May 2010 Archives

dinoFountain Baby

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I think I found a baby mineral formation!

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What looks like rock on the inside actually feels like goo covered in algae. It's surrounded by a sort-of well and a pipe runs down the center. For more on this discovery, view the short video clip: The Mineral Deposits

dinoTravel Time

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Thermop, as the people here call it, sees a lot of tourists because of it's mineral hot spring. Despite a sulfur smell, the water feels so smooth, even the non-smelly tap water is rich with minerals.

Giant mineral deposits are ever-growing in the park.
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This was the plaque though some of the words have washed away.
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The memorial plaque by the Best Western's pool and spa, which is all mineral water.
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The dry air also feels cleaner and thinner though this may be because of the altitude. Or maybe it's that we're hours from a major city.

The actual temperature is only in the 60s and 70s today, but it feels like a Maryland 70s or 80s day. Because there is little foliage, the sun is always on you. I'm glad I brought a hat and sunscreen as I have to walk a little over a mile to the grocery store and back.

Oh and I traveled back in time! Not only am I on a different time (two hours back from the east coast), but there are dinosaurs everywhere. Murals, statues, fossils, street signs all have dinosaurs in them.


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dinoTaxi-ing

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So I updated last from my phone at the airport. After that, my flight was delayed further until 5:45 (originally supposed to be 2:30) and I had been waiting at the airport since 10:30 so I'm very happy to finally have arrived at the hotel. I'm not going to name the airline because it wasn't their fault. A flight attendant failed to show up and they couldn't find a replacement and had to shrink the plane size and ask volunteers to take a later flight.

The taxi was quaint, a woman and her friend. I don't think I used the Thermopolis service, but a service in Riverton. If anyone would like to use her service, she likes at least one-day notice. I learned a lot on the car trip though, saw Wyoming antelope-things that I didn't know existed, and the great cliffs and canyons that are nothing like in Maryland.

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The dust is something new though and I'm sneezing. I can also feel the altitude in my bones and veins, though I'm sure I'll soon adjust.

dinoTravel Airport

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I am at Denver Airport updating from my phone (go technology!) and though my flight was early I still have to wait for a four hour layover period before the plane to Riverton leaves. However, our flight has been delayed for another two hours, leaving me in Denver for 6 hours! I am glad I brought so much to do but I still wonder how it will occupy me for (what is now) 11 hours of travel. This is why it 's a good idea to fly in a day or so early. I still also need to make arrangements with the Wyoming Taxi Service, but since the flight time changed I will wait a bit.

Good news is I got a call from Greg Wilson (I believe) a paleontologist at the center and he said he would give me a tour the day before work starts. He also said they just dug up a big bone! I hope they've saved some work for me!

Other good news is I found a job for the summer. Though it is my old job and it doesn't pertain to my majors, I'm really just happy to have a job and one that I like when I get back. I will write more when I get to my hotel, gotta save battery.

What's in my Dino Pack?

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So my June Dinosaur Adventure in Wyoming is coming up quick. I've decided to create a master list of items to pack; the normal travel items included like clothes, hair products, and girlish things like make-up. However, my list also includes specifics for Wyoming Dinosaur Center/Big Horn Basin Foundation (BHBF) certification.

From an email I received from Seth Chamberlain, a BHBF administrator, this is what they advise:

Field: Boots (preferably with ankle support), water bottles, geology tools
(hammer, etc that they can provide), sunscreen, insect repellent, field
hat, warm and cold clothes that are durable and might get dirty.

Prep Lab: Clothes that will get dirty, closed toed and heeled shoes

Molding and Casting: Clothes that will get dirty, closed toed and heeled
shoes

Collections: Closed toed and heeled shoes

I am not doing collections this time as I only have money and time stored away for three weeks. Also, the field work usually takes two weeks, but they said that (if pressed for time) quick learners can cram the information in one week.

dinoTransportation, dinoKnowledge, dinoDowners, dinoPhotog

Thermopolis in Black and White

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Thermopolis is right around the corner and though I haven't been able to find a summer job or internship that works around it, I'm still in high spirits. I was able to acquire a black and white 38mm film camera and two rolls so far to shoot while I'm there. I'll just have to secure permission. I'm hoping to take a digital camera as well to document my trip.

I will be frequently updating my blog about the work, certification, and just overall experience. Hopefully, I'll even be able to post pictures, but we'll see what kind of access I will really have. I've bought two more dinosaur books, though I'm not sure how much they will help. I think the field experience and professional instruction is what will really set me on the right path. It's a good thing I'm a quick learner.

Over the summer, I'm also hoping to meet Dr. Matthew Carrano, the curator of dinosauria, at the Smithsonian after I return.

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