Dinosaur Excavation and Taphonomic Research Project

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It is wonderful how much news there is when people write every other day; if they wait for a month, there is nothing that seems worth telling.    
Anna Masterton Buchan

Notes from the Field - The Latest News!


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

Wednesday, 31 May
Packing day!

Thursday, 1 June
The 2017 Season officially gets underway!

At 8:00am almost everyone leaving arrived and the last few items were put in the trailer and the back of the truck. People found their favorite seat aboard the two vans and truck.

The 22 occupants of the two vans and truck were packed in like Knightias as the caravan departed Southwestern for the Cretateous just before 9:00am accompanied with a few sprinkles or rain. Dr. Larry and Dr. Art drove the vans and Mikie piloted the truck.

Our route took us north through Fort Worth,TX, Oklahoma City, OK, Witchita, KS to Salina, KS on I-35 and I-135. There we turned west on I-70.

Wallace accompanied the caravn through most of the day stopping in western Kansas while the SWAU caravan drove on through the night stopping in Holyoke, Co to pick up Kathleen about midnight.

Friday, 2 June
On through the night the adventurers traveled—it was good that there were multiple drivers for each vehicle.

We arrived in the Cretaceous without mishap just after sunrise around 6:45am. The first thing we did after piling out of the vehicles was give thanks to God for His protection. The second thing was to greet the few participants that had arrived earlier. The HOPE filming crew had arrived a day earlier and set up their camp of RV's.

The fourth thing we all did was unload the trailer. Then the humans in camp collected their belongs and helped each other set up their private bedrooms—tents! With little wind and everyone helping each other it was relatively easy.

Dr. Erin, Dr. Art, Kathleen, and Taylor left for Rapid City to pick up two participants, buy groceries and supplies, and run some errands.

Drs. Larry and Jared organized things, unpacked, and generally help set the camp up.

By mid-afternoon the wind arrived. A few tents did not quite survive the first contact with the enemy. Nathan's set a record for shortest lifetime! However, there was an empty tent all set up that he could use. Now we have only one other partially flattened one to solve in the upcoming days,

The camp saw a number of arrivals toward evening. Dennis and Lanae delivered two new 4-wheeler vehicles for the expedition.

The wind died down in the late afternoon so as the day ended with worship all the humans settled snug in their beds after a last hour of conversation.

Saturday, 3 June
The Sabbath day dawned clear, cool, and calm. It would have been quiet except for the songs of the many birds.

The Camp slowly came to life first with participants coming in for a few minutes and then back to their cozy beds. Then a few of the humans heated some water for a hot drink. Finally as breakfast was being prespared it seemed as if the entire camp gathered in the kitchen some with offers to help and others to watch and/or video record the process—it really was only a few! Breakfast was the usual Sabbath breakfast: home-made biscuits, scrambled eggs, scrambled tofu, and grits; all served with some orange juice.

Dr. Art presented the morning's message from Proverbs 3.

As the lunch meal was being prepared the camp was introduced to Emma and Elliot.

Around 3:30p most of the group headed off to explore the river area on the west of the ranch and returned about 8:00p to two large bowls of popcorn and containers of apples and oranges.

Sabbath was closed with sing and worship.

Sunday, 4 June
Crazy Horse Volksmarch!

This day began as a 3C day: Clear, Cool, and Calm. Venus brightens the eastern pre-dawn sky rising and fading as the sun asserts its dominance.

After breakfast, the two vans and Stephan's vehicle left for Crazy Horse and the Rapid City airport packed with people. Those who remained behind were busy all morning in camp making up tool kits, distributing superglue, setting up electronics, and generally preparing for the first day of work in the quarries. In the afternoon the worked moved to the quarries distributing shelters, tools, supplies from the storage shed.

The day generally remained clear and calm—very little wind all day and no problems with any tent!

The expedition to the Black Hills returned, after visiting the Black Hills Institute in Hill City, SD and Mount Rushmore, not long before sunset with one additional participant picked up from the airport. The final activity was a discussion by Dr. Keith about the chore group arrangements.

Monday, 5 June
Today is the day!! The chore groups are in place and functioning. The work activity with the fossils begins. But first, there is some instruction, then off to the bone mines.

