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Monday, June 30, 2008

Nora's First Dig

The dig is done. But before we finished Nora got to join us - her first archaeological excavation! On Saturday the Baranov and Alutiiq Museums ran a mock dig for children too young to sign up for the real dig (Community Archaeology is for anyone 14 or older). At just shy of 3 Nora fit the bill - I did let her help me backfill the real excavation (her first official dig) - but her first digging with trowel and dustpan was on the mock excavation. Older kids had units and found artifacts indicative of different activities. They had forms to fill out - just like real archaeologists. But Nora and the other 3 year olds looked for beads in the kiddie pool. Simply content to dig.

On another note - tomorrow I was to accompany Sven to Karluk on Museum work. Worn out from the dig, I did not really want to go. But duty and Sven called. How can you turn down a genius?

Stuey has been a bit sick lately (see above post), and did not go to daycare. Nora went to daycare, but when I picked her up she threw up on the truck's dashboard. Serious smelly mess. (Guess the immunization shots aren't to blame!)

So when I got home with Nora I called Sven to tell him I should stay home to help Zoya take care of two sick kids. While I was on the phone Zoya ran by and threw up in the kitchen sink - LOUD background noises. How could Sven argue with that?

It Looks (and sounds) like tonight and tomorrow will be combat duty in the Saltonstall household. I wonder when the other shoe will drop and I'll be the one at the toilet. Nora just got sick again. Karluk seems like a sweet deal. Patrick

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Stuey Sick

Stuey woke up last night at 2AM sick...and he got sick every couple of hours. Poor little guy. I brought him to bed and let him nurse as he needed-although it made him get sick more. He has been fine since 8 AM and is napping now so hopefully we're in the clear. He had immunization shots on Friday and I immediately thought, "Does this have to do with his immunizations?" Discussions with several friends put me at ease that the two probably aren't related. It is only natural, however, to be concerned about medical things which happen within days of immunizations. There is such a push to immunize children, yet as parents we hear the stories about kids who suffered severe medical problems after immunizations. Its a tough one. I'm just glad Stuey is feeling better.

Today is the last day of Patrick's 14th day of digging at the Baranof Site. Phew. He needs a litle unwind time- a day off. He has been going, going, going....he calculated that he hasn't had an empty weekend since April! Between digs, surveys, trips out east for wedding and reunion. Pretty crazy schedule for someone who benefits from some alone time now and again.

I"m finally feeling back to my normal self-recovered from travelling. Enjoying the sunshine of summer.

I'm looking forward to a trip in July to Seattle to take a Strain Counterstrain Class. This is the same manual technique I learned in March-however this class is on the extremities. The March class was on the spine (back and neck).

Roxann is coming with me to Seattle as well as a fellow therapist in Anchorage. It'll be my first trip away without either child! Wow. I'm still nursing Stuey and expect that there won't be any problems with him resuming nursing upon my return. He is no where close to weaning and its not something I'm ready for either. (At times like this morning when he was sick, there was nothing like nursing to bring him a little comfort AND nourishment.)
But I AM ready for a getaway-without kids!

The Strain Counterstrain technique is so effective, hands-on, and gentle. Its like nothing else I've ever learned. I wake up on Monday morning completely excited to go to work and get people better! My manual work as a physical therapist has never been so rewarding. 9 years into my career I'm more excited than ever. Pretty wild how one class can put a whole new twist on what I have to offer patients.

The photo is totally random, I know. It is my first attempt at re-sizing a photo for the blog. Patrick is at the dig and I'd figured it was a good chance to try it out, as I am always asking him to re-size them for blog use. We'll see how it looks when blown up large on the blog. The photo is from vacation to North Haven, Maine. The kids exploring the tidepool. No, its not Kodiak. Although much of the coast of Maine looks like Kodiak!
Oh, and the Mikes Hard Lemonades are chilling in the ocean. Simple refrigeration technique!

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Lab Day

Yesterday it rained 1.5 inches in Kodiak - a mere .06 inches off of the record for the day - and this morning it was still raining pretty hard. Needless to say, but the Community Archaeology crew spent the day in the museum lab cleaning and organizing the artifacts we found during the first week of the dig. Nobody loves lab work - unless the alternative is quasi mud wrestling in a mud slimed pit as a hard rain beats down - but it is an essential part of the whole process. Today we got to catch up on the lab work.

