I received word yesterday that I was accepted for my first Passport In Time (PIT) project for this year. I'm excited about this one! Last September I did a similar project near Gunnison, CO and had a great time. We found lots of artifacts including a museum quality, 1850's era, uniform shoulder board (epaulet). Read about it here.
Here's the official write up for this project...
Metal Detector Surveys of the Old Spanish Trail in Northern New Mexico
May 3–7, 2010
Must commit to full session
Volunteers for this PIT project will work with F.S. staff to conduct systematic metal-detecting surveys of segments and traces of the Old Spanish Trail in northern New Mexico. At present, these elements of the Trail have only been partially identified. Research on this historically import trade route is an ongoing, multi-agency project in New Mexico, Arizona, Colorado, Utah, Nevada and California. One goal of this research is to identify which routes will be managed as Congressionally designated historic trails. The project will also help to provide important information for interpreting the Old Spanish Trail and its role in the trade and settlement of the American West, and will allow visitors to experience a direct connection to this aspect of the nation's cultural history. Most of the Trail segments will be within approximately 40 miles of the village of Taos, a town with a rich history and culture. Join us for this unique experience in one of New Mexico's most beautiful settings!
Number of openings: 20
Special skills: Must understand and be able to perform leave-no-trace camping and field hygiene techniques; must be physically capable of hiking several miles per day in moderate to rough terrain in a variety of weather conditions; previous experience with GPS systems (possession of one is a bonus!), digital photography, and/or archaeological survey helpful, but not required; knowledge of metal artifacts from the first half of the 19th century (Mexican and Territorial Periods) in the West also helpful, but not required; metal detecting experience preferred, but not required - please indicate on your application if you own and can bring a metal detector
Minimum age: 18 years old
Facilities: Primitive camping at site locations; other camping facilities (developed and undeveloped) available within the project area; Taos is a full-service community with a range of motels, B&Bs, restaurants, and other amenities; volunteers responsible for lodging or personal camping equipment, food, and water; transportation to and from a designated meeting site will be provided on a limited basis by F.S.; personal vehicles capable of dirt road/off-road travel helpful
Nearest towns: Taos, ~40 miles
I have been researching the Old Spanish Trail for the last several months and it will be very cool to visit spots on the ground that I read about in first hand accounts from the Spaniards and American pioneers.
Thanks for visiting.