Three quarries were opened:  North, South, and Triceratops. Most of the new workers were arrayed in North under the direction of Drs. Erin and Jerod. Very soon bones were being discovered and excavated! South Quarry was under the leadership of Kathleen and Triceratops was directed by Dr. Keith and Stephan.

It was a warm day with a few fluffy clouds and a gentle breeze the arose midday.

While the camp was almost empty Al took advantage to perform a few mantainence items. We really appreciate the work and effort Al and Brenda perform to get the facilities ready each season!

By the end of this first day of the 2017 season 61 bones were excavated, of this number 53 came from North Quarry.

Dr. Art shortened his initial lecture for the class due to a thunderstorm moving slowly from the west. A bit after 8:00p temperature dropped and the wind and the rain suddenly arrived—torrential rain! This will be a test of the tents, we hope that the storm will not be intense! A hour later it had moved to the east and the setting sun peeked under the clearing western sky. It was perfect conditions for the beautiful double rainbow visible in the eastern sky.

Unfortunately one tent was lost. Fortunately we had some spare camp tents and one was soon erected under the capable hands of a half dozen energetic young men and women. Unfortunately, the contents were soaked, but fortunately over the years the camp had accumulated sleeping bags, etc. that were pulled from storage and the occupant was quickly settled in for a good night's sleep!

Tuesday, 6 June
This is also a 3C day but with a twist: cloudy, cool, and Calm. While it was cool it was definitely warmer than the previous mornings.

The wireless, and hence the connection to the internet is down—no one wanted to wake up Justin! The breakfast crew had their own special challenges—the two griddles (for pancakes) and lights, etc. kept tripping the circuit breaker! But breakfast was a success. As the sun rose, the overcast parted with patches of blue.

Generally we have had everyone wash their own plate and utensils after each meal, but with so many in camp that is slow and inefficient so a change has been implemented so that the cooking crew wash all dishes. Another change is that anyone of the breakfast group that does not wake up in time for KP gets to wash all the dishes! For these first two mornings there are designated dish washers.

This is the best day of the season so far! The quarries were wet in places when the bone diggers arrived in the morning, but the working areas were not muddy. The temperature was cooler than the previous day. Dr. Art made a supply and pickup run to Rapid City returning just in time for a quick dinner and a lecture.

Wednesday, 7 June
The sunrise was spectacular due to the broken clouds in the east part of the sky.

The official 20,000th specimen collected in the quarries by the project was a beautiful chevron excavated by Drake in North Quarry. The 10,000th specimen had been logged on 23 Jun 2010.

In the early afternoon Dr. Erin moved a group from North quarry to open Stair Quarry.

All except Triceratops Quarry were closed down a few minutes early as a thunderstorm was heard and the wind picked up. Fortunately it seemed to be a popup storm to our southeast moving to the east. Triceratops Quarry was busy fencing their quarry to keep some curious cows away!

Dr. Art presented another lecture to officially end the days activities. Another thunderstorm was observed moving from the west. Shortly after sunset it arrived over camp.

Thursday, 8 June
We all awoke to another 3C day but with wet grass and the sounds of the nearby birds.

Dr. Art left for more groceries and supplies and a pickup at the Rapid City Airport.

It was a great morning in the quarries with everything humming along with great efficiency. It grew warm in the afternoon, but bones continued to fly from their preserving matrix to be wrapped carefully, carried gently to camp, recorded accurately, and packed in boxes for later transport to Southwestern Adventist University and the Dinosaur Museum and Research Center.

The day ended as usual—Dr. Art returned just about in time for another lecture. Slowly the tent people settle in and quiet prevailed under a full moon.

Friday, 9 June
The bad thing about a full moon is the stars are not so spectacular in the pre-dawn skies, of course, a few light clouds do not help. The good thing is there is light to see if one needs walk to the camp building!

Friday's are about a half a day work in the bone mines with the afternoon involved in a trip to Newcastle to do laundry, purchase groceries and supplies, and eat a nice dinner.

Today Dr. Jared will, undoubted with sadness, take his family, Heather, Drake, and Dina to the Rapid City Airport for their return to the present.

It took two vans and Stephan's vehicle to convey everyone to Newcastle. One group left earlier so as to process through the laundry procedure by the time the second group arrived. Afterwards we ate a pizza dinner at that Hut that Dr. Art prefers over Isabella's and the Pizza Barn. After "herding cats" to get everyone's order we managed to have less than one pizza left to be shared with those back at camp after everone had their fill.

