Wednesday, August 16, 2006

August 16, 2006

On the road, again…. Yes, indeed. Now a chance to relax. All I need do is drive carefully for three days and I’m home free. This is the first chance I’ve had all summer to breathe easy – you’re always “on” when leading a major project such as Cincinnati Museum Center’s Dinosaur Field School.

What happened on Monday? Clockwork. Although it was a long, hard, worrying day, everything went fine. I picked up the trailer, made the necessary adjustments and changes, found some discarded pallets, cleaned up the “Dodson” Site with Sara, Sam and Mac, got new license plates for the (still sort of) new truck, and waited for the loader to arrive – which it did. Some large nylon tie-down straps and an hour or so of care later and the Diplodocus dorsal series was secure on the trailer. Thanks, all! We really appreciate your help. A visit to some truck scales showed that our minimum estimate was dead-on – 3500 lbs. What a relief to know certainly that we have not exceeded our gross weight limits. Still, pulling a trailer takes some care, so I’ll ease it on down the highway, probably arriving at the Museum on Friday.

The rest of the gang are closing up Mother’s Day in the next few days – finishing up collecting, covering for the winter to protect against exposure and vandalism (we’ve never had any problems), and then – heading to Utah! Don spent a week at his thesis site near Castledale and returned with news that he had found some good material but hadn’t time to collect it. So – everyone jumped to his aid with offers to help him complete his M.S. research and I gave them my blessing to go. They will probably have a week of work before the season ends and all are back in Cincy. Make hay while the sun shines (or the roads are not muddy) as they say. An extra week for the gang will be good experience for all, help out Don, salvage some significant fossils for the benefit of all, and adds little to the total cost of the summer field work (they are camping – and dieting! – after all). I expect that Mason will be able to continue the blog at some point to let you (and me) know how things have gone.

As for me, I’m signing off (for now). Look for an update or two to follow about how arrival at the Museum went and where one might see these fossils now (our exhibit prep lab, I hope). Indeed, we may continue this blog on occasion with info about preparation of the fossils. I also have a great Allosaurus project you may like to hear about. Until then, all the best, come and visit. and keep on supporting those museums!

Cheers, G-

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