There and Back Again – #Paleontology Field Work 2018 – Days 3, 4, and 5

The past three days, I’ve caught myself in a wireless signal vacuum, which is why I’m only now writing something.

Two days ago (day 3, for those counting), I drove through the rest of Nebraska and into Wyoming until my stopping point at the Virginian Hotel in Medicine Bow, Wyoming. There I met up with colleagues and spent the evening drinking beers and talking about the Paleocene-Eocene Boundary.

The next morning (day 4), I got up bright and early and headed out to the field. This was the maiden off-road voyage for Christine, my car that loves me more than anyone else.

Christine looks so good out there!

I made it to the camp site and set up.

Can you see my camp?

After that I promptly marched out to do the few tasks that I specifically needed to complete. I visited some distant fossil localities and discovered that the Hanna Basin is at high altitude (cough, gasp).

Something pretty.

Thankfully, I completed all the important tasks that needed to be done, so I didn’t need to spend a second day out there.

Important outcrops that are almost 1.5 miles from camp. I walked there.

The work I did took less time than I expected and I could have conceivably packed up and gone to a hotel that night. However, I decided to camp and enjoy my favorite home away from home.

The gnats had different ideas, but that’s OK. I crawled into my tent pretty early and had the best night’s sleep that I’ve gotten since I left home for the field.

This morning (day 5) I got up much earlier than expected and headed out. It was about five hours of driving to get to my second field area for the season in Utah’s Uinta Basin. When I arrived, everyone else was still out in the field. I discovered chaos. High winds had ransacked the camp.

That’s a canopy that was blown over the bushes behind it.

It wasn’t long before the rest of the team had gotten back and we were all settled in for dinner and chats. Tomorrow , it’s off to the field again. I’m told ground temperatures were over 130 degrees Fahrenheit today. This is gonna be fun!

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About Penny

Scientist (Paleontology, Geochemistry, Geology); Writer (Speculative and Science Fiction, plus technical and non-technical Science); Mom to great boy on the Autism spectrum; possessor of too many hobbies.

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