Saturday, June 30, 2012


When we are out monitoring sites we usually find something not noted on the site card.

Maybe it is an archaic projectile point; or maybe a Hohokam shell bracelet, or even a beautiful turquoise bead!

Usually, not always, we GPS the item and place the info on our card info sheet or at least we take a photo of the artifact.

A crewmember found an archaic projectile point last year - an early one at that: Gypsum 8000 BC. A real find for us, and one that really thrilled our Land Manager. Luckily, we had taken a picture of this rather rare point (rare for the area).

This year we looked for it and the crewmember said she put it next to a stump!

Four of us searched around every stump on the site and there were lots of stumps! – no point to be found!

On another site today we went looking for yet another point found last year. We had a photo of it too-- and some one said that it was next to the stump!

Well this site had no stumps so we decided the stump was next to the point!

Hey! When it is 102° and 5% humidity you make jokes when you can!

Monday, June 4, 2012

Just Another Day

The four of us had traveled a long, winding, dusty dirt road just southwest of Tucson to get to a site we were to record.

We completed recording the huge Hohokam site - sat down for a quick cool off and began wondering if we could get back to the main road another way.

Bruce H. pulled up the topo map on his GPS. Sure enough another dirt road and the route looked shorter!

I started the drive on our ‘new’ dirt road. It was rockier and it was climbing.

We came to a strange rocky area and decided to investigate. We were on a bluff and below us, a lovely valley with a helicopter-way off in the distance.

I said to the crew, “There is a helicopter and they have noticed us!”

“Na. They haven’t. They are too far away.”

We walked about the bluff. There was an adit with a massive chain anchored into a side boulder. The chain extended about 20 feet down into the steep sloping mine entry.

The sloped ramp was full of backpacks, water bottles, clothes and all the other usual illegal immigrant debris. We were on an illegal migrant’s trail!

Small lumps of Chrysocolla, a lovely blue to green mineral usually found with copper, were scattered about our feet.

I looked up and the helicopter really was headed our way.

It was time to be on our way. As we drove we noticed to the side an old miners campsite complete with rusty cans, stove pipe and a rock foundation.

The road was narrowing and becoming too rocky and basically petering out. Time to turn back to the other road.

Now the helicopter was very close and low!

It started to get lower and I could see guns pointed at us!

I said, “Ken open the door and run!” A 'trick' that is often mentioned in our Newspapers regarding illegals in trying to get away. He just grinned at me and we all laughed.

Ahead of us - in the distance - we could see a cloud of dust - heading our way and moving fast.

Now the helicopter was low, very low overhead and circling us.

I kept driving – slowly.

The cloud of dust was upon us - Border Patrol! I pulled off the road to let the vehicle by but it pulled in to block me.

The helicopter kept circling overhead. Guns pointed at us.

I think the Ranger told the helicopter crew we were “gringos” and ok.

They left.

A short chat with the Border Patrol Ranger then we all had a good laugh-- after we showed the Ranger our State Permits!