16 September 2008. Huatugou, stone's throw from Xinjiang.
We spent five days in Eboliang, arguably the most inaccessible hill in all of the Chaidamu Basin. We were tight on gasoline going in, so there was little room for a wrong turn or getting stuck in the rolling sand dunes.
[looking towards Eboliang, in this photo only as a dark band of rock on the horizon]
[after 11.5 hours, we finally reached our 2006 campsite, recognizing our tracks in the sand]
[our base camp]
we did not find as many fossils here as in other localities. However, in addition to more fossil fish specimens, we discovered the first small mammal skull and pieces of the large mammal known as chalicotheres. It took some intense hiking in strong northwesterly wind, and we pulled camp after exhausting our food supply.
Next, we will work in the Huatugou area for a few days, looking for Pliocene deposits of ancient lakes and the fossil animals preserved within.