Still everybody enjoyed seeing what we have already found all cleaned up and pretty. We even 'found ' a few new artifacts that had gone unrecognized when they were first excavated. The best of these was a Dover chert gunflint for a flintlock rifle. If the excavator had realized what they had they would have won artifact of the day for that one. Late in the day we even went back across the street and baled the units. Some of them had almost 2 feet of water in the bottom. Hopefully, they will dry out and be good to go tomorrow. Patrick

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Erskine House Excavation

Nasty weather today with rain and high winds - so we only excavated until noon. But for the last week we have been working pretty hard at the Erskine House and Sargent Park excavation. This year the community archaeology excavation has been a little different. Historic archaeology and I have not been in charge. It's a collaborative project between the Baranov and Alutiiq Museums to celebrate the bicentennial of the Erskine House. The Erskine House is one of the oldest Russian Structures still standing in North America. And since I'm more of a prehistoric archaeologist, the Baranov hired a pair of historic archaeologists to run the project (they have to write up the report :-).

I'm in charge of the labor - the crew foreman so to speak. I crack the whip.

Thus far it has been pretty interesting. The point of the project was to discover how the area had been used through time and to determine how badly the area had been disturbed during the urban renewal after the earthquake in 1964. We were worried that the entire area had been bulldozed and that everything would be disturbed.

The biggest discovery is that very little has been disturbed - we've found the foundations of houses that may predate the construction of the Erskine House in 1808, and have even found trash heaps with remarkable preservation. The most exciting artifact is a largely complete Alutiiq spruce root basket (from circa 1850).

We also found an aurc'uq dart that is used in a traditional Alutiiq game. It's nice to see the traditional Alutiiq artifacts in a Euro-American setting. It's obvious that Alutiiq people were actively hanging out near the Erskine House in the mid 19th century.

Photos: Top - excavation with the Baranov Museum (Erskine House) behind. Second photo is of happy excavators at the screen. Third photo is of a ceramic chard impressed with the imperial Russian eagle - note the English rather than cyrillic writing, this piece was probably made in England after 1840. The fourth photo shows Margan excavating the Spruce root basket. The last photo shows the basket prior to removal.



Last week I went on a quick day trip to Afognak Island to help the Native Village of Afognak survey archaeological sites. I found a new archaeological site and got to check out these petroglyphs. If you look closely you can see the faces carved into the rock. Some of them are stacked on top of each other and have rays coming out of the eyes.

The Alutiiq probably used petroglyphs for both sacred and territorial purposes. Nothing like a good monument on the landscape to tell visiting strangers the area is taken. I believe the stacked faces indicate links to ancestors. Sort of like depicting your family tree. Another link might be to the Alutiiq supreme being. At the museum we have a painted wood box panel that appears to depict the supreme being and it also has rays from the eyes - perhaps a reference to a God that can see all in all 5 worlds of the Alutiiq Cosmos.


Tuesday, June 24, 2008

A Whirlwind of a Week

Wow. Returning back to Kodiak after vacation (to Boston) has been a whirlwind. A sometimes overwhelming whirlwind. Patrick headed out to a survey on Afognak and shortly after began the Baranof Museum dig. I barely unpacked, worked a day and went on the kayak trip with the girls. Admist all the activity, I got worn out-tired--as well as the kids. Several days of 11 hours of sleep most definitely helped but I"m still recovering. I got a touch of a cold which is almost gone now.

Mike and Roxann were kind enough to bring deer tenderloin tacos for dinner tonight. Mike dropped them off with a bottle of wine. I asked him "What did we do to deserve this?". We have such wonderful friends in our life. This morning I called up Roxann venting about this and that. Later today there was a message on my machine from her saying, "Zoya, don't make anything for dinner. We're bringing over tacos for you." SO SWEET. Roxann could tell I was overwhelmed today.

Yesterday Stuey started going to "Ms. Shannon's" with Nora. Ms.Shannon is the daycare provider Nora has been going to since January. She is wonderful with the kids and so far, so good with Stuey. From what Shannon says, Stuey likes to be where ever Nora is. And Shannon also says Nora takes fairly good care of Stuey at Day Care. Nora gets VERY excited about Stuey going with her-she bustles around our house getting diapers in a bag to take for him. She ran out to the car this morning, bursting with excitement at the prospect of she and Stuey going to the same place. So fun. And a relief for me knowing that both kids are in caring, capable hands and with eachother!



