This week has been super busy and gone by fast; hard to believe it is already Friday!
Today was a very short day of excavation, only about two hours. We got up as usual and headed down to the site, but then we practiced our talks for public day. Mike and I are paired up to tackle home sweet Housepit 7. People like to joke about how we are the tallest and the shortest on the team. We finally got the difference between housepit and pithouse clarified, a question that had been haunting many of us for a while: a housepit is the open depression of dirt that we work in and a pithouse is the full structure as people would have lived in them. Then we dug for two hours. I finished my level form for Unit 69E 153N Stratum III Level 4 and began working on the strange Stratum III-5 circle in the northeast quad of Unit 68E 153N. My theory currently is that it is a hole dug into the floor of the pithouse for a hearth or storage pit, but that’s pretty much a pipe dream.
This afternoon we piled into the vans for our last trip to Nelson. The wildfire is still burning, and although I couldn’t see the fire (even at night) from downtown, we could still see wisps of smoke rising from the mountainside. Helicopters were frequently flying back and forth with water buckets. Anyways, we did our laundry and then had two hours to hang out. Petra found a local history museum and got some cool merchandise at the gift store with the same designs as our mugs at camp. I am very disappointed that I wasn’t around for that discovery. Instead, I wandered through a few stores with Maddy and Rachel before hanging out at a coffee shop.
At 5:30 p.m., we departed downtown Nelson for dinner at Mike’s house, just up the mountain a bit. They have a lovely view of downtown, the river, and the mountains. His parents spoiled us with homemade burgers, potatoes, and sweet corn (which Grace, Emily, and I agreed marked the true start of summer). We enjoyed their lovely company for a few hours before returning to camp, well past pain-thirty (Molly’s, and my, bedtime/werewolf hour at 9:30 p.m.).
Finally a (quasi) day off! We got to sleep in, though I was still awake by 7 a.m. (thanks ridiculously early sunrise), just laying in my tent. After breakfast, we went down to the site for a final practice run of our speeches for Public Day tomorrow. Molly’s parents and Lola, a Sinixt woman from the Colville Reservation, joined the crew in listening to the spiels. I am feeling pretty confident but Mike definitely has some stage fright; I believe in us though and the power of repetition. We also cleaned up the site, removing logs that were in the way and branches that posed eye hazards. Blue, yellow, and orange pin flags now mark the trails for people to follow between the housepits.
We hiked back up for lunch and spec-ed in CVS and artifacts from yesterday. Then I went down to the river for a bath with Maddy, Max, and Grace. The wind was blowing surprisingly strong upstream, creating a double current which pulled downstream at the lower depths and upstream with the waves at the surface It was a bit treacherous and cold, but we made it out to the dock. Docking the inflatable rafts did not go so well and created some hilarious moments as people went diving in after runaway floaties. One raft even managed to act as a sail and turned the dock! Once Max and Maddy returned to camp, Grace and I enjoyed the somewhat sunshine, whirling wind, and gentle rocking of the dock by nearly falling asleep. Times like that make me want to spend more time on boats.
This evening was mostly free time, mainly consisting of me reading with an intense game of Settlers of Catan in the background. Max and Nathan are very serious about Catan.