Dinosaur Excavation and Taphonomic Research Project

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Notes 2001 2003   Project history  

History will be kind to me for I intend to write it.   
Winston Churchill

Notes from the Field - The Latest News!


The daily updates to these "diary" pages were initiated in 2003 with the installation of the Satellite Internet connection. The material here is taken from Field Note Books and other records that were recorded during this season.

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

Sunday, 2 June
Met in the evening to pack the van and trailer for an early morning departure.

Monday, 3 June
Left Keene at 5:30 am

Tuesday, 4 June
Arrived at the ranch house at 3:45am! Slept until way past dawn. In the afternoon went to the quarry site and began to open things up by removing the barbed wire and black plastic winterization material. In the North Quarry several participants were assigned the task of continuing leveling the quarry floor.
The facilities at the camp site were not available for use. We were invited to "camp" in the ranch house, and were extremely greatful for the protection from the elements, toilet facilities, and kitchen area to use. This is actually much better than sleeping in tents, but we did lose time in transporting to and from the quarry site.
In the afternoon we all went to the quarry site. New participants explored the area while the quarries were opened for work—remove barbed wire enclosures, pull up black plastic and other coverings. The straw that we used last summer really help mark the starting surface. By late afternoon we were resuming progress in the quarries!

Wednesday, 5 June
Continued leveling North Quarry floor and set up GPS system. Used this to establish marked corners around each quarry. Extensive work, under the direction of Amy, was begun on the New (Teague) Quarry by removing overburden above the bone layer. Stair quarry was readied for work.

Thursday, 6 June
The flood of bones began to be found, photographed, positions measured and removed.

Friday, 7 June
This was a normal short day—off to Newcastle for laundry and dinner at the Pizza Barn.

Saturday, 8 June
After worship services in the morning, the group left for the Blackhills region to see Mt Rushmore and Custer State Park.
Sunday, 9 June

Monday, 10 June

Tuesday, 11 June
The original North Quarry, as marked out in 1996 and 1997, was an area 8m wide extending about 5m back into the side of the ridge. At the back (south edge), the original ridge surface was about 1 to 1.5m above the quarry floor. Today, the original area of the North Quarry was completely finished and leveled to a sloping elevation beneath the bone layer!

Wednesday, 12 June
Larry was happy to see his daughter, Sonja, and fiancee, Ralph, arrive in the evening.

Thursday, 13 June

Friday, 14 June
After laundry and shopping in Newcastle for groceries, the group had dinner at the Pizza Hut.

Saturday, 15 June
Larry left early with Sonja and Ralph to visit sites in the Black Hills. They returned late, but in time for a group lecture on God and Nature.
Sunday, 16 June
Open House! In the morning we prepared quarries and the camp site for the onslaught of visitors in the afternoon. They came, they saw, they enjoyed! Then we went back to work and began the process of removing specimens that had been left partially exposed for the Open House.

Monday, 17 June

Tuesday, 18 June
The camp facilities are now available—we took the day to move from the ranch house to the camp site, set up tents, store supplies, and clean the house that we were so thankful to use!

Wednesday, 19 June
There is no lack of bones to be found!

Thursday, 20 June

Friday, 21 June
Another laundry and dinner day in Newcastle—Old Mill cafe.

Saturday, 22 June
Sunday, 23 June

Monday, 24 June
Another joyous day for Larry—Cathy arrived in the evening at the Rapid City airport!

Tuesday, 25 June
Life really was great for Larry with the arrival of his son, Jason, late in the day.

Wednesday, 26 June
All exposed bones in North Quarry were processed—the quarry was closed for the season. All participants now working in South of New (Teague) Quarries.

Thursday, 27 June
Larry, Jason, and Cathy took the day to go to the Blackhills, to visit Carolyn and Phyllis in Rapid City on the day they both had surgery. Cathy left.

Friday, 28 June
The group never gets tired of clean clothes and pizza—this time at the Pizza Hut.

Saturday, 29 June
In the afternoon, Al and Brenda took the group to Cascade Falls and a small park nearby. We packed a picnic dinner. It was an altogether pleasant way of spending time with friends!
Sunday, 30 June
Started to close quarries for the season by constructing berms to route water around rather than through the quarries, covering any exposed bones, and placing barbed wire around portions of the quarries.
Just under 1000 teeth, tendons, bone fragments, and complete bones were located and recovered in this season!

Monday, 1 July
Cleaned up the camp site, and after a visit to Carolyn at the ranch house, the van left for Keene about 6:40pm.

Tuesday, 2 July
Arrived in Keene about 3:30pm!

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