Dinosaur Excavation and Taphonomic Research Project

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Write the bad things that are done to you in sand, but write the good things that happen to you on a piece of marble.
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Notes from the Field - The Latest News!

2008


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


Thursday, 29 May
The expedition was originally planned to leave Keene at 6:00am, but there was a delay in obtaining the rental truck. It was nearly noon that the van and truck with the trailer were on the road with Dr. Art and Justin driving, respectively. The group include quarry supervisor Tyke, students Tony, Christopher, Jessica, Cason, and Chris. In addition Gabriel with 20-month old Eyrelynn (mother is Jessica) and Tina also set out on the long trek.

Friday, 30 May
After some adventures waiting out a tornado watch, and detouring around a closed I-80 because of tornado damage, the Keene group arrived safely but tired early in the morning. Austin and Arthur arrived independently as did Elsie. Miki got to camp at about the same time Drs. Larry and Cathy drove in with Jill and Matthew in the late afternoon.
A few sprinkles did not interfere with everyone setting up this tents. After a welcome dinner and evening worship, the nineteen people in camp retired for a good night's sleep.

Saturday, 31 May
Sunrise came with a brief shower and a few semi-awake participants. The rain did not seem to dampen the singing of the birds. Sliced strawberries on homemade biscuits, scrambled eggs, and grits were on the menu for a leisurely breakfast. By the time all the food was consumed and the kitchen cleaned, the sky had cleared—an all together glorious day!
The worship message was brought to us by Gabriel. His message was sandwiched between active and beautiful singing of praise songs. In the late afternoon the group drove to Twin Towers where some time was spent just looking and exploring. Dinner and a relaxing evening followed by a perfect night to sleep set everyone up for an early morning day to get to work!
Sunday, 1 June
This is the day the fun begins! A trip to Rapid City to purchase supplies and pick up some new members of the group and opening the quarries will be the dominant activities. The morning arrived cool (≈50°) but dry. The 27-day old moon was a thin crescent low in the east in the pre-dawn sky. The group has not yet been separated into chore groups, so Tyke and Miki were up early to make a waffle breakfast.
After breakfast, Dr. Cathy, Jill, and Matthew left to explore the Black Hills. Dr. Art left with Justin to Rapid City to pick up three new members of the group and for Justin to catch a plane—he will be gone for a few days. Took kits were checked out, safety instructions were covered, and the group left for the quarries.
The day turned out to be a great beginning. By evening a number of previously (from last season) located bones were further exposed and new bones discovered. By tomorrow we should have the GPS up and running and can start pulling bones!
Dr. Larry found the first theropod tooth of the season—it was lying on the surface by the Hoodoo Hut—when he went to get a drink of water! We do try to impress how important adequate hydration is!
After a great dinner with homemade vegeburgers, the rest of the evening was rest for the muscles that had not been accustomed to the work in the quarry. Donald, Melody, and Jesse arrived after dinner, but there was plenty of food left for their needs.
At dusk Dr. Art returned with Kathleen, Dr. Zury, and David P., and a truck load of groceries and other supplies.

Monday, 2 June
This is really the first full day of the working season. Chore groups are set, quarries open, an evening lecture for the students is scheduled.
Daybreak was overcast—we had a few episodes of light rain in the night. The work proceeded as if it had not stopped eleven months before. Dr. Art arrived at the quarries in the early afternoon with a working GPS to process the bones that were ready. We managed to clear a number of bones and are ready to find more tomorrow. The first box of bones is packed and sealed and ready to be transported to Keene.
Just before dinner Dr. Lee and Michael arrived for a few hours. They are planning to return for an extended stay tomorrow.
Drs. Larry and Art finished the day with lecture on the history of the project.