Top: Lauren, Kathy, Stuey, Nora and Patrick at North Haven Island, Maine-during our vacation out East.

Patrick teaching the Osteraas' all about the art of shucking Lobster... :)

Stuey and Nora relaxing on the lawn in North Haven.

Corner of the house in North Haven Island, Maine. Patrick's mom owns the house and a family friend painted the stairwell 8 years ago. Stuey crawls up the painted stairwell-with trees and birds painted on the wall. So gorgeous!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Woody Island Kayak Trip

Today 6 of us we went kayaking with Casey to Woody Island. Casey is the kayak guide who has been staying at our place for a month. She is a guide with Orcas Unlimited, a local kayak guide business. She wrote the following narrative for her MySpace Blog and I asked her permission to use it on our blog.

Kayaking with The Girls-By Casey Hale

So I just had the most fantastic day with the most unlikely group of people... five other women!!! As I may or may not have already told you, I have been staying with a family, the Saltonstalls, for the past few weeks until I can move into a different cabin in the mountains. Patrick Saltonstall is an archaeologist and outdoorsman extraordinaire who is absolutely busting with positive and enthusiastic energy. His wife, Zoya, is a beautiful and gentle soul who is a licensed physical therapist who also leads spin classes. Together they have two children- Nora, who is a very intelligent spitfire 3 year old, and Stuart (aka, Stewie), a 1.5 year old who is just learning his legs and loves being tickled.

At the beginning, Zoya and I got to spend a lot of time together getting to know one another as her husband, Patrick, was out on Lake Karluk for a site dig/survey. We very quickly discovered that we have a ton of things in common and we get along FAMOUSLY. We already have inside jokes... the alfalfa has sprouted... hahaha... total nonsense, I know, but if you had been there you would have CRACKED UP! :-) Ok, getting back on track... so after some talking, we decided that as payment for letting me stay with them I would take Zoya and a group of her friends out on a kayaking trip.

Our original intention was to head out to Anton Larsen Bay, but due to schedules and whatnot we decided that rather than driving the 45 minutes to the Bay that we would just embark from St. Paul's Harbor (where the Celeste is docked and the kayaks stored) and paddle over to Woody Island. In preparation for the trip last night Zoya, being the cool chick that she is, picked up four 20s of Mike's Hard Lemonade (among other variations) for the occasion. lol

The six of us, who will be featured in the up and coming Girls' Day Out album, met up at Harbour Side Coffee and worked on getting everything in place. Prepping boats for six people was quite a feat! I quickly became very grateful for having 5 additional able-bodied women there to lend a helping hand. As sketched out as I was at the prospect of hanging out in an essential estrogen pool, my doubts and fears quickly subsided as every single one of them pitched in tossing kayaks and gear around the dock. Very quickly we were all laughing and giggling, busting the balls of the fishermen who kept making their rounds trying to figure out what this group of pretty young women were up to.

Once we were all finally in the water... *Side note: Rather than eeking into the kayaks off of the transom, which would have put us much closer to the surface of the water, every single one of these girls (experienced or not) dropped themselves into the boats off of the bull rail that stood at least three feet above the water. Impresivo!... so once we were all in the water, we headed around Near Island and Popof Island and then crossed Woody Island Channel to... you guess it!... Woody Island. The sky was not nearly as clear as it was for me yesterday. As a matter of fact, the fog never really lifted.

There was also this strange film of some petroleum product on the water that was degassing much of the time. That is REALLY bizarre for the Kodiak archipelago. I informed the Harbor Master, Marty Owens, after we got back and he put a call in to the Coast Guard. I'm not sure what came of it, but I saw one of the CG helis fly by Dog Bay.

But I digress. So we paddled against the slightest breeze and the incoming tide, but the water stayed flat and the air temperature warm. It must have been in the mid-50s for most of the day. As we paddled the channel we saw porpoises, puffins, a couple of otters and harbour seals (and a bunch of the other usuals). Still no whales. We reached the western shore of Woody Island right around noon where we hauled out on a black sandy beach for lunch. Zoya broke out the hard stuff, lol, and we sat around for about 30 minutes laughing, eating, drinking, and cutting up.

