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Love’s Cold Grip

With the turn of a page a chapter begins

What darkness looms near the end

“Will we find respite from pain”

You ask me dear, but I refrain

From telling you the cold hard truth

That gone forever is our happy youth

And now with much regret we must

Travel into the land of dust

Till the end we must continue

And settle down in a morbid venue

Till we find a cold dark crypt

And snuggle close in love’s cold grip

Peace will never find us here

And all the flames of hell will sear

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So I’ve finally made it out for my week in the field! And what a week it was! We (Myself, my boss Glendee Ane, and my coworker Jen M.) started out with a nice liesurely drive to St. George, Utah. In St. George we had lunch at a wonderful little place called Cafe Rio’s, and then got some gas and snacks. We then took the 2-2 1/2 hour drive out to where we would be based on BLM Road 101. We spent most of the first day getting there so by the time we actually set up camp, we were not able to do any survey.

   The next day was the start of actual survey. This consisted of Placing a person on either side of the road about 20 meters away. After photos of the road, and GPS points f the start were taken, all that was left to do was walk. Our first day we walked about 6-7 miles. If anything was found, such as stone tools or historic artifacts (ie: cans, gas tanks, car parts, glass…) this had to be documented with gps points taken. I quickly found out that, while this is an interesting process, stoping can take up a lot of time. We found 2-3 sites the first day and each took around 30 mins-1hour to completely document. This same process continued throughout the week. We gained extra momentum when a 4th archaeologist (Jen D.) came out and helped. Total, we hiked about 30 mi. or more.

   We actually finished early and were able to leave on Friday. This turned out to be a bit of a hassle,when we ended up having 2 flat tires! Other than that there were no great hiccups to the trip. We saw and heard signs of a lot of wildlife (Deer, cows, feral russian boar, mountain lion, bobcat, and fox, to name a few). But, other than the cows, a few horses, lizards and birds, we really didn’t see much wildlife up close and in person. We hiked hills and valleys, drainages, canyons, and sand dunes. There were a great many cactus (cholla, prickly pear, goat’s head) pinion and juniper pines, as well as many other types of vegetation. The weather was quite nice, around 95-100 during the day and 60s-70s at night. Despite these realatively cool temperatures, I did end up with a bit of heat exhaustion the first day.

   Overall, the trip was great, I learned a lot, and I felt like I got closer to my coworkers. Something about being in the wilderness always brings you closer to those you share it with.

Allrighty Sports Fans! The Archaeology is really heating up, in a manner of speaking… The temperatures for the Boulder City/ Las Vegas area have moved from low 90s to low 100s in a matter of days. I guess it’s a good thing I’ve been working inside mostly. I have a bit more time to discuss the details of my job now.

   As I mentioned before I’m going through the site files for LMNRA and trying to compile a database that includes our most important, and our most endangered sites (Rock Art, Abandoned Mines, NAGPRA, ARPA), as well as sites that have been looted or otherwise disturbed in the past. This database will then be used to inform the Ranger Dept. where they should concentrate their efforts on in case of future criminal activities.

   Now when I say I’m going through the site files, I mean every site file! Lake Mead is  a GIANT entity and we have hundreds, if not thousands, of site files. Needless to say this part of the job has its ups and downs. There are periods of time throughout the day where this seems pretty mindless and boring, but there are also quite a few files that are extremely interesting. One such file included the story of a family, who found a human burial in the park, and were allowed to go with the archaeologists the next day to assist in the excavation of the remains! Obviously this was before NAGPRA!

   I think my favorite sites are the Rock Art. They all have to be drawn, so many of the file have great drawings of prehistoric and historic panels.

   Though my time in the office can be lots of fun I’m really looking forward to the field. My first session starts next week the 20th of June! I just can’t wait to get out and about!

Tune in later this week, and I’ll probably have more photos on here!

Ryan

So I know all of my loyal fans and readers (yes all 2 of you!) are sitting on the edge of their seats for the newest installment of my internship. Well, here it goes! To preface this, I must say that I’m sitting in the lovely boulder city library and haven’t eaten in about 6 or 7 hours. So, unfortunatly this too will be a quick one. On Friday my dad and I wrapped up the trip with a lovely jaunt through Zion National Park!