Tuesday, 5 June
This was a another great day in the quarries. The gentle breeze under a clear sky with a few fluffy clouds kept the temperature just perfect for extended work in the quarries. Dr. Larry received word that his wife, Dr. Cathy, was ill and left camp for the day to be with her in Newcastle. This day saw the arrival of five new participants: Dr. Lee, Michael, Carl, Brandon, and Zachary. They brought the total to 26 in camp for a good night's rest with a total of 30 eager diggers so far.
Dr. Art ended the day with a lecture.

Wednesday, 4 June
This day shows the promise of another perfect day—but of course the weather can change quite quickly. Dr. Larry left right after breakfast to spend the day with his family—Dr. Cathy was still ill.
It was a good day in the quarry with many new bones discovered, catalogued, and removed. The rain for the day came at the end of work day. David arrived and set up his gigantic tent—but no pink flamingo this year!
Dr. Art ended the day with a lecture.

Thursday, 5 June
It is overcast with the weather report threatening rain during the day. The clouds do keep the work cool. Dr. Larry left in mid-morning to be with Dr. Cathy. He returned to camp in the early evening. Dr. Cathy was discharged from the hospital and is on her way home with Jill and Matthew. Dr. Fred and Virginia arrived in the afternoon over a dry Morrisey road. Two hours later Dr. Larry found the road impassible due to a previous rain storm over that end of the road. He took the long route (25 mi versus 15 mi) via Cheyenne River Road without a problem. Al and Jaron arrived to spend a few days with us.
The group experienced some showers which were sufficient to make the matrix soft without too much mud! The weather did bring some moderate wind—this is beginning to feel like Wyoming!
After dinner, Dr. Art presented a lecture on the anatomy of a dinosaur.
In the evening we lost our internet connection—by Murphy it only happened when Justin was away.

Friday, 6 June
The wind died down during the early night and by dawn the skies were clear and cool (≈50° by daybreak). The morning's work was totally enjoyable under sunny skies but with a cooling breeze. Just after lunch the North Quarry people returned to camp for showers and to collect their dirty clothes. An hour later the rest of the excavators returned, and by 3:00pm the group was off to Newcastle for laundry, groceries, and dinner with a few exceptions who stayed at Camp Cretaceous.
At last—a Wyoming wind blew up in the late afternoon. However, except for a few pushed down tents and a broken rod here or there everything survived. Intermittent sprinkles followed as the wind died down late in the early evening. With the sun low in the west a rainbow could be seen as the rain moved to east.
The internet connection is still down, but we have diagnosed it to one failed device whne it was left uncovered and drips from the ceiling found it—a replacement is on order. We can only hope it will not be long!
Dr. Lee picked up Bethania and Heston at the Rapid City airport. They all arrived late, safe but tired. With Al (and Eyrelynn) we have 33 persons in camp.

At the end of the this first week of work, we had recovered 248 fossils.

Saturday, 7 June
The morning arrived with a spectacular sunrise. The day is overcast and cool but with almost no wind through the night everyone got a good night's rest. Breakfast was not until 9:00am so people can sleep in but there were a few up and moving by 7:00. It is hard to change the sleep patterns of the rest of the week!
Worship started at 11:00am sharp under the "circus tent." Austin and Gabriel provided the musical accompaniment with a flute and guitar, respectively. Gabriel presented the message for the morning.
After a wonderful dinner, the van left for Mt. Rushmore and to pick up Chloe at the Rapid City airport. Others went on a hike to the far corners of the ranch, and a few took the opportunity to rest up and to be on-hand in camp in case the weather brought wind and/or rain! Dr. Larry finally made contact with his wife. Dr. Cathy, Jill, and Matthew arrived home. Cathy is feeling considerably better.
In the late afternoon Amy, Katherine, Cooper, and Christi drove into Camp Cretaceous.
The van arrived back late with a group of tired persons.
Sunday, 8 June
This is another perfect day. After breakfast the van left with a group for the Crazy Horse Volksmarch— a 10km hike up to the sculpture. Those who make it to the top can walk out on what will become his outstretched arm and look him right in the chin! Afterwards they are planning to stop in Hill City at the Black Hills Institute.
David and Tyke left in the truck to take Dr. Zury to the Rapid City airport, do some grocery shopping, and pick up some incoming participants. In the early morning Donald, Melody, and Jesse left. In the mid-afternoon, Miki said goodbye to the cretaceous until next year.
Drs. Art, Larry, and Lee spent the latter part of the afternoon in an HRS (Hanson Research Station) board meeting. While they were gone, the group of 22 eighth graders from Trinity Christian Academy arrived under the leadership of Curtis, Joe, and Melissa. This is the fifth year they have visited and worked with us. Dr. Art presented a special introduction to dinosaurs and the project to the group.
In the evening David and Tyke returned with lots of supplies and Celeste and Josh and Dr. Zury! Zury's flight was delayed, and she decided to stay another week!
It was quite late when the van returned from the day's outing. They had also picked up Dr. Lucy from the airport.
We had a total of 61 persons overnighting at Camp Cretaceous.

