We headed over to the BLM (Bureau of Land Management) Office and met up with Sue Fivecoat and Buzz Rakow to check in. After getting up to speed we headed out to visit the Hanksville-Burpee Quarry. Once we arrived we spent a few hours prospecting the area and checking the site for vandalism. As some of you might know, last fall some of the dinosaur bones that we had plastered and buried became the victims of thievery.
For the most part it seems that some of the material that was taken was small, easy to get to bones. However, we did find a very large hole that Josh could almost lay down in. It was not located in the main part of our quarry so we have no idea what was taken from there…..but it was big, possibly a big sauropod femur. The sad part is that people who do this are really stealing from themselves and their heritage. We will never know
what was really taken….was it a skeletal element to a new dinosaur? Perhaps an element that has never been fully described. In the end we all loose for someone to make a quick buck. Aside from this big hole, most of the site looked in good order.
Josh and I made several visits to the site while we waited for our final permit. The remainder of the day was spent visiting several other promising localities and points of interest, including Factory Butte. This large exposure is a local sight-seeing place. It rises several hundred feet from the ground. Geologically it is an early Cretaceous marine deposit called the Mancos Shale. Oyster fossils can be found in the billions there and if you are lucky you can find some shark’s teeth. At the end of the day the realization that there is literally hundreds of miles of unexplored territory out there washed over us…..we have a lot of work to do.