Where in the hell am I?

September 29, 2010

The Middle: Wyoming Day 7

Filed under: archaeology, archeology, survey — Tags: , , , , , — John @ 9:24 pm

Today’s title has two meanings.
First of all, today was literally the middle of my time here, with 6 field days completed and 6 field days still ahead (and 7 days here and 7 days left after).
Secondly, today we tackled an area that was basically in the middle of the northern project area. We had to drive in 10-11 miles on a dirt two-track road. This took about an hour and fifteen minutes on the way in, and an hour on the way out (because we knew the vagaries of the road better).
It ended up being one of those days where we took a long time and did a lot of walking without really covering a lot of the actual survey area. These seem to happen on most every large survey project at least once, and we knew it would happen ahead of time. Well, sort of…the roads didn’t seem to go quite as far as we thought, adding a lot more walking.
I’d estimate my team walked 8-9 miles, including many up-and-downs. Just the walk back to the truck at the end of the day was almost 3 miles!
Not much to say archaeologically. No cairn sites. Walked over a lithic scatter outside of the current survey area. Found an old Coors can.
The real highlights of the day were seeing some prairie dogs and a MOUNTAIN LION! As we were driving out, we saw this big, tawny animal running away from the road. It was going really fast, but we could tell from the size, color, and gait that it was a mountain lion. While I would love to get a picture, I’m perfectly happy to see one at a distance, from the safety of the truck, as it runs away.
Starting tomorrow, there will be 12 people on the crew. We’ll start by surveying the 1×1 mile section where a substation is planned. This will be traditional survey, recording all sites and isolates. When that is finished (probably Friday) we’ll start surveying the 90 miles of access roads. Definitely looking forward to some level ground and real sites!

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