Helicopter time!

Helicopters, what a brilliant way to get to and from work. They’re very peaceful once you’re up in flight and it feels as though you’re hardly moving at all. The area we’re working on is called Birch Mountain but it turns out the mountain part is a bit misleading; however, I’m actually quite ok with it being less steep than anticipated. The view is spectacular from the air, you can see every depression in the landscape, the meandering rivers bent almost upon themselves like giant earthworms, the ebb and flow of the trees and muskeg, a cow moose and her calves swimming at the edge of a lake, a well-fed black bear loping through a cutline. On the other hand, you can see all of the logging and clearcutting, the cutlines everywhere, each oil company – a little city of its own, the massive tailings ponds, the dark pits cut so deep, the endless stream of trucks waiting to carry off the black earth.I’m not sure yet how I feel about being a part of that process.

I get to walk through the forest all day long wich is quite lovely – to kneel down amongst the thin trees and work amidst the bugs and spongy earth. Yet, all the time knowing that if nothing is found they’ll move the machinery in and clear-cut the area. part of me rebels at the idea of helping strip and ravage the land, but part of me knows that there is no stopping it – why bemoan the inevitable?

We’ve been surveying the various lease areas of our client and there are a lot more ‘high potential’ areas than our maps indicate (areas where we are likely to find archaeological remains, like higher flatter areas, or areas near good water sources). Thus we need to rethink our plan of attack a bit – walking through muskeg is slow and tedious, the ground is spongy and strewn with downed trees in various states of decay. Thus we have decided the use of an argo is necessary (I’ll attach a photo once it gets here). So a couple members of the team have volunteered to make the treacherous drive back to Calgary to pick one up and bring it back. In the meantime we get a couple of days off.

Muskeg!

While at dinner this evening a random gentleman, identified as Sam’s friend (I don’t know any Sams…), had a beer sent over to me – I think this means that Ft. Mac likes me.

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