Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Duke Island Area: Archaeology Trip 2011!

I found out last week that we'll be heading to the Duke Island area for this year's archaeology trip. (I think this will be the eighth year I have been doing these trips! I love archaeology!) We were last in the area in 2007, so it'll be cool to be there four years later. It's just north of the Canadian border, so I will be able to point at Stina again, just like I did on last year's trip!

 British Columbia is right there! (Taken from Tongass Island.)

(This picture cracks me up because I am wearing *so* many layers under my jacket, which is why I look super puffy, but on these trips I'm outside all day, for up to twelve hours, so I have to make sure I can stay warm in possibly inclement weather!)

Duke Island is pretty cool because the island is made up of a lot of rock with extra iron in it, so you can't always trust a compass. There's a lot of geological neat stuff happening with the island that is way over my head, but I'm pretty sure I remember there being a platinum mine there. Pretty neat stuff.

I thought I'd put some pictures up of going to Duke in 2007 and of some of the archaeology stuff we did. If any of you don't find it interesting, sorry! There will be another topic in the next post. :o)

 My mom had to fly me to Duke because I came in on a jet from visiting my friend Amy in Tennessee that morning. The Tongass Ranger had already left and arrived in Judd Harbor, so I met up with the boat there.

 My mom and Deer Mountain! (Do we look alike? You see where my blue eyes are from! :o)

 If you look in the water in the middle of the picture, that's the Tongass Ranger.

 Early morning Judd Harbor shot.

 The water was SO calm.

 Archaeology time! This is Martin starting to dig up a shell midden.

 We found some charcoal and shells.

 John looking for middens on the underside of fallen trees. Anyone who has gone hiking with me knows I will often check fallen trees for signs of shells, meaning that the tree is standing on what once was near the ocean. Pretty neat fact!

 I forget the name of this island or if it even has a name. This is the side facing the open ocean, so all the trees are pretty scrubby.

 Some of my crew in the skiff.

Being in the skiff is one of my favorite parts of these trips.

 I know you're jealous of my sweet rain hat.

 I think this is part of an old house post, but I can't tell from the picture and I don't remember.

And, of course, Frank was right there with me!

Unfortunately, on this trip we had to come back a day early. Some of our group was on Village Island (which I would have liked to have been on, because my dad and I used to fly there and hang out for the day all the time when I was younger) and my group was on Dog Island. We were using a skiff to take people from Dog Island over to Village Island, but the skiff broke down in the middle of the water. Not good! This was immediately why it is good to dress appropriately for being in Alaskan weather and have proper amounts of food and water. It was raining pretty hard and we didn't know how long we'd be on the island. It only turned out to be a few hours, but one never knows!

 Village Island

Looking down the beach of Dog Island

I hunkered down and took a nap in a little nest of moss and branches. (I can sleep anywhere on these trips.) Later I woke up, ate some food, and wandered around the forest, waiting to be picked up. There was an extra skiff on the boat, but since there was only the captain on the boat and people spread on two different islands it made it a little interesting.

We finally got everything figured out and we were saved, but we did end up going back to town the next morning, which was Thursday, instead of going back on Friday. I was really disappointed because I look forward to these trips every year and would stay out for two weeks if I could!

So that is what happened the last time I went to the Duke area. I'm not sure what our plan is for this year, but I know I will really have a great time and I am certainly looking forward to it!


  1. Archaeology! So jealous, I don't think I'll be getting in any archy field work this summer...especially not at home! (Have to do thesis research, which is in med anth, and will be on NC stuff.)

    I was going to ask who you work with, but I don't think I recognize any of the people in your pics, so I'm guessing I don't know any of them. But, I'll ask anyway, who do you work with on these trips? :-)

  2. Oh, sad! (But medical anthropology is one of my loves. Swoon! So jealous of you right now. ;o)

    Martin Stamford and John Autrey are out of the USFS Misty Fjords ranger district. Do their names ring a bell at all? I've also worked with Terry Fifield over on Prince of Whales Is.