Dinosaur Excavation and Taphonomic Research Project

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The Moving Finger writes; and, having writ,   
Moves on:  nor all thy Piety nor Wit
Shall lure it back to cancel half a Line,
Nor all thy Tears wash out a Word of it.
Omar Khayyám

Notes from the Field - The Latest News!


A special thanks to Marla Seasly for supplying the news information from Saturday, 25 Jun, until the end of the season in Wyoming.

All times given are Texas time, [CDT (Cretaceous Daylight Time)]. Local time is actually one hour earlier [MDT (Mesozoic Daylight Time)].

Wednesday, 1 June
The anticipation and excitement are building. Those who can, meet in the early evening to pack the trailer.

Thursday, 2 June
This is the day the 2011 expedition begins!! The launch hour is 6:00am.

We actually got away at 7:45am! Drs. Art and Larry each drove one of the shuttle craft (van) and Justin was the pilot of the truck pulling our new trailer!

With them were students Kaitlyn and Sara and participants Mikie, Rose, Erin, Janessa, and Tetsuya. The path to the Cretaceous was north to Salina, Kansas, west to Hays, Kansas, north to I80, west to Ogallala, Nebraska, then northwest to Scotts Bluff, Nebraska, and finally turning north on highway 85 in Wyoming. Even with several stops for fuel, stretching at rest stops, and eating lunch and dinner we really did make good time. Sundown found us in northern Kansas where we stopped to fix the fuse in the truck's trailer light system before it got dark. Changing drivers kept the convoy moving through the night....

Friday, 3 June
... and early morning with an extended stop for a few hours before dawn so everyone, especially the drivers, could get caught up on some sleep.

We drove in the southern leg on the Cheyenne River Road stopping at the Hanson Ranch house to give our greetings to Carolyn and Vern and Dennis and Linae before traveling the remaining few miles to Camp Cretaceous. Dr. Art took one van to Rapid City to pick up three participants at the Rapid City Airport and purchase food! When we arrived at about 10:30am we were delighted to see Stephan, Dawnella, and Byron already in camp.

As the camp become organized and private bedrooms were set up, we were happy when Bill, Daniel, Bobby, and Steve arrived just in time for a late lunch. Mark, our favorite GPS guru came to help us get the GPS equipment in good working order. The next to arrive were Jerry and Jacob and shortly thereafter Bryce.

By this time Justin had the HughesNet® satellite internet connection up and functioning! We were also joyous to discover that after a period of several years AT&T service now covers the area—all those iPhone users celebrated!

Dr. Art arrived about 6:30pm with a van full of food and three new participants:  student Karl and Forrest and his mother Janette. Dawnella, Rose, and Erin had found some whole wheat flour and set about making bread. They and Stephan put together a delicious evening meal.

This evening we begin the expedition with 24 people in camp! The start to this year's expedition gives us the promise of an absolutly fantastic season!

Saturday, 4 June
The sun rose in the east in a clear, cool (≈40°) sky. The bird calls could be distinctly heard in the calm air. Slowly the camp stired as rested and refreshed individuals awoke and began the day's activities. Breakfast is at 9:00am and consists of homemade biscuits, scrambled eggs and scrambled tofu and other tasty treats.

Worship began under the big tent with singing praises to God. Dr. Art presented the message on Psalm 22.

Lunch consisted of freshly picked lamb's quarter, homemade mashed potatoes, and vegan "chicken."

After lunch was a welcome "lazy" time. Some took advantage of the opportunity to nap, others viewed a recording of Dr. Art that was broadcast over the HOPE Channel. As the sun reached halfway from the meridian to the horizon a shuttle craft and the truck convey a number to the "microsite" to look for things that might have been eroded out over the winter. The mini-expedition returned with many small bags of treasures which were spread out for indentification and for all to see.

Carolyn and Vern paid the camp a visit—they have done a wonderful work during the spring in adding crushed rock on the track to the quarry sites and around the south entrance to the camp facility.

After a late supper, Dr. Art closed Sabbath.

