Friday, April 30, 2010

Field conditions - crappy

I enjoy sitting inside in a climate controlled environment (like, say, this Starbucks, sipping my organic apple juice) so much more during field season, because unlike most people archaeologists are dependent on the weather for much of their comfort and happiness during the day.

I forget this on the off season, and when I am trapped inside on a nice day I look outside, sigh, and think about being outside.I forget that field work is never scheduled for nice days. Even days which look nice are in fact deceptive, because there is no such thing as a perfect weather day for the field.

But first, as promised, a picture of our lovely sleeping arrangements here in Bismarck:


It is actually kind of nice in the car because it is protected from the weather, you can lock the doors, and it doesn't have that weird tent smell which I hate (and Leland loves, both for the same reason: it brings back memories of sleeping in a tent). Our sleeping bags are soft, flannel "Adam and Eve" bags that zip together, so it even feels like having real blankets.

Anyway, field conditions. It is always "too" something to be outside. Monday, for example, it was too snowy. Also too lightening-y. And so we did not go out on Monday.

Tuesday, too foggy:We are supposed to be following this car, by the way.

Wednesday, too windy:
Not pictured: gale force winds. It's hard to take a picture of wind, ok?

Wednesday had winds of about 40-50 miles per hour. We know it wasn't higher than 55 mph, because they have to turn off the windmills at that point or the wind destroys them, and the windmills were still going. But you know how it feels when you're going about 50 on the highway and you stick your hand out the window? It felt like that. But your entire body is out the window. And then walk through fields looking for artifacts. I was a little concerned I might be blown to Canada.

Oh, and we were doing survey for windmills for a wind farm. Cue the jokes! "Why would anyone want to put a wind farm out here, anyway?" hahahahaha so hilarious Leland.

Thursday, not so bad! But of course we did not go out on Thursday.

Friday, too rainy:Please don't make me get out of the car!

If it's not one of the above, it's something else - too hot, too dry, too muddy, and I think you get the picture.

And, the ultimate fallback here in North Dakota...TOO FLAT!

Sometimes it is hard to work up any excitement to go out in the field.

Leland, full of excitement.

All right, this was taken at the end of the day, even we do not drink before going into the field, but I am confident that he is thinking about the next day's work.

But every once in a while, the weather is perfect for about five minutes, and I remember how incredibly lucky I am to be out here, not in an office, doing the job I've been wanting to do since I was in junior high. And I get to do it with my favorite person in the world! Suddenly, then, the weather doesn't bother me as much any more.

... at least, until it starts to rain again...

Starbucks - they do not have free wifi!

Public service announcement -

Starbucks does NOT have free wifi. So if you have already driven to the library, which closed at 5, then to the local coffee shop, which closes at 7:00 (giving you only half an hour of precious internet connection), and you must stop at the Starbucks, be prepared to shell out about 2$ an hour for internet.

Unless you are so inept that you cannot figure out how to sign on because it involves creating an account or something weird, and then a nice barrista signs on with her account.

Then it is free.

Because we are working Saturday and Sunday (hey, what else do we have to do, plus it's time and a half), and we are going out of town and staying at a hotel next week, I do not know what my upcoming internet situation will be! So if there is no posting for a while (after the next two posts which I have planned to put up tonight), do not despair.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

KOA: they have free wifi!

After some connection issues here at the KOA in Bismarck, we're all ready to go!!

We've been working as archaeological techs in Bismarck, ND for four days now, did two days in the field and two days in the lab. We are supposed to be in the field right now on a project but that got pushed back until next week because of the lightning. And the snow. The snow thing was kind of a bummer because we are living at the KOA right now and sleeping in our car (long story, had a misunderstanding about living arrangements with the company). The first couple of nights were very chilly but it's warmed up a few dozen degrees now and we are pretty comfortable. We have a sweet setup in the back of the White Whale minivan, though...

And we will provide pictoral evidence at a later date because this connection is a little - shitty. But the proprietor of the KOA and her toy Australian Shepard puppy are very nice. So we won't hold the internet against her.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010


Here I sit in the beautiful Bismarck, ND library and they are just about to kick us out because it's the end of the day.

I hope to use this blog to keep our friends and family updated on our whereabouts and our goings-on and our shenanigans. And maybe even pictures if a new cord to connect my camera to the computer is cheap enough.

But for now we will just go back to the KOA for a "good" night's sleep. Stay tuned!