Monday, 9 June
This day promises to be another great day. Dawn arrived cool (≈40°), clear, with no wind. Teague quarry was officially opened. This provided additional quarry space for the Trinity students. The GPS was not set up until late morning—when Dr. Art arrived with the "GPS" call everyone was relieved to see it so bones could be processed and cleared so they could excavate further. In the middle of the afternoon, Ben arrived. After the food chore crew left to get dinner a storm moved in. The total amount of rain was just some sprinkles, but there was lightning in the storm, so it seemed to be prudent to close the quarries about an hours early and get everyone back to camp. Of course, by that time, the weather had cleared—the major center of rain moved toward the east well south of the quarries and Camp Cretaceous. For some reason, such as lack of sleep from the previous late night, almost everyone was quite happy to quit a little early.
Dr. Larry has been sharpening dull awls that have been heavily used. We have a good supply, so generally excavators trade around. It's:

Awl for one
And one for awl.

In the quarries everyone gives it their awl! Yes, that is simply awlful!
After dinner Austin B. and Stephen arrived in time to set up their tent before it got dark. The lecture for the evening was canceled.

Tuesday, 10 June
This morning arrived somewhat warmer and breezier than the previous day. Interestingly, the wind was from the east rather than the normal west. The sunrise was accompanied with another beautiful display. We are conscious of the well-known ditty:

Red in morning,
   paleontologists take warning.
Red at night,
   paleontologists delight!

Since we do not have internet access yet, we can only guess what the day's weather will be. Of course, we could use the low-tech "listen to the local radio!" Today is the fifth day without this absolutely vital communication. Sigh!
By the time breakfast was consumed, lunches made, and morning worship concluded, all but the cleaning crew headed for the quarries. The day is overcast and with a wind from the east. It felt on the cool side, but the trip to the quarries warmed everyone.
Jessica arrived shortly after breakfast to document the project for the Southwestern Adventist University's Public Relations Department. She will be with us for the day. Drs. Lee and Lucy left to pickup some supplies in Rapid City and to collect Justin at the airport.
The day turned out to be perfectly warm with a breeze to keep everything comfortable.
After dinner, the doctors and Justin arrived back in camp. Dr. Art canceled the lecture for the evening.
This night the camp has a total of 64 persons sleeping here. This is a record!

Wednesday, 11 June
Last evening was quite windy. The sounds of a tent either lulled one to sleep or made sleep difficult. By midnight, or so, the wind had died out and the rest of the dark hours was peaceful. The dawning of today was under an overcast sky. The temperature was slightly warmer, but it seemed quite a bit warmer, than the past few days.
During breakfast the skies to the west were threatening, but the rain never materialized. We all worked hard this morning under overcast skies. The working conditions again were just about perfect. The clouds move out just after the lunch break and the wind rose as the afternoon progressed.
The Trinity group worked until lunchtime, then returned to camp, packed up, and departed in the middle of the afternoon. Camp Cretaceous will seem almost empty without their enthusiam. They have made a significant contribution to our project, and we will miss them. May God be with them during the rest of their trip! We look forward to another group next season!
Jo Ann, Austin's mother, arrived in the early afternoon. Ben departed in the evening.
The evening lecture was brought to us by Dr. Lee.
Once, again the group settled in their tents to the sounds of a windy evening. The first quarter moon provided a "night light" for about half of the night.