Then we all decided to go for a little walk. We scrambled up a little grassy knoll into this old, moss-covered, old-growth spruce forest. After a short walk in the woods, we ended up on a berm between one of the Woody Island lakes... Lake Una, as a matter of fact. A beaver had created a dam between the lake and its outlet to the beach. We continued on up a hill that was littered with blooming shooting stars, lupine, dandelions, and some other butter-cup looking plant.

Erin, one of the girls in the group, suddenly shouted, "Oooh look! A buoy swing!" We all looked up into the trees, noting the old crab pot buoy hanging between two large spruce trees, and got excited at the prospect of getting to try 'er out. I lowered my eyes back to the path I was walking, trying hard not to trip over anything or step in the random oddly-shaped turds that spotted the path. Then... out of no where... I hear this shrieking scream coming from above me! I look up and out comes Erin barreling through the tree tops riding a white crab buoy between her knees! We all started laughing and clapping, applauding her brazen behavior especially since we all were a little doubtful of the integrity of the old trap lines holding her weight.

On a personal side note... I was a little bit jealous (ok... VERY jealous) that she had gotten to it first. lol Lisa and I ran to the top of the hill, exhilarated at the prospect of jumping on this impromptu ride. The swing was set up where we had to get up on a platform, grip as high on the rope as possible, and then jump on to the buoy. As Lisa and I were deciding who was to go next, we suddenly realized that we had to pee... not a good thing when you're about to jump off of a cliff. So we made a break for the ladies restroom (i.e. the woods), evacuated our bladders, and ran back to the platform. It was SO MUCH FUN!!!

As scared as we all were, each one of us had at least one turn, screaming on the way down (haha... and up). We laughed until our stomachs cramped! The only one who did not take a ride on the crazy train was Alexis... but she was three and a half months pregnant. Likely excuse. lol Kidding. Totally kidding.

Afterwards, we all walked back to the yaks and got back on the channel. From the beach we traveled along the coast of Woody Island up to the old ice house and pier, then we crossed back over Woody Island Channel, paddled back around Near Island and into the Harbor. Come to find out this evening, Patrick saw us paddling under Near Island Bridge and took some pictures. We chatted it up with the guys working on the boats and docks along Cannery Ro'. Then all of the girls helped me put the kayaks back on to the racks. It was such an amazing experience!

To be quite honest, I wasn't sure how the trip was going to go. I knew that all of the women going on this trip were cool as I'd spent a little bit of time getting to know each of them at some time point earlier in the season. But it was SO GREAT hanging out with a group of intelligent spunky girls who are just as open to a knew adventure as I am. I so hope to spend more time with these girls. Zoya and I are already talking about the prospect of taking a kayaking camping trip. We're thinking about paddling from St. Paul's up to to Anton Larsen Bay. Patrick tells me that there is this amazing camping site about a mile from Kizhuyak Point on the eastern side of the Bay.

Pictures will be added soon! In the meantime, the good times are never ending. Each day is an adventure.

By the way, I'll finish my other blog about the Mecca incident very soon, too. Sorry to keep you hanging! I miss you guys so much!

Photos: Casey helping Melissa and Karen board their kayaks at St. Paul Harbor.

Panoramic of view of the beach during our beach picnic lunch on Woody Island.

Alexis and Melissa walking along the beach, headed back to the kayaks.

My tandem kayak partner, Alexis, in action.

(left to right) Alexis, Karen and Melissa headed back to town.

No Fear!

This afternoon the kayak adventure culminated in a hike through the woods on Woody Island and discovering a bouy swing. Erin bravely tried out the swing to make sure it was sturdy. She screamed out with fear (and exhilaration) as she swung WAY out over us. We would step up on the platform to mount the bouy swing and as Karen put it... "Oh my gosh. I feel like I'm going to throw up" as she prepared herself to go on the swing. It was a most definite adrenaline rush-I closed my eyes for the first time out over the hill. As I swung back out the second time, I could finally open my eyes and have a moment of enjoying it.

Good times were had!



Top Two: Casey suspended in mid air on the swing.
Bottom: Lisa Hupp on the swing.

