Updated: Jul 28
Written by: Nikki Simon
July 26th, 2021
Day 7 was our second short weekend day and the day that documentarian Greg Laychak from UFV was introduced into the fold! We were also joined once again by Andrea, who hauled her husband Scott to the site with her.
It was also the day that I finally attained graph paper and began mapping the site (yay!).
Day 7 was quite an eventful day for some and not so much for others. Rory, who had been suffering a migraine for a couple of days and working through it, ended up leaving the site pretty soon after arrival. First thing in the morning, the smoke was thick. As the morning progressed, it got to be quite hot on top of the smoke, so that wasn't exactly helping anyone's constitution either.
Everyone kept industriously working away at their respective sites as Greg ducked in and out of sites stealthily. Beyond a single nail, Colton continued not to have much luck in his suspected privy. At one point, the layer of rocks became so disruptive to the excavation process that Sarah insisted Colton just carefully use a shovel instead of his trowel. Toward the end of the workday, it was sadly decided to just abandon the test pit that we had all pinned so much hope to, and Colton went to help the others with sifting.
Keagan and Holly continued with uncovering their own wooden structure, which seemed to keep going and going. After Sarah had given Greg the tour and overview of the site, everyone got together in the area below Kegan and Holly's unit. Here they formed a line and bushwhacked a wide path clear running from there down to the "flagpole" unit. This area had begun to stand out as the potential roadway that had separated the Officers side of Monashee from the POW side.
During the process of bushwacking, Sarah had noted an area just off to the right of the new path on the POW side between the Keagan/ Holly unit and the "flagpole unit." The site was flat and a relatively decent size, a combination that spells out the perfect setting for some type of structure. Katy and Chantelle swooped in, helped clear the brush from the area, and Scott and Angela we designated to open up a test unit in the space, with Scott being the designated excavator. Unfortunately, they hadn't found anything by the end of the day, but I think that Scott still enjoyed the experience!
Katy and Chantelle, by far, had the most excitement of the day. Chantelle's unit was essentially cleared, so, as her section had so many cans around it, they began to measure and map the area. This way, the cans could be removed, bagged, tagged, and kept from the danger of being stepped on, and so we would still know what their location had been in relation to the site. In the course of doing this, Kay and Chantelle uncovered some really cool cans! Aside from a handful of condensed milk cans that were all stamped with VACUUM PACKED on either end, a coffee can that still read COF-EE amongst a giant hole in the side, and the bottom half of an OXO bouillon tin which was still quite legible in several places. I thought I might write a separate sidebar piece about the different cans found so far and explain how to identify what they may have once contained. Is that something you all would be interested in?
Toting my compass, clipboard and measuring tape and pencils, I managed to get the floor unit and the 10 test pits in front and to the side of it mapped all on my own. Then I realized that I desperately needed some help as it dawned on me just how incredibly spaced apart everything on the Monashee site was. At this point, I enlisted the help of Scott to run a measuring tape from our site datum at the north-east corner of the floor site allllllll the way west across the entirety of our excavation area, through trees, up hills and scrambling over rockpiles as straight as we possibly could for about 48 meters. There are no features to the east of our site datum, at least not that we've excavated. This means that, in setting up the measure in a westerly manner, I was able to determine the southern and western or northern and western measurements of each area of excavation on our site - dependent on which side of the measure they lie.
Before wrapping up for the day, we were all invited over to the newly cleared pathway to participate in a mysterious initiation rite. That's all I'm allowed to say about it, though; if you want to know what it was, I guess you're just going to have to join in on the dig yourselves next time!
We headed back to our home away from home for a spell of relaxation and studying (some of us are in classes right now, too!). Dinner had been called off for the day as we had amassed quite an assortment of leftovers the past week; still, we barely put a dent in what we had. After dinner, our evening was committed to endless games of beer pong, flip cup and any other variation that you can imagine that involves a ball and a cup. This exercise culminating in several fast-paced and hilarious games of Hungry Hungry Hippos. What Sarah likes to call "team-building exercises." Once you play beer pong the Hungry Hungry Hippos way, you can never truly go back.