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Field Notes

Day 2

From: Marco
Date: July 2, 2000
Subject: Arriving in Montana

Today is our second day on the train, we spent almost all night awake just doing stuff. We did see the sunrise [and in the clouds] I spotted a sauropod and a T-rex without any hind limbs.

We just changed to another time zone, Mountain Time. There is lots of flat land around; there are also a lot of big rocks in the middle of fields. All I see is posts that connect to each other and [posts that are] broken or have no cable to connect them.

Right now, it«s 10:18 PM (Mountain Time). I arrived at about 6:10 PM in Shelby, Montana. Becca Hanna, the curator of the Old Trail Museum, was there to pick us up, the train was supposed to arrive at 5:22, but it was delayed.

In the train [Shureice and I] made a couple of friends. One was Hibiki, a Japanese guy we shared a dinner table with — he is cool; he took down our info and said he«ll mail us something.

I was anxious for it to be 5:00 PM [arrival time], but it seemed like [the clock] would never get there. We did have a rough time trying to charge the battery on the computer.

[When] we finally got to Shelby ... it was wonderful, Becca offered to get us food and Shureice insisted that I eat something, so we went to McDonald's and got some food there.

Then we took a ride to Choteau. Becca was telling us about what is gonna be happening in town and as it turns out, Shureice and I will be in the 4th of July parade.

The main thing we did is drive around town. First we checked out the house of the family I will be staying with and then [visited] Shureice«s family. We met with them — they had such a beautiful home [with] artwork everywhere; they were very nice and seem like real good people. After talking with them for a while, we unloaded Shureice«s things.

Then on to my place, Shureice wanted to meet my family, so she came too. My family has a house next to a church (I believe it's a Presbyterian church) and the home is on the outskirts of town, so I basically live in the country for the next 3 weeks.

I believe I heard that it was my host mom, Mary«s birthday, so I gave them what I brought from Chicago: two Jobaria shirts for the kids and a clock for the family, along with a portrait of a home in the woods. I feel comfortable and I know I«m gonna have a good time.

The family said they«re going to Bozeman for a weekend and that I«m going. That«s cool. I don«t feel homesick (yet), but I do have to call my parents. I have also learned that I will be focusing on paleontology for the time being and I will get to do some prep work. I started unpacking now, man, I«m tired!

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Follow the 1,500 mile route from Chicago to Choteau. [more]


Old Trail Museum curator, Becca Hanna behind the wheel. [enlarge]

Marco (right) with his host family, the Christiaens in front of the Old Trail Museum. [enlarge]

Read Shureice's Field Notes from Day 2.

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