Allrighty lets try this again. After Leaving Zion my dad and I made the quick jaunt to Las Vegas! What a crazy drive….The expressway here is absolutely nuts! Upon arriving in Boulder City I was helped by the nicest lady in the Park Service, Glenda, with finding my house and getting my keys. Last weekend I spent my time unpacking, battling ants and breaking into my house after I got locked out! My first day on the job I sat through a large resource managment meeting and took care of signing away my life to the park service, as well as, getting other keys and badges. The SCA sent me a nice care package of shirts and other stuff! Onto describing my job! I work mostly in an office going through the site files for Lake Mead Cultural resources. My job entails identifying sites that are at risk (rock art, mines, sites on the national register, etc…)and placeing them in a database. I’ll use this later to establish a protocol for what the rangers want to pay attention to when out on patrol. Thats all for now! Stay tuned in for more later on in the week!

Ryan

Road Trip: Day Three!

   It’s the end of another long, but beatiful, day on the road. I’m fairly tired so hopefully this all comes across coherently. We started out from Denver. Contrary to what I thought would happen, traffic moved quickly. Apparently Denver is the home of a Purina puppy chow factory. It was right next to the expressway and the road smelled like dog food!

   Pretty much right out of Denver we started seeing beautiful scenery…mostly mountains, canyons, rivers, and other wonderfully awesome sights. Colorado was awesome!

We saw lots of Snow! And traveled along the Colorado for quite some time. Once we left Colorado, Utah has been pretty awesome as well. It was very windy today. We went off the trail a bit to Arches National Park and then stopped in Cedar City, Utah. I’ll let the pictures speak for me.

   We didn’t actually see much of the famous arches of the Park, but we didn’t have much time to spend in the park. On the way out we were passed by a train carrying radioactive material! Until Tomorrow!

Ryan

Road Trip: Day Two!

   Another day on the open road! What an adventure…..or should I say KANSAS!!!! What a flat expanse of nothingness…….

   This stretch was definitely boring. We started out in Missouri, which was pleasantly hilly with plenty of trees to keep you attention. When we crossed into Kansas it continued that way for a bit, but, eventually, the topography got really flat, and stayed that way. The plus to all this was we could watch the large storm bearing down on us. It never actually came towards us, but I thought a tornado was going to blow me away for about half the day!

   Other than the brief encounter with the edge of a storm, we were saved from a wrong turn by our GPS unit in Kansas City. If you haven’t  been that way before the downtown area can be quite confusing. In topeka we had lunch at a Red Robbin then went on our way. We had diner at a somewhat shady looking but really good chinese place in Limon, Colorado. We saw several large wind farms, and many Army and Air Force Bases. I can’t wait to cross the mountains tomorrow. We might make a little side trip to Arches National Park too! I wanted to go to the Spyderco Knife factory, but it opens at 10 and we need to get on the road.

More to follow Tomorrow!

Ryan

Day One: Road Trip!

Allrighty sports fans! All packed up and on my Way! The first day was filled with quite  a bit of fun and excitement…….that could also be a bit of a lie. I wasn’t exactly bored to tears, but once you hit illinois the scenery becomes rather drab. It very flat…maybe a couple hills here and there but mostly flat. Th Mississippi river was neat, and I saw the St. Louis Arch. We’re staying at a La Quinta in Colombia, Mo. It’s pretty nice, and the internet is faster than at my house (Always a good thing). Anywho, next leg we’re going to Denver! Should be fun. Thats it for today. Sorry it was sorta boring but I’m having trouble figuring out the photo uploader.

Ryan

Over the past few years I’ve played around with this blog as a way to express myself…usually through poetry, but occasionally in other ways. Last summer I attempted (‘                                                        ry poorly) to chronicle my experience at a summer archaeological field school. I’m about to again embark for the American Southwest (this time as an archaeological field tech intern at Lake Mead National Recreation Area) and wanted to try once more to chronicle the summer’s events.

Ill start out with a description of the program for those of you who are interested. From the Internship website: 

The Cultural Resources Diversity Internship Program provides a career exploration opportunity for diverse undergraduate and graduate students in historic preservation/cultural resources work. The program places interns with National Park Service park units and administrative offices, other federal agencies, state historic preservation offices, local governments, and private organizations. Intern sponsors provide work experiences that assist interns with building their resumes in this field.