A number of pronghorn were seen on the way to Newcastle. Dr. Larry had to slow and brake to avoid hitting three. This is odd because pronghorn are nimble, quick, and generally run away when a vehicle approaches. It is really hard to hit one even if you tried! These must have bred with some squirrels!

There were 50 humans in camp as the Sabbath began with sundown worship. Several of the younger and more energetic decided to "sleep under the stars." It seemed like a great opportunity—the moon was a day past full and the sky clear with no rain forecast and calm winds. However, in the night the wind came back with a vengence!

At the end of the first week of excavation, we have reached a total of 344 bones recovered, most of these (226) coming from North Quarry.

Saturday, 10 June
The predawn revealed Venus rising in the east, the moon in the west, light clouds in the sky hiding many of the stars, and a substantial wind from the west. It is a cool, not cold, 60° in the camp building—the sound of the wind seems to make it feel cooler! The temperature will rise as the humans arrive to fix and eat breakfast.

As the sun rose in the east the wind abated. Perhaps it was the moon that brought the wind and as the moon sets and is replaced by the sun as the light in the sky the west wind retreats back to its hiding place. The soft bird calls could be heard.

The "roughing it" group returned in time to eat—they had not come running for cover in the middle of the windy night!

Breakfast was the usual—the leaders did virtually all preparation, cooking, and, with some kind help from some volunteers, cleaning up. With the cooking, the collection of humans, and the sun rising higher in the sky, the temperature rose to 70° by the end of breakfast.

Dr. Art presented the morning worship outside under the big tent—there was a gentle breeze that produced natural air conditioning!

After lunch a special presentation of the Desmond Doss documentary "The Consciencious Objector" was shown with discussion by its production executive Jeffery.

As sunset approached a brief shower dampened the area.

Sunday, 11 June
For those staying at Camp Cretaceous for the full season there will be 27 nights in their personal bedrooms. Nine of those are now past—a third of the nights! Of course, we have experienced slightly less than a quarter of the time in the quarries.

The day dawned overcast and threatening.

All the workers from North, South, and Stair were taken to Triceratops Quarry so that they could see the work there. Triceratops has much more articulated remains than the other quarries. It is wonderful to see a long row of vertebrae! After the 'field trip' they were off to their familiar quarries. The clouds cleared away as the morning progressed, but the temperature stayed perfect with a cooling breeze.

After Dr. Art's evening lecture, the Trinity group arrived in two vehicles just as the sun was making its final plunge toward the horizon in the west. The first activity was a thankful prayer, then they trudged into the camp building, with many of them hugging their pillows, for a quick meal and then out to the task of setting up their tents in a tight cluster of nine to the west of the camp building.

Windsday, 12 June
The predawn sky looked angry with irregular clouds that obscured even the 18 day-old moon although occasionally Venus could be seen a clear patch in the east rising before the sun. The good news is no wind!

The camp comes alive and noisy with the arrival of the breakfast crew and others coming and going to use the facilities.

After a filling breakfast with breakfast burritos, the Trinity group led out in worship. Then it was time for the famous group picture with everyone lining up standing in the grass. Fortunately the clouds were hiding the sun so no one should have been squinting!

The Trinity group is taken on an excursion to Triceratops followed by instruction and a walk to the quarries. By that time Southeast might be opened and ready for them! In reality they were distributed between Southeast and Teague Quarries with Teague being hastily opened.

As the early morning progressed the clouds parted with blue sky increasing and the wind really increasing, the wind really increased, the wind really INCREASED!! It was an east east wind. Southeast and Teague was directly in the path. South was a little protected as long as they continued to work in the lower part of the quarry, but the bone miners there were in a constant shower of grit. North Quarry was quite sheltered. Upon return to Camp Cretaceous at the end of the day's work a number of the Trinity tents needed repair.

Dr. Art ended the official day's activity with another lecture. Dr. Erin was sent to Newcastle on an emergency journey to acquire cereal and milk for the breakfast coming in a few hours. It is amazing how much food is consumed by 76 people.

The wind lasted until after sunset when a thunderstorm moved in! The noise from the wind was replaced by noise from the rain and the thunder.

Tuesday, 13 June
The predawn day was cool and calm with a few straggly clouds. Evidently for more than one bedroom shelter the storm was intense since there a number of occupied sleeping bags on the camp building floor! What sights the rising sun will reveal should be interesting!