Sunday, 5 June
This is another beautiful day in the Cretaceous!
After breakfast, 18 of the 24 went off to see Crazy Horse and visit the Black Hills Institute museum in Hill City, South Dakota. The remaining 8 busied themselves filling glue bottles, setting up equipment, distributing tools into kits, etc. About midmorning Karen, Marla, Sharon, Joshua, and Becca arrived in their heavily loaded vehicle. Previously Mikie had the David Stair tent, but the new one is the same size! Poor Mikie!

A trip to the quarries brought an amazed reaction from the experienced hands on the condition of the road from Camp Cretaceous to the quarry sites. Vern and Carolyn have done a marvelous and apparently a lengthy job is adding crushed ock to the road filling in the holes and erosion. The road is now simply in top shape! Our appreciation to their contribution is in the stratosphere!

Just before a wonderful supper prepared by Karen and her helpers, Cathy, Karen M, and Taylor drove into camp and set up their tent. In time to partake of the feast Dr. Keith and Ivan arrived.

Stephan arrived back with supplies and Jose, Naftali, and Kathleen. And, finally shortly before sunset David, Kim, David IV, and Gigi motored into camp in their RV.

We have 41 in camp for the night!

Monday, 6 June
This is the day things begin! The camp building was full and busy by 6:30 for the 7:00am breakfast! As participants were fixing lunches, Everett arrive with a pile of metal items he had made for the camp. Thank you Everett!!

The first activity after worship was to acquire Field Note Books, a presentation on quarrying, checking out tool kits, and a walking tour of the main quarry sites.

We sent a car off to Rapid City and the airport. By midmorning everyone was busy working the quarries and the bones were being found and excavated. The quarries were closed about an hour early since it was the first day!

Our supply vehicle arrived back with Tyke just as the camp was settling down for supper.

Dr. Art ended the day's activity with a presentation on the the background of the Dinosaur Project. Those who were used to staying up late were disappointed when the electricity for the camp went off although after the first day of physical activity in the quarries, most were ready for a long night's rest.

Tuesday, 7 June
It rained in the middle of the night, but by day's break the grass was fairly dry with broken clouds in the sky. This may be due to the fairly breezy atmosphere—in contrast to most early mornings when the sun arrives in a dead calm. The electricity was on, but the internet electronics had been turned off and that connectivity had to wait for Justin to wake up.

After the group left for the quarries, Mark departed the Cretaceous. We are really grateful to Mark for spending time and sharing his GPS expertise. The project has acheived a level of precision that we could not have reached without his kind contibution. Thank you Mark!

The day was quite windy with the wind coming from the west, but it was warm. Work in the three main quarries, North, South, and Southeast proceeded without interuption. Dr. Keith led a group to explore the Gar Ridge area and open that quarry.

Karen and her family spent most of the day preparing a lasagna dinner. It was delicious! Dr. Berney and Jean pulled into camp with their living trailer and got settled in. Next to arrive were Art, Arthur and Lois.

Dr. Art presented a lecture on how to make a fossil.

Mary Ann and Juston were the last to arrive for the day in plenty of time to get their tents set up before the sun disappeared. We now have 49 in camp for the night!

Wednesday, 8 June
Even though yesterday was quite windy all day, this day arrived calm under an overcast sky. It cool and a warm drink was welcome. The early morning risers were disappointed that the internet connection was down until Justin kicks it! The food crew were on duty and preparing breakfast and setting out the lunch stuff by 5:30. It is wonderful to see the enthusiasm to get the day started!

Even though it was overcast over the camp, there was a band of clear sky to the east just above the horizon. As the sun finally appeared it was interesting to observe the brightly lit western part ooze its way toward the camp as the shadow of the hill to the immediate east receded.

It is a great day in the quarries. Sometime during the morning David, Kim, David IV, and Gigi rode in their motor home back to the 21st century.

The day was warm with a light wind to help keep everyone cool and comfortable. God supplied periodic shade as fluffy clouds sailed across the sky and eclipsed the sun. About supper time, the temperature dropped and the wind speed increased coming from the east—it become somewhat chilly outside!