We have reached a bone count of over 500, and we still have many days of the excavation season to go!

Thursday, 12 June
With the dawning of a new day, the skies were clear except for a few clouds in the east to interact with the rising sun to produce another glorious sunrise, the wind was calm, and the temperature cool (mid to upper 30°'s). The consensus is that this morning was the coolest morning so far of the season. This also means everyone will work vigorously in the quarries until the sun warms them. Hmmmm! That sounds like a behavior attributed to dinosaurs! However, we will permit no basking in the early morning sun!
After breakfast Dr. Fred and Virginia departed in their motor home. They took David P. to the airport on their way back to the twenty-first century. During the day the skies were overcast with the threat of rain—we only got a few sprinkles—before turning partially sunny. It would have been another perfect day, but the wind increased from the west throughout the afternoon. South and Southeast quarries bore the brunt of the sand and dust carried wind scouring across the flat expanse bertween them. It was considerably more pleasant in the North quarry.
In the middle of the afternoon Erin arrived.
After dinner the group celebrated Austin's birthday—it is actually tomorrow. Happy Birthday Austin!!!!
Dr. Spencer presented the evening's lecture.
We have been isolated from the internet now for one full week—no news, no e-mail, and no updates to the server. In the twenty-first century seven days without internet, makes one weak! Only a few of the participants have cell phones that can connect in or near camp. We are truly on an expedition to the cretaceous!
The wind we observed during the day subsided by the time it got dark so everyone could get to sleep easily.

Friday, 13 June
For those staying the full season, they get the fun of sleeping in a tent for 27 nights. We now have 14 nights completed!
Daylight arrived under clear skies somewhat warmer than the previous morning (in the low 40°'s). After breakfast and worship the van left for Hot Springs. Those who went in the van had the opportunity for laundry, a visit to the Mammoth Site, and a dinner out. Austin and his family left for the weekend to have an extended celebration of his birthday. Chris L. and Carson accompanied them. The rest of the group carried on the usual morning's activities—the attraction to work in the quarries outweighed the attraction of Hot Springs. Of course, a "turn you into mush" massage in one of the Hot Springs' spas sounds really, really inviting at this point!
The morning's work was one of those perfect God provided days. It was sunny, but not too hot with a slight breeze. At 2:00 the quarries were closed down for the day and all returned to Camp Cretaceous for a shower and a gathering of dirty clothes in anticipation of a trip to Newcastle. At the laundromat the process was: 1. put clothes in washer, 2. talk to loved ones on a cell phone, 3. put clothes in dryer, 4. talk on cell phone, 5. fold clothes, 6. talk some more on cell phone, 7. etc. After collecting clean clothes there was time for some grocery shopping and dinner. The Newcastle expeditions returned to Camp Cretaceous before sunset.
The van, that journeyed to the Black Hills, arrived back quite late after their expedition, shopping, and picking up Tetsuya and Carolina at the Rapid City airpost.

At the end of the second week of work, we had recovered a total of 587 bones, teeth, and tendons.

