After splitting off from the CGQ crew, Deep Eddy team was excited to return to our best site from last year – a dinosaur egg site. We weren’t excited about the hike, which was as bad as we remembered… 3 miles up and down steep, mostly marine shale cliffs, and ankle breaking basalt boulder fields. The first day in was the most brutal, each team member packing in 50-70 lbs of gear including two rock saws, several gallons of fuel, some 50 liters of water, crack hammers, etc… When we finally sat down at the site it was a great moment.
Then of course, picking and shoveling the day away to clear the bone-bearing horizon for quarrying. The mudstone here is particularly hard, hence the saws, but we made good progress with the weathered upper surface. A few interesting things turned up right away here, including an unusual layer of plant material spanning a meter near the east side of the quarry and some evidence of roots on the (former) bank above the plant layer, indicating a tree or shrub once lived a happy life here in the Late Cretaceous.
On the second day one of our team members decided to brave the washed out jeep train with his truck, which was outfitted for the trail as opposed to our museum vehicles, which were decidedly not up to task. So for the next few days we were able to shave two miles total off the hike by catching a lift up the first big hill, and I’ve got to tell you we were really grateful for that!
The next few days the hiking and the quarrying continued. We found another complete egg, taking our total to three so far, and a lot of large egg fragments. the best is yet to come (we hope!) because we are just now moving into the area behind our complete eggs from last year’s digging.
As usual internet service is nonexistant out here, so look for the next post next week when we need to resupply! Until then, wake up to a Mussentuchit sunrise at our campsite. More soon…