In the afternoon Everett's friend Howard brought clothesline posts that he had made. In the evening Everett set the posts in cement just outside the camp building. Now we will not need to endure the drooping line tied between two fence posts! Once again, thank you Everett. Even though we have a nice workable clothesline, we probably cannot eliminate the laundry trip to Newcastle on Fridays—that suggestion would most likely result in mutiny!

Thursday, 9 June
During the night a thunderstorm moved over the camp with its sound and light effects and rain! At times the precipitation was intense but was not in tents. The day arrive cold (≈42°) with a predicted high of 55° and a 70% chance of more rain. The important thing is the condition of the quarries and the intensity of the precipitation.

After a filling breakfast and worship the group headed for work. Jerry and Jacob packed their private bedroom and departed for the present.

The quarries were quite workable, but the day was quite cool with two brief bouts of light rain. It was the east wind that pulled the bottom out of the wind chill factor. A storm was moving in shortly before closing time. Dr. Larry made the executive decision to close about 30 minutes early—the rain arrived as the shuttle craft were making the way back to camp.

Cindy arrived in time to share in dinner. Dr. Art ended the day with another lecture. The rain began again as a gentle but continuous downfall. The young played games, used their computers, or just hung out. The fossils hit their comfy sleeping bags early! The rain intensity increased about sunset, but then ended by midnight.

Friday, 10 June
This morning is slightly warmer than the previous sunlit period of our planet at this location. The wind is calm. Inside the camp building the silence is broken by the dripping water from a few leaks in the roof—nothing that cannot be handled with a few strategically placed buckets! We have learned to cover all the electronic items in plastic just in case!

Dr. Larry was sent on a reconissance mission to the quarries to see what conditions are. We had quite a bit of liquid pouring from the sky last evening. His report was optimistic, so the decision was to "go for it!"

After breakfast we said goodby to Jose and Naftali—Dr. Art departed to take them to the Rapid City Airport, but he will pick up two incoming workers! Cathy and Taylor worked briefly in the quarry to remove a fibula that was ready, then they and Karen departed for North Texas and home.

By noon the wind had risen and the sky was sunny with fluffy white clouds sailing across. It was cool—an ideal day! The combination of direct radiation and the movement of the atmosphere rapidly dried the surface.

This is an expedition day within the expedition. At noon groups started back to camp to shower, collect their dirty clothes, and get ready for the trip to Newcastle. Once there the process was start the washing, go outside and connect with a cell phone for 27 minutes, then back inside to move the "clean" clothes to a dryer, then back outside until they were ready to be folded to call somemore or play games or ...! With freshly scrubbed clothes and shipping lists checked off, everyone was ready for dinner. Alas, Isabella's closed early that one Friday in the year! We did get pizza in a more traditional hut.

The convoy arrived back in camp at about the same time Dr. Art returned from Rapid City with Dr. Zuri and her father, Carlos.

As the earth rotated to eclipse the sun from this portion of the earth's surface and the direct light gave way to shadow, the group opened Sabbath with singing. Tonight there are 41 humans in camp.

At the end of the first week of excavation, we have reached a total of 491 bones recovered— this is a record for the end of the first week and is considerably more recovered and recorded specimens than the entire first four years of the project (1997–2000)!

Saturday, 11 June
The day dawned all too early for most. It was cool and calm with a thin overcast sky that gave way to broken clouds as the morning the progressed. Sabbath breakfast was the traditional one with homemade biscuits, scrambled eggs, tofu, and sautéd mushrooms and oatmeal breakfast patties and gravy.

Everett left the cozy confines of Camp Cretaceous. We will have to be content to wait unti next year to see what interesting things he has dreamed up to make with his blacksmithing skills!

After a period of singing accompanied by several instruments, Stephan presented the morning's spiritual food on the love of God.

The afternoon was another glorious one. It was great to relax.

About sunset a thunderstorm moved across the camp.

Sunday, 12 June
This morning is another great beautiful morning! The sky is covered broken clouds, calm, and cool. After yesterday's blessed rest, we are all eager to get to work and get this new week started.

We discovered a motor home with a jeep in tow parked west of the camp. It was Richard, Tim, and Jaymie. They are here for the day to record a short program using our quarries and the land around them as a backdrop.