This program serves two purposes:

(1) Diverse undergraduate and graduate students gain exposure to and experience in the historic preservation/cultural resources field.

(2) National Park Service and partnership organizations have the opportunity to meet promising young people who might choose to work in the field.

Internships are offered during the summer (10 weeks). Projects include editing publications, planning exhibits, participating in archeological excavations, preparing research reports, cataloguing park and museum collections, providing interpretive programs on historical topics, developing community outreach, and writing lesson plans based on historical themes.

 

For my specific internship I’ll be working at Lake Mead National Recreation Area. In addition to working as a general field tech, I’ll also have a specific project. I believe my project involves identifying threats to specific archaeological sites and strategizing ways to mitigate these threats. I’ll update this as I go along though.

 

So Far i’ve been packing up for the trip and getting various stuff I need but don’t have. We leave about 12:00 pm on Tuesday, and our first stop is just west on St. Louis. Keep checking back here for updates. I’ll try my best to keep this going about every week, but I probably wont have much access to internet during my time out there.

Ryan

 

Chains

“Man is born free, and everywhere he is in chains” – Jean-Jacques Rousseau

My brother and my sister cry for their chains

My father and my mother cry for their chains

 Inequality binds us and knows my name

Inequality winds us in its many chains

A day may come when we will rise again

And sing and dance with all our new friends

But as a man once said so long ago in pain

“Man is born free, and everywhere he is in chains.”

The Mighty Trip to Sin City

Hello All from Las Vegas,

Land of strippers, hot babes, sunshine, and most importantly gambling. This fine day, which also happens to correspond with me being here, it seems that the sin city has become the windy city (20 mph gusts!), and that fun in the sun is a lot colder than I thought! Gah!!! But I digress.

Our adventure begins about 2:55 A.M. when I rose from my bed fresh and rested…..with about….2 hours of sleep under my belt. Ah, a good nights rest.  Yesterday was spent repeatedly telling my mother I had tylenol or a hat or a sleeping bag or whatever. Somewhat exasperating, but turned out being helpful when I did almost forget a hat. The morning was quiet, said my good byes and went on my way. Took about an hour to get to the Dayton international Airport (They have to say international because they fly to Canada). Got through security ok but I had to pay 70 extra bucks because my bag was 12 lbs too heavy(62 lbs)….yikes! And onto the gate it was.

As I was waiting I kept pointing out to myself all the people I thought were terrorists. There was a girl with a shaved head who was also carrying a cello in its case onto the plane. I thought she would make the best terrorist. I also heard three dudes talking about a lot of stuff that sounded like “alpha 22 b reactor hooks up to the giant terminal housing….”. Deffinitely terrorists. There was also the 5 year old with the “poster board tube”. More like a pipe bomb. So we made our way onto the plane and about…uh….some odd hours later touched down in Denver. Denver is a pretty sweet airport. The main concourse is a giant…sculpture/ awning?!?!? thing that looks like a bunch of mts. All I can say is google it, it’s pretty cool. After a fairly uneventful layover except for the mile long bathroom line I was on my way to vegas.

This was the most scenic portion of the trip out. Most of the flight to denver had been flat, but this flight had mountains with snow and deep valleys and a desert and even some canyons. On our final approach to Las Vegas I got my first glimpse of the city. “Wow….uh….its so tiny……”. Oh! duh! Its cause I’m up here and it’s down there. Right. But seriously it is literally just a lot of tiny buildings surrounding the large skyscrapers of the big strip. A line of immensly huge skyscrapers  bordered by just a regularly sized city, with nothing else over, say 10 stories. That being said these are some of the most gorgeously thought out buildings I’ve ever seen.

Now comes the airport itself. It’s pretty huge and was incredibly crowded. And…It had slot machines galore! Not even out of the airport and people were lining up to play the slots! Well, I went to baggage claim and got my bag, all 62 lbs of it, and went to the door labeled TAXI. Nicely enough it was right next to my baggage claim, unfortunately it hid the immense line of people (200?) waiting to get a taxi. After i got my taxi it was a relativly short ride in the taxi to get to my UNLV home, and now here I am, at lovely UNLV library writing this all to you. In my next post Ill start posting pictures, I just haven’t taken enough yet to warrant putting them on the computer. Hope you guys read this! Thanks!

Ryan