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Digging for Dinosaurs home!

Field Notes

Day 11

From: Marco
Date: July 11, 2000
Subject: Working at the invert site

Today I woke up at 6:30AM. I got my street shoes on, drank water, then roamed the house for about 5 min, and then stepped out to go jogging. I wanted to go out jogging for a long time now. I thought it would be good for my health and that it would be good to see the country side.

I ran about one mile, I really don't know exactly how far I went but I could no longer see Choteau from where I was. All I was able to see were long fields and cows, lots of cows. It was funny because they'd stare at me, but when I'd do a speed burst they'd freak out. I had fun with that, I spooked them good (those dumb cows).

I ran back home and found out that Mary and Joel both had gone to work. I did see Roman playing games on their computer. So I got home at about 8AM, so I just showered and packed my gear.

I jetted to work on Cory's mountain bike. Turns out he had crashed with it into a pole, that's why the wheels were not straight. I arrived at work, Shureice was not there because she was gone with Paul [Belanger from the Nature Conservancy] on a nature hike.

So I loaded the van on my own, then got the tools ready and we were ready to go collect invertebrate fossils. On the way to the Pine Butte reserve, one kid from the tourist group tried to annoy me. I just ignored him. As we drove by the reserve a coyote ran by, then it hid in the bushes but we could still see it.

At the reserve either Kathryn Thomas (a paleontologist working on her Master's in Geology at UC Davis) or Susan Luinstra (a teacher at a rural school in Bynum, Montana who's working as a bone preparator at the OTM) spoke about the area, sometimes both would speak. They usually spoke about how the land has to be conserved and how it's a refuge for animals like bears and such other Montana native species.

After a brief lecture we were off to a mountain side we called the invertebrate site. There we find such things as crinoids, brachiopods, and clams. A trilobite is very rare in that area, as a matter of fact only one has been found in that whole area (Susan from the OTM found it). At the invert site I did not collect much, because I was on the lookout for a nice preservation rather than just fragments of a shell or crinoids.

After a bit of collecting we headed to town for lunch. There the group voted on where to spend the afternoon of the second day. The kids (who consisted of about half of the group) voted to go back and dig in the JP quarry. There was a problem though, the parents did not want their kids to run around and destroy anything (they were an energetic group), so the parents voted on going back to the museum and doing preparation work on some real dinosaur fossils.

We did go to the museum. I believe that that group helped us a lot — they saved us time and work. They also did a very good job at reconstructing the pieces and gluing.

It was not a very long day today, I got home at about 6:15PM. Wow, that was perfect timing because Joel had just got done grilling the deer meat. It was the very first time (I think) that I had eaten deer meat.

We had discussions about each other's days. We talked about the 3-day trip to Bozeman.

Today we also had the First Aid class, so I left at 6:50 (Susan came to pick me up) [to go to the hospital]. At the First Aid class I learned how to react in an emergency and what to do in such a case. Becca, Kathryn, Susan, and I also practiced giving CPR on dummies. Everyone did fine but it would have been many times worse in real life. Then at the end of the class, we each received our card that certified us as trained in First Aid and CPR.

Afterwards we all went home. On the parking lot of the hospital I saw three mule deer standing and grazing. I was amazed. I got [home] there at about 10:00 — it was bed time, so to write and sleep.

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Marco's host brothers, Cory and Roman, pose with a wooden sculpture of an American Indian. [enlarge]

Read Shureice's Field Notes from Day 11.

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