Photos and video from our 2019 cross-country
odyssey and badlands fossil hunting expedition.

The Gateway Arch in St Louis Missouri. This was the longest vacation I have ever taken in my life. It might almost be more accurate to call it a sabbatical. It was great to get away for so long. It was an epic, cross-country adventure. I drove across 14 different states, visiting some several times. Here I am at the base of the Gateway Arch in St Louis Missouri. I've always wanted to see it. Finally had the chance. Driving across the midwest in spring time was beautiful. Everything was so green and vibrant. Wildflowers were blooming. It was a fantastic trip. Traffic was also surprisingly good most places, considering how much driving I did. There were only a few bad spots, like Nashville, where things got all snarled up. For the most part it was smooth sailing almost the whole way.

States I drove across or visited on this trip were:

South Dakota
New Mexico

A few states like Wyoming, Nebraska and Colorado got driven across multiple times due to our itinerary.

My Toyota Tacoma at the Colorado border. As I said above. I drove across the country this time. I usually fly for my vacations. This time was different because I wanted to relocate my old, reliable Toyota Tacoma out west so I would have it available for future vacation trips. No more having to rent a 4X4 truck every time I go out west. Now I have one in storage in Albuquerque, just a short Uber ride from the airport. This is going to save me a ton of money in the long run. The storage fees are nothing compared to the cost of renting a 4X4 pickup for a few weeks multiple times a year.

Here my Tacoma is posing at the Colorado border on the way to Denver to pick up Leslie who was flying out. I took off a few days earlier so I could pick her up at the Denver airport. Then we headed up to Wyoming to visit relatives of hers, then spend some time at her property. Next it was off to Nebraska for a couple weeks of fossil hunting in the White River Badlands, with detours into South Dakota (I hope I someday get to see South Dakota when it isn't raining, sleeting or snowing). Then it was back to Leslie's place in Wyoming for a while. Then we drove down to Arizona to spend time at my place. Then finally we drove to Albuquerque, put the truck in storage, and flew home.

Whew! What a whirlwind adventure. Hard to believe we were gone for a whole month. So much was packed into this trip that the time seemed to fly by quickly. I was joking with Leslie that we need to get back to work to get some rest!

Leslie's cabin in Wyoming. After driving across the country to Denver, I picked up Leslie at the airport. We visited with a friend of mine in Denver, then drove north to Cheyenne Wyoming. We stayed with relatives of hers in Cheyenne for one night. Then we continued driving west until we got to her cabins near Thermopolis Wyoming. We spent a few days in one of her cabins and got everything ready for the big fossil hunting expedition to Nebraska. There was a lot of prep work that needed to be done, but we found the time to do a little exploring and have some fun too before we had to leave.

The High Plains Homestead in Nebraska. It was a long, cold, foggy and rainy drive east into Nebraska and to the High Plains Homestead. We arrived at the Homestead in the fog and rain. The weather was just awful.This did not bode well for our fossil hunting plans. Especially since the weather report was predicting more of the same for the next few days. The roads into the area of the badlands we hunt in are impassible in the rain. The road to the Homestead was bad enough. However, all the members of our party eventually made it.

This photo shows part of the Homestead in the fog and rain just after we arrived. We set up housekeeping and waited (impatiently) for the weather to clear up and the roads to dry out.

The historical marker at Fort Robinson, Nebraska. While we were waiting for the weather to clear up, we played at being tourists and visited a lot of the local (and not so local) sites of interest. First on the agenda was Fort Robinson, which is just a short drive from the Homestead. Fort Robinson has a long and interesting history. There is also a really great museum at the fort.

The Crazy Horse memorial at Fort Robinson. Here is a photo of the Crazy Horse memorial at Fort Robinson. He was killed on this spot in 1877.

The mammoth mural at the Ft. Robinson Museum. The museum at Ft. Robinson is amazing if you are a fossil nut. There are lots of fossils on display that were taken from the badlands in the area. The centerpiece though is a pair of full-grown, male, Columbian Mammoths who got their tusks locked together while fighting and died and were fossilized in place, still interlocked. This is an artist's interpretation of the scene as it happened. The theory is that they got their tusks locked together, then one of them slipped and fell while they were tustling. That dragged the other down, and they were unable to get up again while locked together. They soon died and were fossilized.

The interlocked mammoth skulls at Ft. Robinson. Here are the actual fossilized skeletons of the two mammoths, still interlocked. The display is huge. It fills the entire width of the museum building. A catwalk has been constructed so visitors can walk around the site and get good views and photos of the two intertwined monsters from every angle.

