The fading sun beat down on our backs after an already long day in the field. Exhausted, we toiled over shovels and dug with our bare hands to clear away the sand. We were in the heart of dinosaur country on the Colorado Plateau of northern Arizona, working in the middle of the Navajo Nation to determine the ages of two skeletons of Dilophosaurus wetherilli that had been unearthed there previously. We had spent this hot June day in 2014 hiking up and down the badlands to measure the rock beds and fill our backpacks with geologic samples. And now we had to excavate—not a new dinosaur but rather our truck, which had gotten bogged down in the sand dunes and was buried up to the axles. The life of a globe-trotting field scientist is rooted in the mundane—applying for permits, taking notes, cooking meals and washing dishes in camp, reviewing the day's data by light of the campfire—rather than the swashbuckling of the movies. We never see Indiana Jones or Alan Grant digging out a stuck pickup truck.