It was a great day to work—not too hot; some light wind, but not too much; fluffy clouds to provide intermittent shade.

Brenda and Al arrived before noon to paint and perform other maintenance work of the camp facilities. We really appreciate their work and effort and feel blessed. In the late afternoon Amy, Katherine, and Copper drove in.

Having a distant horizon surrounding the quarry sites helps us be aware of thunderstorms and watch their progress. The internet permits us to track them and determine whether there is a threat or not. This afternoon we watched a tornado perhaps 10 miles to the east trying to form and reach downward to the ground. It was nicely formed but after a few growing and shrinking episodes it disappeared. We knew the track of the storm would take it well clear of the camp and quarries—it touched down briefly near Mule Creek Junction.

After dinner the group from Trinity arrived in the Cretaceous. They were led by Curtis, Amber and David and accompanied by John. There are 19 freshly scrubbed faces eager to dig. After a quick meal, they set up their tents in a cluster to the west of the camp building.

Monday, 13 June
The day arrived again with the promise of a great day! After breakfast, the "regulars" set about chores and work while Dr. Art instructed the Trinity group on the art of excavating. Bonnie, Norman, and Cole arrived in time for the orientation.

Teague quarry was opened under the supervision of Tyke while Amy took over looking over Southeast. In the midmorning Karen left to take Janette to the airport and shop for supplies.

For several years the "correct" answer to Dr. Larry's question, "Is everyone wearing eye protection?" is "Aye, Aye, sir!"

Today, we realized that the "correct" answer to the query, "Are you drinking enough water?" is the French translation, "Oui, Oui, monsieur!"

Ben joined the group of participants in the afternoon.

After dinner we observed a thunderstorm moving toward the camp from the west. Karen arrived back from Rapid City and the group emptied the shuttle craft of its load of supplies before the storm arrived. Its present was announced by thunder, and at first there was only a few sprinkles, then the wind picked up and the torrential downpour began. Fortunately the intense portion lasted only about 10 minutes! It was followed by a number of power blinks—not surprising since the power line approaches the camp from the east and that is where the storm moved. Light rain continued for some time.

After the storm passed we celebrated Karl's 21st birthday!! Happy birthday, Karl!!!

Dr. Art ended the evening with a traditional lecture.

Tonight we have a record 70 persons enjoying a night's rest in Camp Cretaceous!

Tuesday, 14 June
This dawn, number 11 since the expedition arrived in the cretaceous, arrived overcast. The 13 day old moon, as it slunk down in the west just before dawn, was simply a fuzzy patch of light. The overcast skies kept the temperature up somewhat, ≈50°.

The food crew arrived early, fixed breakfast and set out the lunch materials, and rang the dinner bell at the appropriate time. The regular participants wandered in, ate, and got ready for the day. It was "all quiet on the western front!" The Trinity group had worked hard yesterday and went to bed at their usual time and "not a creature was stirring" at 7:00am!

By the time worship was over, the sky was generally clear with a moderate west wind to keep things cool. This morning Brenda brought the packages for the camp that had been sent. Dr. Larry spent part of the morning distributing all the awls to all who needed an awl—"awl for one and one for awl!" All day bones were found and recovered. It was exciting!

After supper the Trinity group left. It was with a certain sadness that we watched the 23 drive and ride back to the present. Dr. Art presented the evening lecture.

Wednesday, 15 June
The sun rose in a clear, cool, calm atmosphere. The building seems empty this morning and something missing as we look out to the west where the Trinity group had set up their cluster of tents.

Mary Ann left this morning, but we were happy to add Howard, Linda, Wyatt, Wesley, and Sam for the day.

The Gar Ridge quarry was closed for the season and the group there led by Keith moved to open a new quarry:  Rose Quarry. Gar Ridge was located to the east across a deep canyon—Rose is located to the south across a deep valley.

Bonnie, Cole, and Norman pulled out just before dinner, but Don arrived in time to partake of the delicious meal. Dr. Art ended the day with another lecture. During the lecture Cheryl and RuthAnn landed in the cretaceous.