The Mammoth Site in Hot Springs South Dakota. Keeping with the Mammoth theme, the next stop on our bad weather tourist trip was The Mammoth Site in Hot Springs South Dakota. Here a steep-sided sinkhole lake became a trap for mammoths for thousands of years. They climbed down into it to either get a drink of water, or eat the greenery growing along the edge, but were then unable to climb back out. They eventually drowned and were fossilized. The depths of the old sinkhole are full of mammoth skeletons. Both Columbian mammoths and woolly mammoths were entombed in the sinkhole. They have been excavating the site for decades. A building was built over it to protect the site from the weather and allow for year-round excavation work and study. The number of excavated skeletons and the state of preservation is simply amazing.

Another View of The Mammoth Site. Here is another photo of the amazing excavation at The Mammoth site. The bones are in a really remarkable state of preservation. There are catwalks and observation points that allow for getting really good views of it all. The guided tour is excellent and very informative.

The Museum at The South Dakota School of Mines. Since the rain showed no signs of ending, we kept going further and further afield, doing touristy stuff while waiting and hoping for the weather to clear. Our next stop was the excellent museum at The South Dakota School of Mines. Here they had both paleontological and geological displays. We spent quite a bit of time there. I personally spent quite a while looking at the mineral and geology specimens, even though I only seem to have taken mostly photos of the dinosaur bones. Here is a T-Rex skull with a Triceratops nearby.

Fossilized Egges at the School of Mines museum. Here is a photo of some Oligocene era fossilized waterfoul eggs from the Chadron formation we were going to be digging in, if the weather ever cleared up. This display would be more significant in a few days when one member of our party would actually find a similar fossilized egg. See below.

A snowy trip to Mt. Rushmore. The last stop on our rainy, snowy, foggy, magical mystery tour of South Dakota was Mt. Rushmore. We went to Mt Rushmore last year too when the weather turned rainy and we couldn't get into the badlands. I wasn't expecting a return trip this year, but one member of this year's expedition had never been there. So since we were in the general neighborhood anyway, we went back. The rain turned to snow when we entered the Black Hills. Seeing Mt. Rushmore in the snow added a whole new dimension to the place. Plus it gave a bunch of crazy Floridians and excuse to act like kids and play in the snow. We made snowmen, had snowball fights, and a few other snow-related shenanigans. It was a lot of fun.

The members of this year's TBFC Badlands Expedition are from left: Grady, Lisa, Siena, Mike1, Joe, Leslie, Mike2 (me) and Bill.

Here is a video our cold and snowy trip to Mt. Rushmore and some of the crazy goings on while we were there. It was a lot of fun.

Very dirty trucks. Finally, after four days, the rain stopped, the sun came out and the roads began drying up. As you can see from the state of the the trucks, the roads were very muddy on our trips into and out of the homestead. We were out after dark one night and had to stop at a gas station to clean off the windows, headlights and tail lights in order to see and be seen.

An agate Joe found. The roads were still too muddy to get into the badlands to go fossil hunting, so we decided to go agate hunting. We could get into that area without too much difficulty. Unilke the rest of us who went agate hunting, Joe went agate finding, and found three nice examples. This photo shows one of Joe's finds. The rest of us got skunked. I found some pretty rocks, but no agates. Even though it was rapidly drying up, we all got pretty badly covered in mud while agate hunting. It was fun and interesting though. Next year I'm hoping to do better.

Finally, finally, finally, we got to go out into the badlands and begin fossil hunting. The first day it was still too muddy to tow the ATVs. So we stayed close to the roads and investigated some areas that we had never hunted before. Didn't find too much at the first spot. It was probably too picked over because of the easy access from the road. Later we went further afield and began finding better stuff.

This video is a compilation of our first few days of fossil hunting out in the badlands. It mostly chronicles my quest to find a fossilized tortoise worthy of collecting, but there is a lot of other interesting stuff along the way. We got hailed and rained on several times. The weather whipsawed between bitterly cold and scorching hot. The badlands went from wet and slippery dry and crumbly. There were some amazing finds by various members of our team. In the end, I finally got my tortoise.

A fossilized waterfowl egg. Lisa found a fossilized egg. It's very similar to the fossilized eggs we saw in the South Dakota School of Mines Museum further up this page. It's probably about 30 million years old. If anything, Lisa's egg is even more perfectly preserved. It is certainly a museum quality find. The video above shows it in better detail. Good job Lisa!

