Wednesday, May 3, 2017

We Got A Tour.

I paced my self, after the sunrise and remembered to eat my protein bar... and only the protein bar... might have to get some real breakfast in me.....and did NOT end up having a lot of time before we all met at the lab to see the bones and stones and artifacts in the collection.
I do believe it may deserve it's own post, as it was a very informative tour and I am pretty sure I took away some of my own fallacies from all the info I was presented.   Matt Smith... yet another alias like mine.... was the master of the Collections:

In the main lab we saw a lot of relocating Paleo-Lab items. On my trip through last year I got to see how the 3D printer and scientists work together to make models, and say, you have one shoulder.... digitally you can flip it and create a model that mirrors it, so your jigsaw puzzle has better pieces. More in the longer post..... Down dark corridors we found skins of animals from within the park bounds (A SPOTTED SKUNK NO LESS)  and pottery that is historical, such as was once on display at the museum and even artifacts from CCC workers. 
Every type of visitor is represented.  He even took us to his LAB-O-RA-TORY.

Amazing machines for counting microscopic petrified scales and all on a budges of about $1000 a year.  PLEASE FOLKS, we depend on the kindness of strangers, so get yourself involved with the National Park Service associations and donate whenever, wherever you can.  The work is done by a handful of professionals, who have been mostly trained through on the job experience.  Something that books and classrooms cannot teach. Careful use of volunteers and the amazing personal involvement of the people who intimately know these creatures  from ancient times is what sets this sort of research apart.  The Dept. of the Interior is in charge of things and they MUST protect one of the largest collections (total) in the world.

I loved that he didn't even start the talk by dumbing it down!  My bits of Latin and good old public school education had me following RIGHT along.  Some of the actual names got jumbled in my head, but I have only remembered (not cheating by looking at tags) about 5 staff... I don't do names.

When I left, I realized the dust and eyefry from taking more photos yesterday PM helped me get the old sinus headache back.  I am feeling ancient.   After a couple of hours I think, in the courtyard by the offices where the wifi is thin but there, I had updated the blog from yesterday and did my little mail etc.  Heading home I thought a short nap... (WHICH I REALLY DID NAP!) and I might take the paints and pencils across the road, quietly, at long shadows, to see the Painted Desert vistas.

Jim's (the other AiR) easel was still up in the observation area, even though he was off for the day.  I AM NOT A LANDSCAPE painter, although painting outside is fine with me, so I took to a trail to see what I might sketch.  Had a great chat with a couple of visitors and decided the rocks were lumpy to sit on the but the view was worth it... on the way back up I realized I WILL NOT be hiking.  Some longer flat walks, ok, but now I KNOW I am not fit enough.  Went back, got the camera, raced back, took it out, snapped 2 shots and promptly ran out of battery.  AAARRRGGGHHH.

So Thing and I (and the headache) decided to eat out.  
I had spaghetti on the patio and he joined me in his travel apartment to watch the sun finish its day.

(I hear it hit 100 back home.   NICE!!!!)

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