Wednesday morning arrived with all of our bags packed and the group waiting in the lobby of the hotel. We were about to embark on the first leg of our fieldwork journey. We boarded our rented bus with along with Dr. Jin and a couple of his associates from the museum and started the 4 hour journey to Lishui. As we left Hangzhou, the scenery made an unexpected turn from urban skyscrapers and construction to jungle-covered mountains and rice paddies. The scores of screeching mopeds melted into trucks of chickens and hogs. Wild peaks peered down on our pressed noses as we peered back at mountains that seemed to grow as clouds burned off their summits. This is what I had pictured China to be.
After eating a brief lunch at what I can only liken to a truck stop, we drove into Lishui and checked in to our hotel for the evening. We still had the better part of the afternoon, however, and one of the men from the local museum showed us around town. We stopped first at the camera museum, an impressive exhibit of photography and cameras that they seemed quite proud of. After that, we were next told that we would go see some dinosaur eggs. The local museum was under construction, so the egg clutches were temporarily being held in another building. After being led through a Ming dynasty courtyard and up the stairwell of a more modern house we stopped in front of two beautiful egg clutches, in the stairwell. They were both covered in display cases, and along the steps were canvas bags of broken pottery from varying dynasties.
After taking ample pictures, we boarded back on to our bus and headed to a field locality site for the eggs. On the ride to the site, Dr. Jin explained that the eggs were discovered when the foundations of a house were being dug, but now that area is a park. Directly above the park is a road in which the road cut reveals the rocks that could yield eggs or dinosaur bone. We spent the rest of the afternoon walking up the hill, taking the first big-scale look at the rocks we’ve been looking at for the past two weeks. We didn’t find any eggs, but we did get a feel for the geologic context in which the eggs we’ve been researching are preserved.