My plaster jacked tortoise. After much searching, I finally found a relatively intact fossilized tortoise just starting to erode out of the matrix. I spent close to 24 hrs 50 or 60 feet up the side of a 45 degree hill working to excavate and jacket the tortoise. The video above shows a lot of detail of the process, from the initial find, to excavation, to jacketing, to finally recovery of the specimen. Whew! That was some of the hardest, but most enjoyable work I have ever done in my life. I love this. I'd do it full time if I could.

Fossil hunting with the 4th grade class. Our 4th day in the badlands we took the local 4th grade class out fossil hunting in the badlands immediately behind the homestead. We take the 4th grade class out every year. We split them up into teams and a couple of us lead each team. We usually find something good each year, and whatever we find gets donated to the school. The kids absolutely love it. I have to admit it is a lot of fun working with the kids too.

In this photo an all girl team of 4th graders, lead by Siena, Leslie and Lisa found a completely intact tortoise eroding out of the matrix. I'm so jealous. Siena is excavating it. We will prepare and stabilize it, then donate it to the school to add to their collection.

The Hudson-Meng Bison Kill site. We got so lucky. The Hudson-Meng Bison Kill site is normally still closed when we are in Nebraska. So many of us have never been able to visit it. They opened it up just for the day to accommodate the kids this year. Those of us who had never been there got to tag along as chaperons. It was amazingly cool to get to see the site even though it wasn't officially open yet for the season.

The Hudson-Meng Bison Kill site is a huge bison bone bed roughly 10,000 years old. Some of the bison skeletons have spear points embedded in them. So at least some of the bison were likely killed and butchered by people.

Another view of The Hudson-Meng Bison Kill site. There are a lot of theories about how and why all these bison died in such a small area. Some of the theories don't seem to make much sense to me. They seem to have been dreamed up by people who don't have a hunter's mindset, or a practical understanding of the logistics of dealing with such large animals. Theories about killing the bison and taking the carcasses to a central location for butchering are non-starters with me. How would the paleo-Indians possibly move such large, dead animals. They had no wheels, carts or any sort of lifting equipment. Plus these ancient bison were even larger and heavier than modern bison which are huge. The whole bison jump theory seems to be invalidated because there are no green breaks in the bones as would be expected if the bison were killed by stampeding them off a precipice. Some of the other theories just seem even more silly to me.

My own theory seems blatantly obvious. It's known the kill site was near a spring with a reliable water hole. The bison would have returned to this area regularly for the water. The Indians most likely (in my opinion) knew this, and regularly hunted the bison as they went to the water hole. The kill site was likely a choke point where the animals bunched up as they headed to the water. The Indians could simply fling a few spears into the bunched heard from a safe distance on high ground, and were pretty much guaranteed to kill a bison or two each time. The dead animals were then butchered on the spot. Repeat this scenario over and over and over again for many years and the thick layer of bison bones would eventually accumulate in the killing zone. Simple. If only we had a time machine to go back and see what really happened.

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A new area of the badlands. After spending a couple of days in the area where I recovered my tortoise, then taking the kids out behind the Homestead, we moved on to a different area of the badlands. I immediately started finding large numbers of teeth and jaw fragments with teeth in them. This area of the badlands seemed to be covered in teeth. See below.

Some of the teeth I collected. Here is a photo of some of the teeth I collected on this trip. They range from fragments of Titanothere teeth that were originally as big as my fist, to tiny complete teeth from rabbits and other small animals. By far the most common teeth were from Mesohippus (an early horse relative) and Oriodont (a strange but common animal that looked like a cross between a pig and a sheep).

This video chronicles our last few days of fossil hunting in the badlands. There were several really great finds during the last few days. The fossil trackway below was one of them. My own last few hours of the last day find of a titanothere bone bed was another.

A fossil trackway of rhino footprints. Mike S. found a fossil trackway of rhino footprints. It was an amazing find. He broke the stones with footprints in them out of the matrix and it took four of us to carry the largest of them up out of the badlands.

Here is a photo of one of the rhino footprints in the rock taken with oblique lighting. The shape of the track really shows up wonderfully. The heel pad and three toes are totally obvious. This was another great museum-quality find made on this trip. Good job spotting them, Mike! The only problem was that Mike now had to transport hundreds of pounds of delicate and awkward stones home to Florida. He may need to return them to Nebraska or South Dakota in the future as scientists and museums are expressing interest in them.