Today we passed the 1000 fossil milebone reaching a total of 1059—and we are only about halfway through the season! The question is when, not if, we will surpass our season record of 1233 set in 2009. We also now have had 94 participants eclipsing the previous full-season record of 93 also set in 2009. We are set to surpass the 100 participant mileperson. We also have reached 511 participant days and are on track to exceed the 882 record set in 2010—we might even reach the 1000 mark!

Tonight is a full moon—God's nightlight for the entire dark part of the diurnal cycle! We will miss the long lunar eclipse since it is not visible in the new world.

Thursday, 16 June
Just before dawn there were broken clouds around the sky with the full moon playing hide-and-seek. It felt cooler due to a gentle to moderate wind. The sun arose in an overcast sky as the chore group responsible for food worked diligently before ringing the dinner bell.

As the morning wore on the overcast broke up with blue sky and clouds. That lasted until about noon when the solid overcast returned.

Wayne and Mary Ellen arrived in the middle of the afternoon, parking their motor home by the "front" gate.

Due to the possibility of an extended period of precipitation we closed the quarries about 4:00 for all quarries, not just the dinner crew. All we experienced was a light sprinkle that ended.

Dr. Art presented another lecture and about 8:00 the rain returned in earnest—not heavy but a gentle persistent watering of the earth.

Friday, 17 June
For those staying the entire time, this marks the half-way point—there have now been 14 intense nights out of a total 27!!

In the predawn hours the camp was enveloped by fog. The tents were mounds dotting the landscape in the diffuse moonlight like sleeping dinosaurs. By the time the sun rose the fog had dissipated. As the participants moved out to the quarries the sky was partially cloudy with a northwest wind that kept the workers bundled up. We said our goodbyes to Tetsuka—Dr. Art transported him to the airport.

The morning was a great working morning. The quarries were muddy in the spots in the low points, but most of the bones were easily worked since the working areas had been covered at the end of the previous day. In any case the wind dried things out rapidly. Things were closed down for the day about noon, and the participants returned to camp to shower and collect their dirty clothes.

As the group left for Newcastle RuthAnn and Cheryl drove away. Steve, Bill, Danny, and Robby were packing their things when the shuttle craft departed, and they and Wayne and Mary Ellen were gone by the time the group returned from laundry and a meal at Isabella's.

The shuttle craft returned about 8:30p. The day was closed and Sabbath was opened with a time of singing as the sun disappeared in the west under a canopy of high wispy clouds and a calm wind.

At the end of the second week of work, we had recovered a total of 1210 bones, teeth, and tendons. This is only 23 short of the season record of 1233 set in 2009. We have also set a single week's record of 719 fossils blowing the previous records of 463 (set during the second week of 2009) and 491 (set during the first week of this year) out of the ground!

Saturday, 18 June
The sun arose in a clear sky marred with few clouds. The eastern horizon was clear so there was little color in the predawn sky and the shadows of the eastern hills and buttes were sharp as they moved across the pasture toward the camp until finally the distinct shadow of the building itself joined them in an easterly march. The wind was calm and birds calls could be easily heard. Slowly the 38 humans in camp awoke and made their way inside—most returning to their private bedrooms for a little more unconscious rest!

After breakfast the camp building was quickly cleaned and shortly thereafter emptied of most of the campers as they exited to gather later under the big top for Sabbath services. This morning we were blesed with six musicians with instruments—it was a chamberless prairie orchestra playing greenglass music! We were also blessed as Carolyn and Brenda and several others of the Hanson family joined the worship. Dr. Keith had the morning's message.

About the time dinner was over a high school friend of Dr. Art, Stan and his friend Wayne arrived for an overnight visit.

In the late afternoon several craft left on an excursion to the Cheyenne River taking the majority of the humans. The rest rested or read or took short walks or found a cell connection or all of the above!

Supper consisted of vegeburgers that had been prepared by Mary Ellen the day before while her husband Wayne found bones. Thank you, Mary Ellen!!

Sabbath was closed with spirited singing as the sun disappeared below the western horizon.

Sunday, 19 June
Today is the annual open-house when the Hanson Ranch invites friends and other interested humans to come and see what is being done with the dinosaur resource.

