Tuesday, June 1, 2010

DAY 1: On the road and ASHFALL FOSSIL BEDS

5:00 AM was early!!  We hit the road and traveled to Ashfall Fossil Beds in Orchard, NE.  The trip to that point was about 525 miles.  We toured the site and then headed off to the Badlands.......we got here at 9:00 PM (mountain time) and had to set up in the dark...but we did it!  Guess what....everyone...most everyone slept well.  ~Mr. Perez

Do you want the good or the bad?  Well I'll tell you the bad first, I'm saving the best for last.  The bad would have to be pitching my tent in the dark, I'd never pitched a tent before...so that was an experience.  The good would be the quietness and the chirping crickets.  Usually my thoughts race before I go to sleep, but I layed down and was stunned...I heard not a peep out of my companions, and the only thing I could focus on was the crickets.  ~Megan

Well, it is my first trip to the Badlands; in fact, I had never even been to Nebraska before.  Yesterday we drove 850+ miles.  Wow, what a long day.  People who say Kansas is flat have never seen Nebraska and South Dakota!  It is beautiful and wide open and BIG, but towns are few and far between.  The excruciatingly long drive is the a chore to get through but Packard and Perez are experts when it comes to organizing people and getting a camp with 8 tents set up in the dark.   It is great being here with the "science nerds" (P & P) who know so much and are so curious about nature, from the lowliest insect to an interesting rock to birds and flowers.   Lyn Schultze 

The drive this year was better with the 2 extra drivers but still long and exhausting. We have more people along this year that in the past two years...eleven students and 4 adults.  At the fossil beds in Ash Falls, we saw a new camel fossil that had been unveiled since last summer and set off from the original 18 rhino, and horse skeletons.  We saw alot of deer on the drive from O'Neill Nebraska to Interior SD.  After a late dinner over the fire, it was a good night sleep and a pretty early morning to really set up camp and make breakfast.  M Packard

I have been looking forward to this trip since last year when they returned.  The drive up here really was not too bad, probably because we had 2 drivers.  I don't mind driving because as we were crossing states there is just so much scenery to take in.  I cannot wait for what tomorrow brings    Keating

Well the drive here was very very long but it was well worth it. The scenery on the way here was amazing. It's a lot different then kansas. I'm excited to see how the week unfolds and see the beautiful badlands up close.  Alesha

It took us a long time to get from Pittsburg, KS to Badlands, SD because we had to stop for gas every time and someone got sick a few times. We had perfect weather on our way up there and we were cramped in the vans. I hope we will have perfect weather tomorrow.    Fawna 

I was superdy duper astounded at the dramatic change in the scenery. For the majority of the way to South Dakota the scenery remained the same but during the last half hour to our campsite ( as the sun was setting...so beautiful!) the landscape blew my mind! So far it's been nice and cool and hopefully it stays that way.      Sylvia S!

The drive was agonizing. It took forever it seemed like. I was so tired but couldnt sleep. Me and Amy were like the only kids awake the whole time in our van. The ride was enteresting in some parts..but i just wish it was daylight when we got to the camp. It is so much fun and i can't wait for more adventures!   Ashley.F.

The drive was kinda long and it took forever to get here but its so much fun.  We had great brownies and cookies to eat on the way here and stopped in ashfalls.  That was fun too we got to see lots of skeletons there and learned about ashfalls. I'm having a lot of fun and can't wait til tomarrow.  Amy G.

The drive was really long but it was fun!  One minute everyone was awake and laughing, then the next everyone was asleep.  The stop in Ashfalls was great, hearing about the history and seeing the fossils was awsome. I knew i wanted to do something with history and uncovering the past, but now i definitely know what i what to do, Archaeology.-Emilee

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