Our last day in the badlands started out hot and dry. It was promising to be a real broiler. This day was less structured than the previous days. Since it was our last day, several people needed to finish up and retrieve specimens from areas we had visited earlier. Others wanted to go further afield in search of better specimens. It became something of a free for all. Instead of all of us hunting a relatively small area of the badlands together, we split up into small groups that were sometimes miles apart. Late in the day a bad storm rolled in and dumped hard rain and sleet on us, but since it was our last day and we needed to finish up, we worked right through it. Soon the sun was out again and we began warming up and our clothes started drying out. I was very reluctant to leave due to the weather because of what I found near the end of the day. See below.

My titanothere bone bed. I found a Titanothere bone bed almost at the end of the last day. After dithering for a bit about whether we had time to dig it out, or whether we should just winterize the find and come back next year, we decided to try to quickly salvage as much of the bones and teeth as we could before we had to pull out, then winterize the rest.

This photo shows many pinkish bone fragments and some large bones, plus two of the four large teeth we found and excavated. There is pinkish bone to the left and right of the tip of my icepick. There are black teeth showing at each side of the shaft of the icepick. Almost everything to the left of the wooden handle is bone. Possibly jaw or cheekbone. And the bones just kept going. Myself, Leslie and Mike S. were all digging on this thing. We recovered a lot in a short time, (see below), but more and more bones just kept turning up and going back into the hill as far as I could probe. Eventually I just had to call it and start winterizing the hole. Hopefully the elements and other fossil hunters won't destroy the site before we can get back to it next year.

Aluminum jackets of titanothere bones and teeth. Here is the pile of aluminum jacketed material we dug out of this titanothere bone bed. There are four teeth, including one giant molar that may be as big as my fist once all the shattered pieces are glued back together, and three whole smaller teeth, plus lots of bones. It was an amazing find. I hope we can dig more out of it next year.

Our last day in Nebraska we had a jacket party. We put plaster lids on all the plaster jacketed fossils we took out of the badlands. Completely encasing them in plaster makes them stronger for the long and bumpy trip home to Florida. Once back in Florida, we will cut the jackets open and slowly, carefully, uncover and stabilize the fossils within. These are only about half the jackets that came home this year. There were also buckets and boxes full of aluminum jackets and plastic bagged material. The U-Haul trailer was pretty packed. It was a really great and productive trip to the badlands. Can't wait to go back again.

Snowy mountains in Wyoming. After we left Nebraska, we went back to Leslie's place in Wyoming for a couple of days. Then we set out for my place in Arizona. We were going to see a lot of sights along the way. Starting with these lovely snow covered mountains in Wyoming. This is the Wind River Range. We actually drove up the north side of these mountains in a terrible blizzard with white-out conditions on the road. It was a real white-knuckle drive with almost no visibility. When we crested the top of the pass, the snow pretty much stopped, and we got lovely long vistas of the beautiful mountains.

A female turkey crossing the road in Wyoming Here is a female turkey that crossed the road in front of us after we broke out of the snow in the Wind River Range. She lingered at the side of the road long enough for us to get some photos.

The nice weather didn't last though. As we drove south through Wyoming, Colorado and Utah we were alternately rained and snowed on over and over again. Every range of mountains we crossed seemed to be topped by a storm. The bad weather was just relentlessly hanging over this part of the country, and it was especially bad in the highlands. We pressed on though and made it to Vernal Utah at the end of the first day. We arrived in Vernal with a gale force wind blowing, the temperature rapidly dropping and rain threatening. We got some dinner and stayed in a motel for the night.

The wall of bones at Dinosaur National Monument. The next day dawned bitterly cold and spitting rain on and off. We headed over to Dinosaur National Monument. I had never been there before. Leslie and her son had been there a long time ago when he was little. Much had changed since then, so it was like a new experience for her too. I was blown away by the 50 yard long wall of bones that is exposed there. It is immense and just chock full of dinosaur bones. Many of the bones are still articulated, like the neck and skull at the top of this photo. Click the photo for a larger view.

Leslie giving scale to the wall of bones. Here Leslie is giving scale to part of the 50 yard long wall of bones. The whole thing is about 5 stories tall too. It's all walled in and roofed over to keep it and us out of the weather. We had a great time looking at and learning about the various species of dinosaurs represented in this massive bone bed. The rangers were also very friendly, helpful and informative. They were especially impressed to learn that we just came from a fossil dig in Nebraska.