The sky became light under a broken overcast as the earth continued to rotate. The camp came alive as the food crew came into the building and then kicked into second gear as the rest arrived for nourishment.

Dr. Zuri and Carlos left after breakfast and worship—driven to the Rapid City airport by Dr. Berney and Jean.

The morning is another perfect day for quarrying! Midmorning the wind rose and a few sprinkles dropped. As the group gathered for an early lunch due to impending open-house, Cindy departed for her home in Texas.

The annual open-house went well. We had 90 interested and impressed visitors that enjoyed a presentation by Dr. Art and a tour of the quarries! As the time ended for the visitation and the quarries came to a close, the rain came.

We now have collected 1293 specimens. This breaks the season record of 1233 set in 2009!!!

In the evening Drs. Art and Larry drove to the ranch house for a Hanson Research Station board meeting.

Those left behind held a birthday celebration for Rose—she is now officially no longer a teenager!

Monday, 20 June
The day dawned with overcast skies and a light drizzle. Rain in morning is unusual for this season! We welcomed Mel who had arrived late (or early depending upon your perspective)—he was picked up from the airport by Dr. Berney. It was a cold morning in the quarries with a biting wind from the northwest. About noon D. Larry returned to the camp to utilize the materials Dr. Berney brought from Rapid City.

The afternoon warmed up even though the wind remained and became a beautifully pleasant day for working. Sonja, Ralph, and Pippa drove into camp and set up their tent. Pippa supplied the art work for the refrigerators!

Dr. Tim and Melanie arrived in the early evening to visit the cretaceous for the evening—they planning to return later.

We have now crossed the 100 mileperson mark with a total of 104 participants for the year!

Tuesday, 21 June
The summer solstice occurs today about noon cdt.

The day dawned clear and calm. Before the sun rose the 20 day old moon dominated the sky, but it faded in prominance as the sky lightened.

This was almost the perfect quarrying day except for the wind. The group in the Southeast quarry was trying to decide if the sand scoured the dust off or embedded it in their faces! TOE (Turner's Ornithichian Exploratory) quarry was opened for the season by Amy, Katherine, and Cooper. It had been laid out and started in 2009 but was not worked in 2010. Of course, one of the first bones they recovered was a toe bone!

Two horses were ridden out from the ranch and several of the group experienced riding on a four-legged vehicle rather than a four-wheeled beast of transportation!

Dr. Art returned from exploring the ranch late, but ate a hurried meal and presented the evening's lecture. Dr. Larry helped with Tyke and Kathleen caught up on boxing the bones that had accumulated during the past few days.

Wednesday, 22 June
Today is another great day. As the sun rose, the sky was clear, the winds calm, the temperature cool, but not cold.

After breakfast and worship Bryce and Don departed their separate ways back to the 21st century. Working in the quarries could not have been better! We are starting close down certain quarries and concentrate our efforts as the numbers of excavators dwindle. Of course, earlier Gar Ridge and Teague were closed. In Southeast Tyke, Dr. Larry, and Ralph worked on clearing around the few exposed bones so they can be removed. The only activity in North is on the east side as Sara and Janessa continue to explose two large bones in the bottom of their areas. Dr. Berney continues to make progress in DQ. The major active quarries at this point are South, Rose, and TOE.

Sonja, Ralph, and Pippa drove away after lunch to continue their adventure in the Black Hills.

In the afternoon Karen, Justin, and Marla set up new shelving units for the camp building.

Dr. Art continued with the lecture presentation began the previous evening. Dr. Larry worked on some construction projects for the camp building until it grew dark and time for quiet!

Thursday, 23 June
The conditions were right for an absolutely glorious pink and orange sky in the east in the predawn minutes. The bird calls were all that were heard until the humans started stirring, and the sun arose in a partially clouded sky and again pushed the moon into obscurity.

Amy, Katherine, and Cooper said their goodbyes, packed their truck, and drove off into the present. Karen drove Juston to the Rapid City airport and returned later with all sorts of suppiles.

Dr. Art gave the evening's lecture followed by a party for Dr. Larry. Tim and Melanie departed for the comfort of the motel for good.

