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Monashee Mountain Internment Camp - Day 9: Cast Iron and Condensed Milk

Written by: Colton Saito

July 28th, 2021

Day 9, another astounding dig day in Cherryville, British Columbia. Nikki, our wonderful writer, has decided in her ultimate wisdom to let me, Colton Saito, be today’s guest writer on the blog. Welcome, and I hope you enjoy today’s adventure!

After Sarah and Dan spent the previous evening reviewing old photos of Monashee and comparing them to our excavation area, they believed they finally had a proper understating of where things were supposed to be. To start the day, the team did site reconnaissance and ended up finding the entire northern half of the camp, known as the officer’s section. The north side of the camp yielded insane amounts of surface artifacts. They were scattered across the forest floor, and, like ants, you see one you start seeing them all. Artifacts ranged from bottles, undetermined pink glass, cans, and even parts of a fancy stove. The amusing trek came to an end, and we returned to our humble home of the south camp, where the team met back with Greg and continued their hard work.

Flag Pole Road #2 (Rory) – Uncovering the plank of all planks, Rory had a great dig day. They uncovered cans upon cans degraded and intact. Sarah was then prompted to ask Rory to open a one-by-one meter test pit at the north end of the preposterous plank (yes, I alliterated a plank). Opening the pit, Rory uncovered a shard of glass that happened to be a fully intact large bottle. Experts of identification, Sarah and Dan marked it as a big ol’ bottle of Jameson Whisky based on its shape and distinct bulbous neck.

Flag Pole Road #3 (Colton) – After a disappointing pit (Flag Pole Road #1) yesterday, my luck turned around… a little. Continuing in my more generous pit from yesterday (Flag Pole Road #3), I found more potential pieces of what Sarah and Dan theorize to be an Irish clay pipe. Rejuvenated by the possibility of a clay pipe, I scoured the pit one tiny white bit at a time with much hope and little success.

Flag Pole Road #4 (Keagan and Holly) – Discouraged by their lack of artifacts yesterday, Keagan and Holly were eager and ready for more digging. Sarah directed them to start a new test pit in hopes of finding more planks, and Rory’s can midden. To their surprise, they found exactly that, cans, tin lids, one plank, and even a small omnivore jaw. It is undetermined whether the jaw is relevant to the site or not.

Chantelle and Katy are goddesses among mortals when it comes to exciting finds. Chantelle continued to work on her unit south of the floor. She uncovered some more cans and the OXO lid belonging to her can from a couple of days previously. She finished the test pit with a few shards of glass and moved on to the next. Finishing up her second pit of the day, she was disappointed with no artifacts and generously helped Katy map her finds and site. Katy, continuing her winning streak, found a unique McCulloch Golden Orange bottle cap, a can lid, a boot cover with three buckles, and yet another shoe peeking out between two planks.

Greg being the videographer he is, wanted to get a higher shot of the floor, yet high branches were blocking the path of his drone, so nice guy Dan offered to be a stepping stool for Greg to break the branches while Chantelle held him…crazy right! The branch force (like task force) prevailed, and Greg was able to get his drone up in the air safely.

Nikki, our gracious writer, spent the morning with Dan mapping the nine POW test pits so they could be filled in the afternoon by the whole crew. After lunch, Nikki got some screen time, being interviewed by Greg as a student representative and author of the daily blog posts.

POW Test Pit #11 (Sarah) – Sarah resumed work on her pit and found the other half of the bowl from the previous day, allowing the full formation of the dish!

That’s a wrap! The team filled in the POW test pits, tidied up and stuffed into the cars voyaging back to our cozy cabins. Sarah treated us to a dinner of delicious pulled pork and salad, and we went to bed with bright eyes and hopes of topping Katy’s finds the next day.

Special thanks to Nikki Simon for letting me write this blog post!


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