Another view of the wall of bones. Here is another view of the wall of bones at Dinosaur National Monument. It was just an awesome sight. I'm so glad we went.

A dinosaur femur eroding out of the hillside. A ranger told us that the outcrop continues through the hills outside, well beyond the section that is covered by the building. She told us about a hiking trail that we could follow to see still more bones eroding out of the hills. We weren't sure about trying with the weather being so iffy. It was cold and windy and intermittently sprinkling with the threat of heavier rain at any time. But we decided to go for it. Heck, we had been rained and hailed on half a dozen times in the Badlands of Nebraska. How bad could it get here?

The weather actually cooperated and never did more than very lightly sprinkle on us while we hiked the 1.2 mile trail. We lingered a long time at the exposure of the Morrison Formation where the dinosaur bones are. With our well practiced eyes after the recent fossil hunt in Nebraska, we spotted lots of bits of bone eroding out of the rock. Here Leslie is standing next to a huge femur, possibly from a Camarasaurus. Look closely and you'll see it.

Spider Rock at Canyon De Chelly The rest of the second day was spent driving south toward my place in Arizona. We lingered long at Dinosaur National Monument. Then had an unexpectedly long lunch break in Colorado, and got caught up in bad weather and heavy traffic while passing through Moab, UT. All this slowed down our progress and we arrived in Chinle, AZ much later than I had been hoping. Then we had an unfortunate incident where the keys got locked in the truck and it took until about midnight to get a locksmith on site to open up the truck. It was a long day.

The next day dawned like the last few, cold, windy and rainy. Leslie was hoping we'd start seeing more of the sun once we got into Arizona, but the weather wasn't cooperating yet. We were determined to visit Canyon De Chelly and The Hubble Trading Post in spite of the bad weather. Leslie in particular wanted to Visit Canyon De Chelly. I had been there before, but am always up for a return trip to it. Here is a view of Spider Rock under threatening skies.

White House Overlook at Canyon De Chelly. We didn't get to stop at every overlook at canyon De Chelly. I was worried that the weather was going to take a turn for the worse, so after stopping at the first few overlooks, I took us all the way to see spectacular Spider Rock before things got ugly. It was a good decision. We left Spider Rock planning to see some of the overlooks we passed on the way. No sooner did we get to the White House Overlook than the skies opened up and began dumping freezing rain on us. We just had time for a couple of photos and this quick selfie before we had to race back to the truck.

The next stop was The historic Hubble Trading Post. Turns out Leslie had been to the Hubble Trading Post in the past, maybe as a child, but had no memory of it until we drove in and she saw the place. Then she remembered it.

Me in my Arizona Cabin. Finally, we made it to my property and my little cabin in the woods. Here Leslie snapped a picture of me as I was opening the door and letting her in for her first look at the place. She'd been wanting to stay there with me for a long time. I had been warning her that it was just one step (maybe half a step) above tent camping. She kept reassuring me that she could handle it. She is a tough woman. She'd have been a great pioneer woman 150 years ago. She can handle anything. She seemed to quickly adjust to, and even like staying in the primitive conditions, and claims she can't wait to go back again. We definitely need to visit during a warmer time next time. It was really unseasonably cold and nasty while we were there. Late May is usually much warmer. Not this year. Winter wasn't easily giving way to spring in the West this year. Arizona was a little warmer and less snowy, rainy and haily than most of the other states we'd visited, but only a little.

Driving on the backroads of the White Mountains. I took Leslie up into the White Mountains to see some of my favorite scenic places. We drove through a terrible blizzard up the slopes of the mountains. I expected to find the peaks and meadows covered in snow and the roads impassible. To my great surprise, we came out of the blizzard into clear air above it as we ascended into the mountains. The winter snow had mostly melted, and there was only a very fine, light snowfall coming down out of the clear, blue sky while we were up there. No doubt snowflakes from the lower altitude blizzard being lofted by strong mountain updrafts. It was kind of surreal to have snow falling on us out of a clear sky. Leslie (a Florida girl) was especially stuck by it. The snow is too fine to show up in the photos, but it fell on us the whole time we were up in the mountains. Leslie loved it up there. She thinks it's as beautiful and special as I do.

A huge snow drift. As we were driving around in the White Mountains, we came across this huge snow drift on the tree-shaded, north side of a hill. It was an absolutely immense drift. It may take until July or August to fully melt. Naturally Leslie had to get a close up look at it. Then naturally looking at it had to devolve into a snowball fight. Good fun.

