Saturday, January 17, 2009

Still Alive and Well

It's been over a week since my last post. I don't go that far between posts too often but I just didn't have the inspiration during the last week. There just wasn't a whole lot going on and I was pursuing quiet past times like reading. One thing I did that hopefully will bring some adventure to my life in a few months was to volunteer for two more Passport In Time projects.

If you will remember, this past September, Guitar and I spent a week volunteering with the US Forest Service, helping them do an archaeological survey in a remote canyon in SE Colorado. The first project I volunteered for will "curate" artifacts collected during this and other surveys in the past few years. The Forest Service description of the project is as follows:

"The Pike-San Isabel National Forest will host a curation project at the Monument Fire Center (historically known as Monument Nursery), established May 1, 1907, and summer home of the Pike Hot Shots. It is located in beautiful central Colorado at the interface of the Great Plains and the eastern Front Range of the Rocky Mountains. Over the years, FS archaeologists on the Pike-San Isabel National Forest and Comanche-Cimarron National Grassland (PSICC) have accumulated materials while recording and evaluating historic and prehistoric sites. We need your help to properly curate these artifacts. Participants will help clean, identify, analyze, and package some of Colorado's most important cultural resources. We encourage both those with archaeological curation experience and the interested neophyte to apply. In addition, if the weather permits, there may be an opportunity to conduct ground surveys or site and feature relocation activities associated with the nursery."

It's basically an "office" job but it will be fun to see the process of "curating" and to see what becomes of the artifacts I helped collect this past September. Besides that this project takes place at the end of March and by that time my cabin fever should be at a maximum.

The second project I volunteered for is in June. It will be a full week of the same type of archaeological survey activity that I did on my first project. It will also be in a remote canyon in SE Colorado. Picketwire Canyon is a lot better known than the canyon we went to in September. They have been doing surveys there for 15 years but are still finding important stuff. In addition to what the Native Americans left behind, Picketwire Canyon contains over 1300 dinosaur tracks frozen in the rock that was once a muddy lakeshore or swamp. Here's how the Forest Service describes the project.

"Join us for another year of adventure on the Picketwire Canyonlands Survey - a project that itself is becoming a heritage resource! The Canyonlands is a spectacular and rugged venue containing a great wealth of prehistoric and historic resources - and it offers wilderness without the crowds. We are recruiting volunteers to help us continue efforts to record and understand the human past of the Picketwire. Among the prehistoric resources are complex architectural sites, camp locations used by the antecedents of modern tribes, and a variety of rock art dating to all periods. We also anticipate Hispanic pioneering homesteads of the 19th century and the remnants of historic cattle ranches. PIT volunteers will help us thoroughly explore the canyon and its branches to record sites and features using specialized tasks including photography, botany, orienteering, site mapping, and artifact identification. We look forward to having you join us for our 15th year in the canyon!"

I said I volunteered but that is no guarantee that I will be accepted for the project. I'm thinking that my chances for the "office" job are pretty good but there will be a lot of people volunteering for the Picketwire project and there are only 8 openings. Hopefully my experience on the project in September will give an edge.

In the meantime, The Bride and I, the rest of The Circle and a whole bunch of our Moab on the Rocks friends are going to a concert to see one of our own perform in a local band. Next weekend the full Circle will be going to another concert by Chuck Pyle. I first became acquainted with Chuck Pyle last year when I attended the Cowboy Poetry Gathering across town and really enjoyed his music. I'm really looking forward to this one.

Finally, Guitar and I are beginning to plan a road trip to Tucson next month. The early plans are for he and I to drive one of our RVs on the scenic route to Tucson in late February. The Bride and Pic-E will fly down to Tucson to meet us for a long weekend and then Guitar and I will drive back, taking as much time as he can manage to get off from work. Much more to follow on this.

Thanks for visiting.

1 comment:

Gene Bach said...

Sounds like you're having a good time with your projects. It's good to be able to do something you enjoy.


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