Sunday, November 14, 2010

The Search Day 4

Camp News:

My God! It is dark. It is hard to get out of bed. The alarms shriek.

The air is thick and smelly. Some of us are coughing. The fires must be nearby but we cannot see them.

Today we will be higher on our search, about a thousand feet above where the projectile point was located yesterday. Smokers have decided to quit, as the air is thick! The sun is warm but muted again. It seems filtered.

Our daypacks seem lighter. The trek easier with less brush and rock to deal with. There are no trails. We have turned south which takes us up to a high flat basin area. Mountains surround the tiny basin. We have no view to speak of other than the next high mountain and the low open basin.

We noticed some animals today. Usually they manage to stay out of sight but today they run openly before us. The lake where we ate lunch has a funny dusting of ash on it. We saw a few small animals in the water. The fires must be bigger and closer than we imagined.

The PI mentions a need to go to town 2 hours away and she will check on the fires. We have not had contact with anyone outside our camp since we arrived 5 days ago. None of us thought to bring a radio. Several of us have tried our car radios but there is nothing but static so we are truly out of touch with the world.

It is wonderful to leave the world behind for this short time. No one cares about anything other than our work and our simple camp life.

So far, the personalities of all seem to mesh quite well. The PI has chosen her crew well. There is a mutual respect with acknowledgement of differences in experience and desires. We are working well together. The gentle teasing has begun which is a good sign of camaraderie; of becoming a family.

As we leave our lunch area K. notices a light scatter of lithics. We noodle about the area and find a Clovis projectile point base, stone debitage and an outré passé flake.

Clovis is the only stone technologist in North America to do this type of knapping with resultant outré passe flake. We have found the earliest Paleoindian — they were here right where we had lunch! We are excited. We are exhilarated.

Mapping takes up the rest of afternoon and it is really getting dark; we will arrive in camp in the dark — not good.

Solar showers will be cold. UGH!

After a wonderful Italian dinner, more chatter around campfire about early man.

Is there an Old world, Solutrean, tie-in as some speculate? Did early man cross the Atlantic Ocean? Or, did early man walk across the Bering Straits as the glaciers receded and opened up a land bridge from the north?

Bedtime is really early as we are super tired.

The long 10 hour, higher altitude trek has us exhausted.

Dreams are a mix of paleo questions and psychedelic firings of our oxygen starved brains.

to be continued

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