An old falling down adobe Pony Express building. By our second day at my place the weather started improving. The sun was out and it warmed up enough by afternoon for us to shed our winter coats. Finally we were out of the rain, sleet, hail, fog and winter chill that had been dogging us most of this month-long trip. It was still pretty cold at night, but it was a big improvement.

Leslie and I did a little exploring as we traveled the back roads to and from my property. She wanted to get close up looks at things I've already seen a million times, and tend to drive by without giving a second thought to any more. Here I am standing next to an old and falling down adobe building not far from my property. According to my neighbors, the local lore is that this building used to be a Pony Express station. I did a little research and discovered that the Pony Express route didn't come anywhere near this area. This old building is likely just an old homestead, or maybe a line shack for the huge cattle ranch that used to occupy most of this corner of Arizona. Not sure if I will burst my neighbor's bubble about it being an old Pony Express station. Maybe I'll just leave it be.

Me in the Arizona badlands. I took Leslie out to my top secret petrified wood collecting site out in the badlands. She'd been wanting to see it for herself and hunt around in it. We spent a couple of hours out there. The local herd of cattle saw us arrive and get out of my truck carrying buckets. They must have thought we were ranchers bringing them fodder. They all trotted over and surrounded my truck, then looked terribly confused and disappointed as we hiked away into the badlands instead of feeding them. They mooed at our backs forlornly as we hiked off into the badlands. My truck was completely lost in the herd of cows. I should have taken a picture. I told Leslie that they were probably licking the truck as we were hiking away. Sure enough, when we got back, there were lick marks and nose prints on the truck. Yuck. Leslie thought they were cute and resisted washing her window. She called them "Cow Kisses."

Our collection of petrified wood. Here is the petrified wood we collected on this trip. We found some really good stuff. It's helpful to have a second pair of eyes and a partner who knows what she's looking for. We found some colorful stuff, some knotty stuff, and some fully agatized stuff (rare for this location). It was a holiday weekend, and the Post offices were all closed. So mailing stuff home wasn't an option. We did FedEx some stuff back, but much of this wood wound up in my suitcase. It turned out to be over-weight at the airport. DOOP! Oh well. I got the stuff home anyway, and it wasn't mangled beyond recognition by the Post Office like some previous shipments.

An Arizona ghost town. Our last day in Arizona, while we were out exploring, we visited an old ghost town not far from my property. There are a lot of old abandoned buildings and vehicles there. We got a close-up look at this place, and the old vehicles parked outside it. If anyone knows what the station wagon in the foreground is, I'd be interested in knowing. Faded lettering seemed to say Transhaul, but when I Google Transhaul, all I get is big rigs and trailers. Nothing that looks like this 1950s-1960s looking station wagon. Email me if you know what it is.

Leslie and her double. The next day we drove to Albuquerque. I took the scenic route and Leslie got to see a lot of the pretty country between the Zuni Reservation and Grants in New Mexico. We washed all the mud and "cow kisses" off the truck and checked into a motel for the night. Our flight home wasn't until late the next day. So we had a lot of time to kill. We wound up exploring old-town Albuquerque on foot. We explored a lot of the shops, toured the museum, and had a leisurely lunch at a nice Mexican restaurant off the plaza. Here Leslie is clowning around in the sculpture garden outside the museum.

Then it was time to drive my truck to the storage facility. We had a rough time getting the cover on it in the relentless 40mph wind that kicked up as we arrived. (I wonder if the cover is still on it?) Then we took an Uber to the airport and flew home.

What a great vacation.

Restored titanothere teeth. UPDATE: I'm so excited about how well the titanothere teeth and ribs I dug up in the Nebraska Badlands turned out. I'll bet my teeth won't look so good when they are 30 million years old. I found the bone bed on the afternoon of the last field day of our expedition to the badlands. I dug out the teeth and bone fragments in great haste, and without as much care as I should have used due to time constraints. I brought back quite a jumble of bone and tooth pieces. From that incomplete mess of a jigsaw puzzle, Joe was able to reconstruct three teeth and the ends of two ribs.

Restored titanothere Ribs. Here are the two reconstructed ribs. I have a lot more bone and tooth fragments, but Joe couldn't make much of them. Maybe on our next trip I'll be able to dig up more pieces that will allow for filling in the gaps and putting together more of the skeleton. I can't wait to get back to the badlands.

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