Except for water in the low places in the quarries, the morning and early afternoon were perfect working condition. In the mid afternoon the Trinity group left. Also in the mid afternoon the south wind suddenly turned on for about a 30 minute period, then died out to a gentle breeze.

Teague Quarry was closed for the season—now Southeast Quarry will need to be cleaned of exposed bones and closed.

Dr. Art lectured again, and not long after he finished Justin returned from Rapid City with two new participants and groceries.

In the evening it was decided that someone staying here for to long might become "stir crazy." However, since we are on a cattle ranch, maybe it should be "Steer crazy." And, thanks to Whitney, working in a certain quarry "Stair crazy!"

Wednesday, 14 June
The early morning as the sun peeks over the eastern horizon is calm, clear, and chilly—not cold but definately cooler than the past few mornings.

After breakfast and worship everyone transported to the various work places for the day, generally by their own two feet, but for some was a vehicle. A group led by Dr. Keith located a new quarry area just to the east of the main quarries—aptly named East Quarry. Since several of the East excavators came from Triceratops Quarry, that quarry was left with a skeleton crew. They got to work quickly and the dirt flew until some bones in situ were found and then the excavation began in earnest.

This was one of the ideal work days. It was cool with a gentle breeze—the sun in a clear sky was actually welcome.

Dr. Art ended the day with another lecture. Dr. Erin returned from Rapid City with Marcus, her husband and a truck filled with groceries and supplies.

Thursday, 15 June
For those adventurous souls staying the entire season of 27 nights sleeping in their own private nylon enshrouded bedrooms this past night was the 14th rest period—over half of the season has been completed!

The morning was chilly with some partial clouds and calm. It felt good to dress in warm layers and drink something hot while waiting for breakfast.

The work in the bone mines proceed smoothly. The broken clouds helped make it comfortable to work. In the early afternoon Stair Quarry was officially closed for the season and the diggers there moved to Gar Ridge to open the quarry there.

Dr. Jared presented the evening lecture and everyone retired, eventually, to their private spaces accompanied by a cool breeze and broken clouds on the eastern horizon.

Friday, 16 June
The morning is warmer than the past few mornings. Overhead it is clear with broken clouds around the horizon. The sunrise is a typical spectacular one! The air is calm and alive with bird sounds.

Dr. Art left early to pick up some guests at the Newcastle airport. The rest of the group worked under an overcast sky until about noon when Dr. Art returned. After an inspection of the project site he drove them back to Newcastle.

The two vans, the truck, and two other vehicles departed at intervals to Newcastle for laundry, purchases, and dinner. There were two eating places that were on the menu: Pizza Barn and Isabella's. Without a unanimous vote, the group split with one van heading to Pizza Barn.

All the vehicles arrived back to camp at about 9:00p accompanied by sprinkles. Sunset worship welcoming the Sabbath was inside as the sprinkles increased.

At the end of the second week of work, we had recovered a total of 859 bones, teeth, and tendons.

Saturday, 17 June
The morning is a gray and overcast but calm—dreary except that it is another exciting Sabbath!

Dr. Art and Stephan left to preach in area churches. Dr. Keith presented the worship message under cool, overcast, threatening skies that did not dampen the spirits of the gathered group.

It was a cool afternoon with a gentle breeze—ideal for catch up on some sleep and to explore areas of the ranch.

Sunday, 18 June
Father's Day and Hanson Ranch Open House!

Dr. Larry left at 3:00am to the Rapid City Airport to deliver one participant for a 6:00am flight, two more for a 9:30am flight, and to pick up two coming in at 11:30am. After grocery shopping, the van returned in the early evening. A special treat from incoming Tami was eight assorted flavors of pies from the Purple Pie Place in Custer.

√−1  23  Σ  π ... and it was delicious!

Thank you Tami!!!

During the afternoon approximately 130 visitors arrived to hear a report on the project from Dr. Art and to observe the activity in the quarries.

Dr. Art ended the offical day's activities with a late lecture.

Monday, 19 June
The early risers were greeted with a few sprinkles. The sun rose in a sky filled with broken clouds—cool but not cold, calm. By the time breakfast arrived the sky had generally cleared.

The day turned into one of this wonderful days to work and progress was rapidly made as bones that were on display for the Open House were completed and extracted.

