Sunday, March 15, 2009

Life in Camp

I thought I would post some more pictures of the future field camp, along with notes about what to expect while living there in your six weeks as a project member.

The picnic area used to be the Vermillion Castle Campground, but the USFS converted it to a non-camping picnic area and the City of Parowan manages the site.  All the groups involved issued us a special use permit so we could camp at the site.  We will be the only overnight residents at Five Mile, but picnic-ers and hikers will pass through there during the day.

Bowery Stream and Vermillion Castle:

Tables and fire rings in the group camping area.  Probably our archaeology lab!  You will need to bring your basic camping gear, and we'll have potable water brought to the camp (potable means you can drink it, unlike the fresh and clean, but untreated stream water).  

Each student/volunteer is responsible for their own food during the project. We'll have some basic cooking gear.  There is a supermarket in Parowan, a few minutes from the camp, and we'll make visits periodically after the work day before we head up the canyon.  Students often organize into a group to cook meals and clean up each day.  It is more efficient when everyone shares the work. 

Because the picnic area used to be a campground, there are toilets on the site.  That means no port-a-johns!  There are facilities for men and women.  You will need to use solar showers, but since Utah's sun heats them up nicely, we'll have plenty of hot water.

The picnic area has other basic facilities, including this shelter.   Like all camping situations, we'll have to keep an eye on the weather and Bowery Creek.

We will be staying between two mountain ridges that vary from 800 to 1,000 feet above us on either side.  That means that while it will be light early when we wake up, the sun won't break over the mountain ridges until later in the day.  The canyon faces west however, so we'll have plenty of sun in the afternoon when we return from fieldwork.  The valley and creek are full of the plants and animals that make these mountains famous as part of "Utah's Color Country"! The winter water will result in beautiful spring for us.

The drawback of being in a deep canyon surrounded by beauty is that there will be no cell phone service at camp.  To use your cell phone, you'll need to either go down to town (about 5 miles on paved roads) or hike up to the top of Vermillion Castle or Noah's Ark (although I didn't test this yet because of the snow).  The latter hike is only a mile, but it is up about 1,000 feet. This picture is from the trailhead in camp, looking up 1,000 feet to Noah's Ark:

I plan on climbing up the trails for sunrise and sunset (at least one time for each) during the six weeks of field school! Probably not on the same day, however, since that would be a lot of climbing for a work day....


  1. Hello Tim,
    I only have had a minute to glance through your site, but I look at it a little more in depth later today. Many of the questions I had about this project look to be answered on this site. I will be in touch about me and/or my students coming down there this year.
    Thanks again for letting me know about all of your work.

  2. No problem, Jared! Email if you have any other questions. I'll answer as fast as I can. I am reading my email on my iPhone, but I can only update the blog when I am near the Iron Mission Museum or a free wifi hotspot!