This week in the field a group from Purdue University under the direction of Dr. Rich Hengst helped us at the Eolambia 2 site. These low-landers come from an area about 600 foot elevation and found the air a bit thin at 6,000 feet. The hike down to the quarry was always easy, but the breathing was pretty hard coming back up. We started out Monday from the museum in Price, Utah. Stopped at the Grub Box in Ferron for lunch and arrived at the quarry two-ish.
The wind was blowing quite briskly so we hiked around the area looking at the different fossil sites and talking about some of the geology. The evening was cold, and with the chill factor, was near freezing. The next day, Tuesday, the weather looked better and after a gourmet breakfast prepared by Chef Hengst, we started working the quarry.
At first we had to work the overburden back and then began working the quarry down to the bone bed and found a few bones that day. In the evening, we hiked over to an ancient campsite where prehistoric man had once camped and looked at some of the artifacts on the ground. Of course we left them where they lay. Then we hiked over to a petroglyph panel accessed through a narrow crack in a large boulder.
At this time, the sun was low on the horizon and the colors of the valley below us were magnificent. The second night was a bit warmer and we woke up the next day to beautiful weather, unfortunately the wind found us again but the day was warm. That day we excavated 48 more bones from Eolambia. Several skull bones were found and excavated. We put a plaster jacket around a braincase and were able to remove that intact.
The evening was warm yet still breezy and conversation was fun and friendships grew. Thursday, time to break camp and then we headed out on our geology tour. This followed the route we had covered last week. The Crew from Purdue enjoyed playing on the sand dune and getting sand in places that should not contain sand.
After that we visited one of Butch Cassidy’s campsites where his name has been written on the rock in axel grease and can be still seen today. There we also talked about geology, the formations and how they were created.
Next we stopped at some dikes and a gypsum quarry. The wildflowers were out in abundance and added to the natural beauty. We continued following the same route as last week. This time, however, we surprised a herd of wild horses! Most of the Purdue Crew had never been four wheeling on back roads and found the experience to be exciting and enjoyable.
We finally reached I-70 and headed up the Moore Cut-Off Road to visit the newly discovered dinosaur tracks and then home after a stop at Gilly’s in Ferron for ice cream. And we all looked forward to a very long, hot shower.