Saturday, 14 June
The sun arose in a calm, cool (≈50°) sky. The only cloud that could be seen was in the east over the Black Hills. At 9:00am, the meal bell rang and there was a rush for the hot biscuits, scrambled eggs, and grits prepared by Drs. Larry, Lee, and Art, respectively. David prepared gravy, Tyke mixed the juice, and other leaders set out all the condiments, utensils, etc. There was even enough grits for Dr. Art to get some!
Dr. Lucy provided the musical accompanyment for enthusiastic singing, and Dr. Art present the worship message.
After lunch, Drs. Lee and Lucy and Art left to drive Bethania to the Rapid City airport. The Drs. will return later this evening!
The afternoon was quite warm and sunny with a gentle breeze. The remaining group did some hiking around the ranch, rested, read, or basically relaxed and enjoyed the Sabbath nature.
Dinner was a Camp Cretaceous annual tradition—David's awesome (drum roll, please) lima bean lasagna! We tried to save some for the Drs. when then returned—it wasn't easy! Tyke made brownies for dessert.
About 8:00pm the Drs. returned just in time to see the van head for the Cheyenne River for some exploration. Mark arrived in time to set up his tent before the day ended in worship. He is here for a few days to help resolve a few problems we have encountered with the GPS equipment.
Sunday, 15 June
The earth rotated so that this part was no longer in the shadow from the sun. It is a clear day, calm wind, and reasonable temperature for Father's Day and the Hanson Ranch Open House in the afternoon. In mid-morning Dr. Zury left for the airport. We can only hope her flight is delayed and she will just have to stay another week!
In the afternoon, 2:00–5:30 was the annual Hanson Ranch Open House. We worked in the quarries and explained things and answered question of the approximately 80 visitors. It was a delight to see Phyllis Hanson visit the camp and the quarries.
Mark worked with Justin and Dr. Art all day on improvements to help our GPS equipment operate more robustly so it was not available for work in the quarries. Therefore, by late afternoon quarries were clogged with bones waiting for their position to be measured and recorded and removed so excavation can resume below them.
Dinner was late (7:20pm) and was leftovers, but delicious!
The scheduled lecture for the evening was canceled.
This is the end of the tenth day without vital internet connectivity. The situation is past desperate for many!

Monday, 16 June
During the night some souls were entertained (perhaps disturbed–possibly totally unaware) as the edge of a thunderstorm passed over Camp Cretacious and brought showers, lightning, and thunder. By daybreak the sky was covered with broken clouds with a moderate east wind. We shall see if the showers served to dampen the quarries and make it easier to work, or soaked them making mud and impossible to work!
After everyone had departed to the quarries, Carl, Zach, Brandon, and Michael left to rejoin the present.
The days excavation progressed well. A number of the bones in Southeast Quarry were actually removed. They had to work under windy conditions, whereas North Quarry was quite sheltered.
In the early afternoon six visitors that had missed the Hanson Ranch Open House came by for a tour. Perhaps we were able to recruit their five-year old son to join us in a few years.
Mark departed after dinner. Dr. Lee ended the day's activities with another lecture. Those who were not in the lecture were entertained by a thunderstorm moving west to east south of the camp. We did get a some sprinkles from the north edge of the cell. Paul arrived after the lecture (and thunderstorm) but before dark.
This is now day eleven of no internet service.

Tuesday, 17 June
The night was great for sleeping—little wind, not too cool, quiet, big night light! The dawn revealed just a few clouds in the sky.
After breakfast Amy, Katherine, Cooper, and Christi departed. In the mid-afternoon Erin left.
The day in the quarry was sunny and warm, but very productive. Sometime in the middle of the day Jo Ann slipped away.
Dr. Art started the lecture early, so we would have time for Paul to demonstrate hula hoop techniques. All of his tricks were great, but the 45 lb tractor tire "hula hoop" was quite impressive! Dr. Berney arrived in time to set up his tent before the show.
This is now day twelve of no internet service. This outage affects not only the operations of project in that we cannot update the server with daily data, but there are students and others in the twenty-first century that need to contact teachers in Camp Cretaceous. There are students here attempting to take on-line courses elsewhere. And, of course, there are interested people on the outside that cannot trace the progress of the work.