L'il Buzz Lightyear

Stuey has been officially walking since around May 6th...15 months old. After that time, he did a lot of crawling-walking-crawling-walking. On vacation, he switched over to 100% walking. At the Kodiak airport on our way out East, he was crawling around the airport, and I thought..."oh jeez. Every virus known to man is probably on this airport floor." During the course of the trip he turned into a walker!!! Many friends who see him now say, "wow-hes walking all the time now?!".

I must say, I love it. My little guy is cruising around. And it makes things like a trip to the beach SO much easier.

Our friend Tanya gave us a few bags of wonderful hand-me-downs and Stuey's buzz light year outfit was in it. See photos below. He cruised around outside in his jammies as we grilled food for dinner.


Monday, June 16, 2008

Vacation comes to an end...

We made it back to Kodiak in one piece. Phew.

Our last 2 days in Sherborn were busy ones-going to the lake for a dip, packing and my mom drove up to visit as well on Sunday. She got some Stuey and Nora time! And the kids got Grandma CiCi time. Yeah!

Sunday evening Emmy and George held a cocktail party for a friend who recently authored a book. The weather was rainfree for the hours of the party and it was fun to chat with Patrick's friends and family. One of my favorite menu items at the party was strawberries dipped in sour cream, then brown sugar. SO GOOD! I was amazed by how yummy they were.

There were many people in attendance whom I haven't seen since we married 5 years. Patricks cousins, old family friends...for much of the party we had to run after Stuey in Nora to keep them away from the breakables. At 7:30 we were able to enjoy ourselves once they were in bed.

We had to get up at 3 am to catch the 6 AM flight out of Boston. Needless to say, it was a LONG day. I think the flight home may have gone a bit better than the flight out to Boston, but it was still quite rough for Nora and Patrick. Lots of crying where they were sitting in the row behind me. Stuey did great, thank heavens. He is a natural flier.

So good to be home. Gosh I love the crispness and coolness of the Kodiak air.



Top: Emmy and Nora at the back patio in Sherborn.

Family photo at the party.

Nora headed towards the reflection pond (turned wading pool) in Sherborn to help break the 80+ degree heat.

At the party, Stuey and Nora spent a large part of their time in the entry way door greeting people. It seemed to be one locale in the house where they couldn't break something! Stuey sat on the front step throwing pebbles and smiling at guests as they came in.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

North Haven Days

After the reunion, our family headed up to North Haven with Tom Osteraas, his wife Kathy, their child Lauren and Larry Pratt. North Haven Island is off the coast of Rockland in Maine-a 1 hour boat ride from the mainland. Patrick and I went there for our honeymoon and it is a spot which is treasured by both Patrick and I. A quiet, small island with a peaceful way of life. Patrick spent his summers as a child there--exploring the ocean, beaches, and learning how to sail.

We stayed at Emmy's house and enjoyed grilled steaks and vegetables our first evening there. The night was a warm one-temperatures persisted in the 80's and it didn't cool down until late that night. The college roommates, Patrick, Larry and Tom stayed up late playing cards and laughing. Kathy and myself headed to bed at a decent hour. It was fun to hear them up laughing and reminiscing while playing a game of Hearts.

The Osteraas' and ourselves relaxed, barbequed, went for walks, on a drive, went to a beach and Dicky took them on a sailboat ride on his sailboat. Lauren, their daughter, is a lovely 7 year old who was so helpful with Stuey and Nora. She was able to carry Stuart-which was a sight to see!! Another highlight of the week was enjoying lobsters with them-their first time eating lobsters. Pictures of that to come on a future post. :)

The phone hardly rang there, there is no internet/computer at the house, no TV...just a wonderful getaway from the electronics of the world. I always feel so rested up when I return from there. Also, there is fantastic clothesline which I used to dry my clothes and LOVED that so much. The crisp feeling of clothes off the clothesline. Theres nothing like it!

A big highlight from the week was a beach picnic trip we took with Ella, Dicky and their boys. We went to the Little Dumpling Islands, which aren't far from Emmy's house at low tide. I made Lobster roll sandwiches to eat and we sat on the beach laughing and eating lunch while Leo and Nora explored the tidepools and the row boat on the beach. The day will be forever etched in our minds as we think back to the heat of the sun on us, the stories and jokes we shared and plain old good sibling time. And good times for the cousins together. Stuey and Zeke both fell asleep in our arms-in fact Stuey slept for much of the picnic.

