Generally speaking, Oklahoma is very linear. There are county roads running north to south and east to west almost every mile. When you are doing a very long linear survey, this is helpful. You can break your survey stretches up into small, manageable chunks and often arrange it so that you are always walking towards an awaiting vehicle. Sometimes, there's creeks that are impassable or reticent landowners and you have to do a "walk-in, walk-out".
Today, there were simply no roads. It was a stretch leading up to the Little River
(and yes, some of us older folks made Little River Band
jokes, and coincidentally, they played a show at a casino here last week!) across a stretch without all the county roads. Because of access issues, the nearest entry point was about 2.8 miles along the pipeline route from the Little River. We were able to score a ride on an ATV part of the way with one of the civil survey crews (they basically stake the line), but it wasn't quite half way there. My crew was chosen to walk the rest of the way to the river, THEN turn around and start surveying back. We would meet up somewhere in the middle with a second crew who was surveying towards us from the drop-off point. A third (very lucky) crew got to survey to the road from the drop-off point.
So, in summary, get dropped off and then walk almost a mile and a half to the river. Start surveying. When you meet the other crew, walk the rest of the distance back to the road. Total miles covered: roughly 4.3. Actual miles surveyed by my crew: .6. Oh yeah, and it was in an undulating terrains, which means lots of little up and downs into creek tributaries. And the grass was knee-to-waist high.
We did find a site, pretty much where we expected one to be. Nothing exciting, just a bunch of flakes and a bit of burned sandstone. It almost made up for the hike.
The amazing thing is that we covered all this terrain in around 5.5 hours of actual field time. We actually got done early, and decided to just call it a day. Tonight we're having a full crew dinner at a BBQ joint, then tomorrow we're moving down to Durant
for the final stretch.
Oh, I do have to add...I did almost ask my boss to "Take it Easy on Me"
Labels: archaeology, archeology, long walk, Oklahoma, pun, survey