The project directors left at 4:00p to attend the annual Hanson Research Station Board meeting. Drs. Art and Larry are members of the board. They returned about 9:00p

Tuesday, 20 June
Summer Solstice.

The sun rose at its northern limit on the eastern horizon into a 3C day—cool, calm, clear!

The morning was a good productive time. North Quarry reached bone number 461 which is a seasonal record for that quarry. The rate will decrease for the remainder of the season because there are several large bones exposed near the bottom of the bone layer that take longer to extract.

In the afternoon three of the energetic young men exploratored on the west side of the next ridge east of the main quarries—along the ridge south of where Joe Quarry (aka Far East, aka East) had been. After digging for some time they found a bone fragment!

Three dump trucks loads of rocks was delivered to be used to fill in a number of eroded places in the road between the gate and the camp and between the camp and the main quarries.

The afternoon turned into a fairly warm day (some would use "hot") with clear skies overhead and only a slight cooling breeze. At least with little wind we could erect shade shelters for the workers in their quarries.

Dr. Art ended the activities with another lecture for the students and other interested persons.

As the sun was apparently dropping toward the western horizon Verne delivered a tractor with a front loader. We have offered to help spread the rock on the road—good activity for a short time for all the young with excess energy!

Wednesday, 21 June
The night was warm with little wind. The sun appeared in a clear sky with the usual low clouds over the Black Hills to the east. The waning crescent moon had passed Venus on its path as it nears new moon.

More rocks were delivered and dumped by the side of the road. Dr. Jared took the tractor and some energetic young people and worked on distributing rocks in the more eroded portions of the road. The rest of the group worked as usual in a great day. Dr. Larry was happy when his lovely wife Dr. Cathy and grandson Alexander arrived in mid-afternoon.

Another lecture finished the day!

Thursday, 22 June
Today is Friday! Because of scheduling a trip to Rapid City for an airport pickup, it was decided to use today for a fieldtrip to the Mammoth Site in Hot Springs, SD. Not all wanted to leave the quarries. In the end 30 adventurous persons including all 11 students traveled to Hot Springs, saw the Mammoth Site, did laundry, traveled to Hill City, SD to take in the Black Hills Institute, then to Newcastle for an Isobella's dinner.

The trip to Hot Springs had one unanticipated consequence. The three-shuttlecraft convoy almost made it past a determined pronghorn trying to cross the highway near Edgemont, SD. Unfortunately for her and the last van in the convoy she did not make it by a fraction of a second. The impact took out the driver's side headlight and turn-signal assembly on the van. Her damage was even more severe as she did not survive.

Dr. Art had earlier taken the truck to Rapid City to drop off three and to do some shopping. Dr. Jared worked some more on the road.

When the "field-trip" caravan arrived in camp around sunset Dr. Larry was delighted to see his son and a granddaughter, Jason and Indira, had arrived!

Friday, 23 June
Now we get to Thursday. The plan is work a full day in the quarry. Of course the pre-dawn showers may have a say! However, by the time the breakfast crew had arrived, the sky overhead was clear, calm, but cool! The north wind picked up combine with the cool temperatures created a "day for layers."

Transportation to and from the quarries was slim with one van off to Rapid City and one off to the van hospital—surgery is scheduled for early next week!

Dr. Art presented the normal Thursday lecture, starting and ending early to not impinge on the beginning of Sabbath which was heralded by singing and a worship talk by Dr. Keith.

The film crew returned late with a van after picking up Jeffery's wife at the Rapid City airport to report a successful trip with the exception of hitting another mother pronghorn on Cheyenne River Road—dent to the front bumper of the van, but fatal injuries to the animal. This one was definitely a mother. It is likely all the "close encounters of the pronghorn kind" involved a young one, one way or another.

At the end of the third week, we had discovered, located, and catalogued 1481 fossils.

Saturday, 24 June
Brrrrr!!! It was cold last night. The temperature in the camp building just before the breakfast preparations began and the sun rose was about 49° F. The early morning was completely calm while the sun appeared in a sky with some broken irregular clouds around the sky.

This morning homemade cinnamon rolls accompanied the scramble eggs and grits.

Dr. Art presented the Sabbath worship. In the afternoon the group took a picnic lunch to a scenic site on the ranch.

Stephan closed the Sabbath with the worship thought as the sun sank lower toward the western horizon.