Today we drove back down to Boston, will be here for 2 days and head back to Kodiak Monday morning (EARLY!!!). What a fantastic trip we have had.


Top: Boat ride from Rockland to North Haven, Patrick, Zoya and Kids, Kathy, Tom and Lauren and Larry P.
Larry (left) and Tom (right) toasting on the first eve in North Haven.
Zoya, Ella and Kids before heading out on a picnic
Panoramic of picnic on Little Dumpling Islands
Leo and Nora playing in the row boat.

Sunday, June 08, 2008

A few Pomegranate Martinis

Last night was the big 20th Reunion dinner on Harvard campus. We began the evening with pre-party drinks at the Delphic Club-an eating club (fraternity feel). The guys played pool and us ladies chatted and walked around looking around the house. The Delphic Club goes back to 1847-with plaques on the wall to list all members in the various years. Lots of history and memories in such a house! As Patrick was giving me a tour of the courtyard, we saw this purple substance splattered on the screen door. Patrick remarked, "Oh, looks like someone spilled something there." As I looked closer, I saw chunks in the purple (wine-like) dried substance. I replied, " Thats throw up Honey." We got a good laugh out of it.
Megan North, the wife of a fellow Delphic Club member said that they were there until 3 AM the night before. She went to get more beer and the guy serving the beer from the keg was wearing nothing more than a bowtie and his Harvard reunion nametag. "Not a stitch of clothing" were Megan's exact words.

The weather was 90+ degrees-sweltering-and the dinner was held in big tents outside in the Kirkland House courtyard. The bar served up wine, beer, water, soda and pomegranate martinis. I was quick to discover these yummy liquid delights and towards the end of the night the word was that the bartenders were making drinks quite strong--Patricks roommates had to send for more coke to add to their rum/coke drinks because they were too strong.

Once the beat of the 80's music vibrated from the dance hall, I was quick to join the dance floor. Several of Patrick's roommates danced and some songs I danced with strangers in the crowd. Everyone there was so fun and welcoming and lots of good dancers! I requested the song "Celebration" two times and when they still hadn't played it, I had two of Patrick's roommates request it. The DJ finally played it and we all hit the dance floor. Good times were had. When we left at 11:30 PM, I said, "What? We have to go already?!!" Patrick replied "yes, Zoya, its 11:30." We got a cab home and Patrick spoke French to the cab driver who was from Haiti.

This afternoon we went to The Thorndike's house for some pool time and early today we had time in the lake near Emmy and Georges. Getting into water seems to be the only way to truly cool the kids off!



Panoramic of Harvard Reunion Dinner in the Kirkland House courtyard.
Patrick and myself at the reunion
Tomas, Scott, Ali and myself at the dinner.
Nora with Peonies this afternoon. George was picking them from the yard and he helped pose her for the photo!
Nora on the plastic shark at the pool.

Saturday, June 07, 2008

We Made It!

We've been in Boston for 24 hours now. The flight out East went fairly well-uneventful with flight connections, etc. It only took 12 hours to get out East. Nora had a hard time on the flights-lots of crying. We flew all night and she only slept an hour or two. Stuey slept closer to 4-5 hours (see photo below). Nora had a bad habit of kicking the seat and arm rest in front of her. The person sitting in front of her moved seats. Phew. Fortunately the plane was empty enough for him to do that. As my mom once said, flying with young children is like flying with little packages of dynamite. You don't know when or if they'll go off! :)

Upon arrival yesterday, Stuey and I took a nap while Emmy, Patrick and Nora went on a walk around the house. After a shower and baths for the kids, Patrick and I got dressed up and went to the Harvard 20th reunion party held at a house of a college friend. Emmy (and George) were gracious enough to watch the kids. And they went to bed without too many problems-I think they were both so tired that bedtime went quite smoothly.
The evening was lovely--a catered dinner with fantastic appetizers, wine and lots of interesting, friendly people. Patrick and I arrived 1 hour early-whoops. I couldn't remember what time it was scheduled to start. We (including the hosts) got a good laugh out of it--I think the hosts were just amazed that we had flown all night from Alaska with two small kids. They understood and were so nice about it. Patrick and I sat and re-hydrated with water while awaiting everyones arrival.

