Thursday, February 19, 2009

Evolving Field Camp Details for Summer 2009

I've been getting a number of requests from students for more details about our plans for the field camp during the 2009 excavations at Parowan.  So I thought I would post some of them here:

1. Getting there:
You will have to get yourself to Utah. If people are going to fly, we’ll all rendezvous in Las Vegas at the airport and the project van will bring you all back to Parowan (about 2-2.5 hours). People are welcome to drive their own cars and meet us in Parowan at the designated time. For MTU students- if you are in Houghton in May, you can probably catch a free ride in the MTU vehicle headed to the site. Space will be limited and those who sign up first will get first priority. The same will be true of the return trip.

2. Where you live:  
We will be camping in the mountains above Parowan on the edge of the Dixie National Forest. We are finalizing details right now, but we expect the campground will have pit toilets and spots for tents, but we will bring in water.  There will be no cost to camp at the site, but each student will need their own tent, sleeping bag, and other basic gear.  We will also try to provide some cooking equipment and I'll email a final list of gear and supplies you will need.  If you don't have access to camping gear, I will try to match you with someone who can loan old equipment.

Remember that we are camping in the desert for six weeks.  There will be no electricity in the camp.  There will be no building at the camp in which we can lock things. While we expect to have access to power and secure storage in town, you should not bring a lot of expensive stuff that you won't need- jewelry, electronics, DVDs...  If you can't use it by flashlight or firelight, you probably won't need it.

3. What you eat:
While we will provide some camp cooking equipment, each student will have to buy and cook their own food.  Students usually group together to get this done- including communal buying of groceries, cooking duties, and washing up.  Everyone takes turns and thus also will have some days off.  

4. When you work:
This will be a public archaeology dig.  I have planned our schedule to maximize our availability to guests, visitors, and tourists.  We will generally work 10 days on, 3-4 days off.  This is a fairly common rhythm on archaeology  projects in the west.  Work generally goes 8-3 on the dig site and then evening activities once or twice per week, including discussions, team meetings, and lab activities.  If Utah gives us a blistering hot summer, we'll switch to 'Mediterranean hours' where we wake up and get to work with sunrise and quit by noon.  We will also be available for some evening hours to give tours and talk with visitors, but these times will be very infrequent.

5. When you don't work:
Since we expect to work 10 on 4 off, this means that during the six week field school, you will have three long breaks.  Each break will last 3 or 4 days.  This time will allow people to explore the fabulous landscapes near Parowan.  There are dozens of national and state parks, monuments, recreation areas, and forests to explore.  Here are some links:
-National Parks including Arches, Bryce Canyon, Zion, Canyonlands, and Great Basin National Parks and the Grand Canyon's northern and southern rims, 
-National Monuments and Recreation Areas (Grand Staircase-Escalante, Lake Mead, Glen Canyon, Canyon de Chelly, Hovenweep, Rainbow Bridge, Cedar Breaks).
-National and State Forests (Dixie, Fishlake, Kaibab, Wasatch-Cache, Humboldt, Toiyabe, among others) 
-State Parks- there are 22!

Oh, and also Las Vegas, Salt Lake City, and Lake Mead.

There is a lot to see in Southern Utah!  Readers of the blog can feel free to add their own favorite spots as comments.

1 comment:

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