We finished up in the land of swamps, but not before I had soundly killed the argo once again. I’m not sure it was entirely my fault since is was only the belt that broke and it was the argo company who neglected to put a replacement one in the hidden tool compartment like they normally do. However, I was nicely taking all the really wet, muskey areas when the argo died, and of course none of us had our rubber boots, or waders….
Our helicopter pilot said he could lift it out to some dry ground but that still meant we had to get the straps under it as it slowly sank lower in the muskeg. In the end we had to winch it onto some slightly higher muskeg then crawl around under it to get the straps on. We were a very smelly lot on the flight home I fear.
We did manage to find a site (it was me, all me!!), although we did put in over 220 test pits, so we were bound to find something eventually. It isn’t terribly glorious but it will do for now – a bit of quartzite that has been hacked out. It does feel a bit like finding a needle in a haystack some days.
Our GPS has decided that it hates us, the area, the trees, life in general…we’re not quite sure which it is but we are having an impossible time laying out a decent grid for the test pits. While standing still it tells you that you’re suddenly 4m from where you started, or that you have walked in a giant circle when you have not. Thus we have been forced to map it out using tape measures and a compass. I would like to say that this is much easier to do on the prairie than in the forest, and it really helps when you have a 20m measuring tape when laying out 20m lines, instead of one that is 5m. Thankfully we have Sarah: she’s a ninja in the forest and a master of the tape measures, so it went remarkably well.