‘Diggin’ Up Bones’ and other Famous Songs

Cave digging is exhausting. That’s just one of the things I learned today, on my first paleontological dig with museum staffers and other volunteers. We’re in southern Indiana, clearing out a cave, on an expedition that has been repeated nearly every summer for 23 years.  Hauling 60 to 70 giant buckets full of rocks and mud uphill for a few hours is a workout! And my shower tonight ranks up there with the best showers of all time; dirt and sweat and mud had permeated every crevice of my body! When you can actually smell your own self, you KNOW you need a shower! And luckily the tick I found had not yet fully attached itself … 

Some other things I learned: helmets are a very important piece of caving equipment. As I hauled those buckets to the mouth of the cave, I probably hit my head on solid rock approximatedly 24 times. And its a good thing I’m not as terrified of spiders as my sister and my daughter, because I was definitely sharing quarters with at least a dozen big juicy ones (as long as they stayed on their side of the wall, I was okay with them being there).

Balance: this is a surprisingly important skill when you’re climbing uneven hills and when you’re teetering on rock, trying to heave a heavy bucket onto a metal roller system to get it out of the cave. I was not keen on slipping and falling face first into the mud! 

So about the music … do you ever get some song stuck in your head? Well, when you’re in a group of people, its really not nice to push that song upon the others, because then THEY get it stuck in THEIR head! First it was the old country song “Diggin’ Up Bones,” then it suddenly became  Lady Gaga’s “Paparazzi,” since my husband and I are the resident “paparazzi” on this dig. Speaking of which … here are some photos …

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4 Responses

  1. This is my first time getting on something like this It is new to me how ever I would like to talk to someone about what my soon to be husband had found at his job site he found some bones and teeth that looked like dino bones and his boss is being really mean to him cause my man knew what they were and his boss didnt and now its crazy but I would like to know what kinda bones these are can someone help???????????

  2. Hi Laura – Please send your question to pfisherkeller@dnr.in.gov and we will try to help you out.

  3. My family & I are in Ohio & we look forward to visiting your facility Nov 13. I do have a few questions that will make our trip planning go a little easier. If we pack a lunch can we leave the facility & come back in without being charged an additional entrance fee ? Is there an additional charge for parking? We are four adults that have never visited your museum & would appreciate any ideas on what to see first. While we appreciate the TITANIC Exhibition, we do not care to see this a second time. We will of course make more visits to view the rest museum at a later time. Any help you can give us in this matter would be greatly appreciated. Thank you. Jo Anne Pistek

  4. Hi Jo Anne – Thank you for your comment and we are glad you are choosing to visit our museum. To answer some of your questions:

    1. If you pack a lunch, you can leave the museum and return within the same day as long as you hang onto your ticket stub. Each time you re-enter the exhibit galleries you need to rescan your ticket stubs.
    2. As long as you park in the underground parking garage attached to the Indiana State Museum there is a charge for parking but we stamp your parking stub for $3 which is the most you will pay. However, if you are adding an IMAX film to your visit we validate free parking.
    3. Without knowing what your interests are, a few exhibits I feel would be good for your group to check out would be Odd Indiana and Heartland Art. Another good one to look at would be Nikon Small World. Our core galleries are divided by Natural History & Cultural History and both have enough objects and artifacts that will keep you busy for hours.

    We hope you enjoy your visit to the Indiana State Museum!

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