Almost all of Patrick's college roommates are here for the weekend and it is the same group of wonderful guys (and wives) who came to Alaska for our wedding. It is fun to see them all again and really have the time for conversation. Tonight is the Kirkland House Gala on campus which I'm excited for. We're going to take the "T" into Boston for it then take a cab home so we don't have to worry about driving/parking, etc...

And its going to be a hot day today--80's and temps in the 90's tomorrow! Yikes!


Stuey asleep on the ride from Anchorage to Minneapolis.
Nora, Stuey, myself and Patrick with our gear upon arrival in Boston. Nora LOVES pushing Stuey around in the stroller/car seat!
Emmy, Nora Cocoa the dog on a walk in the field yesterday.
Napkin and glass of wine from last nights party.
At the party last night (Anne Thorndike, Lanny Thorndike,Eric Broderson and Tom Osteeras--the guys were 3 of Patrick's roommates in college (for 3 years).

O'Malley Archaeology

We are all in Boston right now for my College 20th reunion (Zoya will post on this later), but I'll add one last post from the Karluk/O'Malley archaeological survey.

As I said earlier we did not find many new sites, but we still learned a lot. In the top photo Rose is holding up an incised slate lance head that would have been used to hunt sea mammals. Alutiiq people made points like this between about 1000 and 1500 years ago - so when we found this one in a house we are able to date the house. People lived in it sometime around 1200 years ago. When we radiocarbon date the charcoal we found in the house's hearth we will know exactly how old.

The house were we found the lance head is part of a large village depicted in the bottom photo. This is exciting because it matches the pattern we have seen on other lake and river systems on Kodiak. It appears that at around AD 800 there was a large surge of settlement at the outlets and inlets to Kodiak's large lakes. At this time people were abandoning the Kachemak Bay region and the Lower Alaska Peninsula. Perhaps everyone was moving to Kodiak, and with all the new people on the island people had to create new villages in new places - not enough room on the coast so people started to live inland. In the next few years we will be exploring this idea with more survey work. Patrick

Thursday, June 05, 2008

More Survey Pictures

More photos from our survey and one more to follow. Top photo is a view of camp with O'Malley Creek in the background. Second photo is of the crew on a Sunday hike up a nearby mountain with Karluk Lake in the background. I was surprised to see quite a few mountain goats on the mountains by the lake. Third photo is Mark and I conferring over the map about where on the lake we will be surveying. We paddled about 5 miles up one shore, crossed over to the other side (about a mile) and paddled back to camp along the far shore. The next photo is of Rose and Chase hiking across the snow on the way up the mountain we climbed. Finally the last photo is of me with an Arctic Char. We ate char that we caught practically every day. I asked my neighbor Len Schwarz what we were catching and he told me that all the Dolly Varden trout have already left the lake for the ocean and that we were probably catching nothing but Arctic Char.

On our survey we did not find as many archaeological sites as we expected. In similar settings in past surveys we have found literally hundreds of housepits that needed to be mapped. This year we only mapped one big village and found just 6 new sites. We found two 1000 year old villages and one large 500 year old village. Most of the other sites we found were late 19th century hunting/fishing camps.

The most exciting thing about our survey was the bears. There were a lot of them! Every time we left camp we generally saw 2-3 bears. Bears grazing on grass, bears catching sticklebacks in the creek, bears digging, and walking across the snow - even in one instance we saw a big boar trying to chase down and kill a cub while the mother and another cub watched from a snow field up high. Boars kill and eat cubs so that the sow will go into heat. Bears were literally everywhere.

The area is considered critical bear habitat and is closed to humans during the summer. The Refuge wanted to keep people from harassing the bears. Elsewhere the bears are habituated to humans by constant contact. The bears we saw were much more uninhibited. We saw many more big boars than you usually see in areas more frequented by people. Big boars are very shy, and while you may see literally dozens of bears near a weir catching the pooled up fish - you probably will not see a big boar. These bears prefer to stay away from people. We are really lucky to have gotten the chance to hang out with bears in a natural setting - one were the bears made the rules. Patrick