Wednesday, 18 June
Dr. Lee drove Dr. Lucy and Josh to the Rapid City airport, leaving before daybreak under a cloudy sky. The day warmed up as the clouds dissipated, and great progress was made. After lunch, David and Chloe left. He is to drop her at the Rapid City airport before heading south. Dr. Art ended the day with another lecture.
The evening was cool with partial overcast and without too much wind—an altogther pleasant night to sleep.
This is now day thirteen of being cutoff from the world. However, there is hope. The replacement module arrived and partial connectivity was made—we can receive but not transmit! Which means we cannot initiate any reception. Hopefully, early tomorrow we will actually be able to communicate!

Thursday, 19 June
There was the rumbling of thunder at times during the night, but the camp only received some light sprinkles. Drs. Art and Berney left very, very early to deliver Carolina to the Rapid City airport. Later Dr. Lee will transport Heston to the same intermediate destination. The three Drs. are planning to spend much of the day to visit people at the Black Hills Institute museum to discuss bones! Therefore, Dr. Larry is in charge!!
When the meal crew came back to camp, Jim and Eryn were setting up their tent. Dr. Art presented the evening's lecture. A thunderstorm moved across the camp with an intense but brief downpour and thunderous sounds that interrupted the lecture—the center of the cell moved across south of Camp Cretaceous. While the rain was intense for the most part it wasn't in tents—just the way we like it! As the storm moved away and containers were carefully placed below the drips from the ceiling, God reminded us of His promises—a beautiful full-arch double rainbow could be seen.
The internet connection is still not working. This is now two full weeks—fourteen days. Double sigh!!!

Friday, 20 June
In the night we had some more rain, but it was a mere shower compare to the previous evening. People slept well snug in their tents with dreams of dinosaurs dancing in their heads. The sun rose in a sky of broken clouds to the east and clear in the west.
After breakfast with homemade cinnamon rolls courtesy of Tyke, the camp experienced an electrical power failure. And, of course, with no power, there is no water. Fortunately, except for cleaning, we are in pretty good shape for the morning.
The group gathered for worship and headed toward the quarries.
It is another great day. While there was mud in places in the quarry floors, because the working surface had been covered, the actual excavation work proceeded with vigor. Electrical power was restored to camp within an hour or two. It seemed to be a more general outage and not just a local problem.
Just after lunch the group closed the quarries and returned in two waves for showers and to gather laundry and depart for Newcastle. When the first group arrived at camp, Al was setting up his tent and Brenda was at the ranch house—this means their first grandson had been born: 7lb 7oz Jason Alexander! Congratulations to parents and grandparents!!!
In Newcastle while cleaning clothes and cell phoning, Dr. Eric and Loretta caught up with the group. They are planning to come to camp and the site on a day basis for the next few days. Ed arrived and Tyke chose to stay with him in Newcastle rather than a tent for the night. The day ended with a meal at Isabella's. We all thank Dr. Eric for treating us to dessert!
A thunderstorm had rolled through Newcastle in the mid-afternoon with a funnel cloud spotted after the sky had cleared where we were and the sun and rain had created a double rainbow in the east. There was concern, at least by the driver of the van, Dr. Larry, that the road into camp might be wet and slippery, but it was just fine! The trip back to Camp Cretaceous was uneventful except for a brillant sunset.
Another day without internet, but at least most could use a cell phone while in Newcastle to reach loved ones.

At the end of the third week, we had discovered, located, and catalogued 837 fossils.

Saturday, 21 June
The night was a very peaceful with the sun rising in a clear sky dominated by a waning gibbous moon until it paled as the sun finally began to warm directly the camp. Dr. Eric and Loretta joined us for breakfast and worship and Al and Brenda were with the group for worship—Gabriel presented the message.
We now have internet connectivity. However, the decision has been made to disconnect it until evening in case there would be a rush to access it. Of course this simply means a shorter time for everyone to try to get their e-mail, etc. in the evening! At least the "Daily News Notes from the Field" was able to be uploaded during the availability interval. It is hard to wait to see if there are any messages from loved ones or to be able communicate with family.
This day is the 100th celebration of the ranch. The Hanson family invited friends and family. We were honored to be included.
Sunday, 22 June
We have another glorious day. After breakfast, Peter and Jonathan arrived, and Tyke returned! In the mid-morning Dr. Eric and Loretta returned for a couple of hours and were put to work digging.
The afternoon was warm and productive. The quarries, with a few exceptions are cleaning up nicely. We would like to leave the quarries for the year with no exposed bones. A notable exception is in North Quarry. Carson uncovered the end of what appears to be a fibula with about 24 in back under about four feet of matrix in the adjacent square. His work is cut out for him during the next three days!
Dr. Lee ended the day's activities with a lecture on hominids.