The new moon sat along with the sun.

Sunday, 25 June
Today begins the last week of the 2017 expedition. Now the mantra is "find no new bones" as the work concentrates on extracting fossils that are already exposed, cleaning the quarries, winterizing them, and closing the work sites.

Dr. Art left early to drop two off at the Rapid City airport returning about noon.

The day was a great excavation day—cool with little wind, and again great progress was made. Of course, North Quarry just had to find a femur extending under a full meter's worth of material!

Dr. Keith and Ivan did some more road work—Ivan was having too much fun driving a Bobcat moving rock!

At the end of the day North Main and South Main, the two Main Quarries, together reached a total of 10,000 fossils collected.

Dr. Art ended the official day's work with a lecture on humans.

Monday, 26 June
Another mantra for this last week is "no new groceries—eat up the things we have" as we prepare to wind things down.

The day began cool, but not too cold. The sun arose in a clear—clear as in not a cloud to be seen—calm sky. The sounds of the birds are replaced with the sounds of zippers as humans extricate themselves from sleeping bags and tents. Next is the sound of doors opening and closing—no screen door slams, thankfully! Then comes the cacophany of one-sided conversations as the cell-towers become really busy!

Work extracting known bones occupied most humans until "The Important Announcement of the Day." After lunch the foiled long bones were placed on boards and expanding insulation foam was sprayed under and around them.

Southeast quarry was officially closed as the remaining two big bones were finally removed.

The students had the rest of the afternoon off. Some studied for their final exam scheduled for Tuesday morning.

Dr. Art presented two lectures, # 1 and # 2 in the course, so they could be recorded.

Tuesday, 27 June
It was a great night to sleep—if you were not a student anxious about the final exam! The sky was partially cloudy; therefore, not so cool as it could be in camp if there were continual shade. A gentle breeze made for a delightful day.

The students spent much of the morning sweating over the final exam. They have never before been so quiet! Drs. Art and Keith took the van to the van hospital for surgery to restore the missing headlight.

The afternoon was spent wrapping the foamed board with bones and moving the jacketed bones and foamed bones into the trailer along with the boxes of smaller bones. Because a storm was predicted the big circus tent was taken down. Around 5:00pm it arrived with extreme straight-line winds then torrential rain. It did not last long, but several tents fell victim after surviving almost the entire month.

Two milestones were met for North Quarry on this last day:  the season record is now 610 fossils and the cumulative total is 6000! With slightly more than 4000 total for South Quarry, this means the two main quarries together have reach over 10,000 bones, etc. extracted. This is almost half of the total for the entire project!

Since the students had no study, there was loud game playing in the camp building until very, very late. That coupled with the shouts and loud laughter until dark made it hard for the weary to get to sleep.

Wednesday, 28 June
Today is cleaning and packing of the camp and personal effects. There are two quarries still open for that final bone:  South and Triceratops.

The day dawned as another 3C day: cool, clear, and calm. Even the participants and breakfast crew are subdued for once in their conversations. Peace reigns!

It was a busy day for most with cleaning and packing and moving more things to the trailer. The last two quarries were closed and winterized. The last bones were packed away although the last jacketed femur from South had to ride in the back of the truck.

At the end of the 2017 season, we had recovered 1735 bones, teeth, etc.

Thursday, 29 June
The stated aim was leave by 6:00am—before sunrise. The caravan of truck with trailer and two vans and a private car started out at 7:00am and headed south first to Lusk, then west to pick up I-25, then south to Denver where the car departed and one other person was dropped off, then through the day to Raton, NM, then east to Dumas, TX, south to Amarillo, and onward through the night.

Friday, 30 June
About 4:00am a shower of sparks were observed from the driver's side rear of the trailer. A quick stop just off a nearby exit ramp revealed a shredded tire. And we were only about 88 miles from Keene!

Fortunately we had a spare. Unfortunately, the jack was too small. Fortunately, Dr. Larry had a AAA membership! Unfortunately we had a wait of about two hours for the repair truck to arrive. Fortunately after the work of a few minutes of replacing the shredded tire with the spare and properly inflating all four trailer tires (no more "kick the tires" to check them), we were on our way, arriving at SWAU at about 8:40am. After a prayer of thanksgiving the trailer was unloaded, bones moved into the museum, and personal items collected. All humans were tired to the bone and ready for a long shower!

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