Wednesday, September 14, 2016

On Tuesday we drove north from Tucson to Alpine, Arizona. We are surveying something like 3,700 acres of National Forest land. The drive was very lovely, the scenery gorgeous.

Greg and Tyler, first day in the woods.

I'm not used to walking for eight hours a day at elevations ranging from 8,400 feet to 9,000 feet. The first day I was lost, could not figure out where we were, which direction was north. The second day it rained and I was soaked and the old boots starting falling apart. I was miserable.

The next day was sunny and we spent time in a large cienega pasture, with Greg finding a historic cabin site.

Greg being watched.


I bought new hiking boots and got a couple of blisters. The bones in my feet hurt from all the walking. I went to bed at 8:00 PM. Gradually things got better.

I was worried I would miss sites, but on the fourth or fifth day I found a little mortar hole, pounded into sandstone. This would have been used by a Native American to smash pine nuts, acorns, seeds, or small animals into meal or pulp.

Mortar hole.

We saw elk as we were driving down the road to our survey area. It is bow hunting season and the woods are crawling with hunters. I hope they all miss.

By day eight, my feet had stopped hurting and I found a small cabin site dating sometime between 1880 and 1920. I have six days off before I return again.


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