Monday, 23 June
In the wee hours of the morning a thunderstorm rumbled through. Camp Cretaceous got some wind and sprinkles that chased those "Dreams of dinosaurs dancing in their heads." Another brief shower about breakfast time came under dark clouds. However by the time the group headed to the quarries, the sky was hazy with some clouds, but altogether pleasant! Dr. Lee left just after breakfast.
This was another great day. We are not uncovering and cataloging many new bones, but the quarries are getting in shape for the off-season.
Ed came for a visit with Tyke (and the rest of the group)! Dr. Art finished the day with a lecture.

Tuesday, 24 June
On this penultimate day in quarries, the sun rose in a clear sky with a few clouds over the Black Hills to produce a colorful dawn that overshadowed the bright third-quarter moon. Peter and Jonathan left early—before breakfast. Jim and Eryn left in the middle of the afternoon. However, about the time the dinner crew returned David and Valarie arrived.
There was no lecture so that the students could spend the time studying for their fianl exam tomorrow. Several of them spent the late evening watching a Jurassic Park movie. We shall see how that will help them!
About 10:00 pm a thunderstorm moved across the camp with wind, and rain, and lightning, and thunder, and rain, and wind, and wind. However, the camp survived quite well—water found its way into a few tents, but no one was soaked. Within an hour the atmosphere was clear and quiet.

Wednesday, 25 June
This last day in the quarries arrived under clear, calm skies. The birds are up announcing the new day with their calls. The morning's work was exactly as we had planned—clear the quarries of exposed bones. David and Valarie left late in the morning.
After lunch the students returned to camp to study for their final exam. The rest continued to work and clean and winterize the quarries. By the time the test was finished and dinner arrived (7:00pm) all quarries except one were ready for the winter. A thunderstorm passed through camp to make this last evening memorable. However, by the time it began to get dark, the skies were fairly clear.

At the end of the 2008 season, we had recovered 959 bones, teeth, etc. This was the fifth-most productive year in terms of numbers. In many ways if was one of the most productive years. We found some interesting and exciting specimens. We had a record number of people in camp on one night—64. We had a near record number of participant days. Generally, the weather was not too cold nor too hot. The only intense rain was in the evening or night. The wind never reached its usual Wyoming strength. The land was green and wildflowers were in abundance. It was an altogether great year! God blessed the season.

Thursday, 26 June
The day promises to be a dry one. This is good because we would like the tents to dry before packing them up. The really good news is that we still have 21 people in camp, and we have already made a good start on cleaning and packing to prepare Camp Cretaceous. Many of the bones are already packed into the trailer. This great start and the many hands should complete the remaining tasks quickly. Our aim is to leave by noon. Dr. Larry, Celeste, and Kathleen have flights from the Rapid City airport—Dr. Berney will take them. This group must leave by noon!
In the early afternoon, Arthur and Austin departed with their fifth-wheel. Stephen and Austin B. left in their car. Tyke had a ride with her husbamd Ed. Elsie's truck decided it wanted to stay. The van and truck and trailer full of bones heading to Keene finally left about 3:00. Al was working with Elsie so she could get away.

Friday, 27 June
After the long and tiring journey the caravan (truck-a-van) arrived safely back to Southwestern Adventist University. One of the primary thoughts on everyone's minds was a long shower! Seeing family and loved ones was also right there at the top of the list. For a few, thoughts were already on next year!



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