Thursday, October 26, 2017

Another field session, another eight days wandering through the woods

I forgot my boots and had to buy a new pair in Payson. On the second day I got a blister on my left foot. It grew terribly painful. Sometimes I made unattractive noises when I took the boots off or hit my foot in weird ways.

List of animals seen: elk, deer, jackrabbits, cottontails, blue jays, cattle, horses, llamas, and a couple of dogs.


18 sites visited this time. Sometimes you see artifacts (flaked stones and ceramics) first, and sometimes you see architecture.

Tyler stands at the west side of a structure.

Occasionally you see pretty scenery. But mostly you stare at the ground and stumble over manzanita or rocks.


One night Mike and I went to the Antlers and I had a salad with 1000, grilled cheese, and French fries. It was alright.


The last night I made mac and cheese with fried onions for supper, Mike and Tyler enjoyed this. I drank a whole bottle of cheap wine. It was nasty and at first I thought it had not affected me, but later realized I was a little buzzed.


The last day we looked out over the area to the east, where we have to go in the next session.

Mike and Tyler.

Of course, the excitement was on Saturday, the sixth day, when I was sauntering through the forest and was walking between two juniper trees and looked down. There was a bone. You see a lot of bones in the woods- elk, cattle, javelina, coyote.

This bone was different, it was the distal end of a right humerus. From a person. I looked at it again, yes it was human. I called Mike and Tyler on the walkie-talkie, "I have found something weird, you need to come over." They came over. Neither knew human bones. I decided to collect the bone, wrapped it in paper towel and put it in my back pack. Tyler found two small pieces that I put in a small plastic bag. We surveyed a little more while I puzzled over what to do. Finally I decided we should go back to Young (we have no phone reception where we are surveying) and 1). look at pictures of human humeri to verify it was in fact human, and 2). call someone, anyone.

The internet provided a photo and drawings that verified that yes, it was human. I called Sarah, I left messages with Denise, I called Connie who called Denise. Denise called me and told me to call 911. I called 911 and spoke to an operator, who called the Deputy Sheriff in Young, who called me back. He came over and I handed the bone over. We then took him out to the forest, met a Forest Service employee, and took them to the bone discovery site. Crime tape was put up. The deputy said that the bone might be from one of two missing hikers. The strange thing was that Chris had joked on Thursday that we might find the hiker and I said, no, that hadn't happened.

Back in Tucson I was called by the Gila County sheriff's office and chatted with a woman who said that they thought the bone was from one of three people. "Did I want to know the DNA results when they came back?" Of course I do.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Another field session done, eight days struggling through manzanita, cat claw acacia, and scrub oak. Searching the ground for traces of the past. We surveyed south of Payson and one day south of Strawberry.

South of Strawberry.

Easy to forget that it is fall when you are in Tucson, where it is still in the 90s and my car AC has died. But up north there are less subtle changes.

Fall colors.

The last flowers are out. In Strawberry some yellow flower made me sneeze terribly.

Purple aster.

Some of the juniper trees are loaded with light blue berries- very pretty.


But even amid the signs of fall there are signs of renewed life. Butterflies busy collecting food, little bunnies hopping around. And grasshoppers fucking.


At home on six days off. One day I got up and went out to feed Buddy and discovered the water heater was leaking. Had to buy a new one for $450. This was after I discovered my bedroom ceiling leaking due to water from the swamp cooler pooling near the scupper. So I bought asphalt patch stuff and coated places and filled in the low spot and after it dries the entire roof gets coated. Joys of home ownership.

Yesterday I dressed up for living history and was hot and sweaty. I had made lemon cupcakes and they were delicious. Afterward I got a pizza and salad and Kevin and Nate played dominoes. I eventually won.


Tomorrow back north for another 8-day, this time to Young. Another adventure.

Newer›  ‹Older

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

comments powered by Disqus