We welcomed James, Isaiah, Ingrid, and daughter—they are camping overnight with us and the guys will be digging tomorrow.

Friday, 24 June
A thunderstorm moved through the area about 1:00am bringing showers and, of course, light and sound effects.

Today most of the group made an expedition within the expedition traveling to Rapid City to drop Dr. Larry off at the airport. The plans were to see the South Dakota School of Mines Geology Museum, do laundry, visit the Mammoths at Hot Springs, eat, and return to camp in the early evening.

At the end of the third week, we had discovered, located, and catalogued 1647 fossils.

Saturday, 25 June
The day was pristine in every way. The participants' first fueling was highlighted by Dr. Art's creamy grits and Tyke's world famous sticky buns. Mmmmmm! After raising the tent with song, Karen spoke about grace activated.

The second fueling was taken out of doors. We picnicked under a perfect sky with hot dogs, potato salad, and watermelon. Watch out for cow pie. The rest of the day was spent exploring, visiting or snoring.

By the third fueling it was a grab-n-growl for leftovers, but there wasn't much grabbing or growling as most were still full from lunch.

Sunday, 26 June
A sad day as Rose flew the coop, echoed in an unusually cool gray morning. By midday things were clear and sunny. The cry rising from the quarries was "Get your bone out by tomorrow", as digging reached a fever pitch. Dr. Art successfully exhumed and plastered one of the large cemented tibia's left in Southeast Quarry. Whoo!!

The evening lashed out with sleety rain and winds.

Monday, 27 June
Today was the warmest day this digging season, but still with a pleasant cool breeze. Mel left and Janette returned, just in time to start packing up. Dr. Art was working on removing the second tibia from Southeast, it still needs more time. Quarries where bones have been scarce are now hitting pay dirt, much to everyone's chagrin. The large bones were foamed to their boards in preparation for the upcoming drive to Southwestern. We now have 16 boxes of small bones to take back to be processed.

We're setting up for next year's June adventure. Kathleen's family dropped in and celebrated Emily's 5th birthday.

The evening included one last lecture from Dr. Art and cramming for tomorrow's test.

Tuesday, 28 June
They day was expected to be hot, and it didn't disappoint—peaking in the mid 90's. In anticipation of the heat we opted for freshly baked mac-n-cheese for breakfast instead of dinner or supper, as you might prefer to call it. Students were excused from the morning's digging to take Dr. Art's test, which I've heard was much harder than anticipated.

For those who had removed all their exposed bones there was much lazing about. Dr. Art removed the last tibia from the earth, although he could not be found among the lounging. The guardians of the bones still left in the bed were feverishly working to get their bones out before the quarries close. It seemed that with each step closer to removing her bone, Sharon encountered another shooting off into the wall, yet she labored on.

In-spite of this being the last official dig day there were many visitors. Our guests included Mindy, Brody, Jobie, Floyd, Margie, Don, Marty and Seth.

We dined on leftovers, salad bar, and watermelon. If you weren't tired of sandwiches, we mixed things up by throwing them in the pannie maker. The last of the big bones were arranged and foamed to boards. After the foam set, Marla supervised as Rebekah wrapped the bones in bubble wrap, Ivan took pointers from Dr. Art in wielding a mean tape dispenser, and Dr. Art loaded the finished bones into the trailer.

Because of the threat of late-night rain, it was decided that the big tent should come down. All helped in the tear down and it was completed in no time.

Wednesday, 29 June
The remaining participants are either unofficially digging in the quarry or wintering everything in camp. Since we got the tent and the bones wrapped up yesterday we decided to work to wrap everything up in time to leave this evening. It's hot and beautiful, and finally reached 100°! Leftovers have been the meal of choice. Everything is starting to look bare and empty. Our sojourn is coming to an end.

At the end of the 2011 season, we had recovered a record 1965 bones, teeth, etc.

Thursday, 30 June
Today is a travel day—the hope is to get to Keene by the end of the day.

Friday, 1 July
The expedition arrived at the base camp in Scales Hall in the morning. Due to the few drivers and their tiredness, travel took longer with two night's rest stops.

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