Thursday, July 22, 2010
Escape from Penguk
I'm back from Penguk! I escaped so to speak. For the last month I have been running on Archaeological excavation at Penguk ('little hill' in Yupik and Alutiiq) on Bristol Bay on the other side of the Alaska Peninsula. The mosquitos were awful, and basically we were situated on an island in the middle of a HUGE swamp. Surprisingly enough camp moral was pretty high the entire time, and I only realized how bad it had been when we were flying home. We left the drab, flat and boring, windswept Bristol Bay side of the Peninsula and came home to Kodiak. When I saw the green hills and indented coastline of Kodiak I suddenly realized what I had been missing all summer - why on earth would anyone ever want to leave Kodiak? Kodiak is heaven on earth compared to the other side of the Alaska Peninsula.
Anyway, the mosquitos were so bad that I learned all about head nets. All the women on the project looked like they were wearing burkas, and we even learned a bit about 'head net chic' (see Mary posing with her headnet set at a rakish angle in the bottom photo). I learned that mosquitos are attracted to black colors, and I got a HUGE kick stoking the stove in our cook tent to extreme heat and watching the mossies drop like flies dead. At the end of the project I scooped up a full cup of dead mosquitos out of the bottom of the Coleman stove. It was bad. And worse yet there was no where to go - we were surrounded by swamp.
Good thing the archaeology was FANTASTIC! More to come in another post. Patrick