a good night's rest!



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