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Field Notes

Day 4

From: Marco
Date: July 4, 2000
Subject: 4th of July fun

Today was the 4th of July, we did not have work today, we did though get to ride the Old Trail Museum (OTM) van and throw candy, and we got to go to a real live rodeo that was like no other.

Right now it's [about] 11:30 PM; I got up early today, at about 7:30 AM. I was supposed to walk with Cory to the museum, but it did take him a while to get ready, so I was [about] ten minutes late. Walking across this town was not hard at all; I see why they don't have any buses in town.

There was a race/run this morning, Mary (my host mom) was helping organize it, and there was a 1 mile run to a 20 mile run. All kinds of people were in it; town elders even ran in it.

Town was busy; lots of people either for the reunions or the big fireworks show. It doesn't take much time to get to know this town — it seems like everyone knows each other. People are very friendly, we have not had any trouble at all.

I did get to the museum [this morning], but I found out we were not gonna ride the dino-mobile — this large old beat up van that has dinosaur and fossils painted on it's side — because the battery was dead and also because Corlene Martin, Executive Director of OTM, had a dream that the van broke down in the middle of the parade and that we wouldn't have any way to move it. We decided to take the newer, safer van.

We had 5 or 6 five-pound bags of candy that we threw [to] the crowd. It must be some custom [that] the parade is done twice, [because] we turned around and headed towards the courthouse. We loaded up, Todd Crowell (seasonal paleontology instructor at the Old Trail Museum) was gonna ride his unicycle and also throw candy.

We went to the sandstone building they have as a courthouse, where the parade started. There were floats about everything, this year the theme was the Korean War. We saw army cars, restored classic cars as well as old beat up cars, fire trucks (old and new), guys with small go-carts and hats, lots of horses, Miss Teen Montana, and local businesses. The museum decided not to spend money on a float, so they bought candy [instead].

After the parade, we took off to the museum — Shureice and I prepped some fossils. I think that the OTM only collects worthy bones, but they have quite a few that have been through some bad prep work. Overall they do have an amazing collection — they have lots and lots of footprints they've found around the area. There I looked around, then went call my parents, they were very glad to hear from me. I heard there were gonna be loud festivities in the area.

After the museum, Shureice and I took off to her house (with the host family), but we got lost. We did ask some folks if they knew Happy Jack (Shureice's host dad), they immediately told us where to find them.

After we arrived Happy took us to the rodeo grounds were, and there we saw the rest of the Feder family . We went to see a live-action rodeo — we got in free because it was half-way over, but I did see some people get hurt, not seriously, but it was like no other thing I've seen. I was most interested on how the bull or cow could jump and move like it did, they tossed the riders at some large distances.

I was wondering then how dinosaurs could have moved, and about how we could find that out by looking at what we already have. It hit me that fights could have happened 80-million years ago, here in Montana. There is a lot to do, but you have to want to go and do it.

We finally came back to my place, then we played basketball and went to take pictures of cows. Afterwards we had an amazing fireworks show that just ended, by the way now it's midnight.

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Marco poses with the parade's Grand Marshall in an army jeep. [enlarge]

A classic Cadillac. [enlarge]

A firetruck. [enlarge]

A member of the Tri-County Algeria Shrine chapter poses in his mini Corvette. [enlarge]

Todd Crowell rides his unicycle. [enlarge]

A view of children running to pick up the candy Marco and Shureice tossed out of the van. [enlarge]

Read Shureice's Field Notes from Day 4.

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