She sits studying the ground with years of experience guiding her expert eyes.
She carefully selects a fossil out of the organic dark gray overbank deposit and reflects on the historical significance of the ground below her.
She thinks about the movement of the Western Interior Cretaceous Seaway. Her mind jumps forward to the continental glacier melting back and thinks of the annual erosion rate constantly increasing.
Somber delta like deposits of brown and yellow layers, organic rich ground exposed. Thoughts of the KT boundary roughly defined by lignite deposits above the fossil line flood her head.
She grasps the fossil in her weathered, sun-burnt hands turning it over and over as though it were a prized possession.
She smiles, recognizing that it is a therapod metatarsal, a find that will help fill in the gaps yet lead to more unanswered questions.
She closes her eyes and is transformed back 65 million years...
She can hear him walking, toes gripping the lush land in search of a meal to satisfy his veracious appetite.
She wonders if he was aware that someday in the distance future, with the sun beating down her back she would collect a fossilized remnant of his existence.
His image goes extinct...
She opens her eyes re-enters the moment knowing that she must tell his story. The story of the 65 million year old, 3 foot tall therapod that was discovered in the Hell Creek Formation within the Foreland Basin. This mere realization makes the seemingly endless days out in the field completely worth it.