Tuesday, Sept 30th
A huge ravine runs right through our parcel today and the entire area is wooded, with plenty of thorny undergrowth. Probably won’t be much digging. But we hike right into the underbrush, each person with their own shovel, screen, and backpack. We walk for a long time, letting someone with a machete go first. Thorns grab at us as we go and in a couple of spots we’re forced to crawl on the ground to get through networks of vines and branches. Shovel in hand the whole time, of course.
I love it. The physical challenge of it makes it fun, and the woods are breathtakingly beautiful. Through the trees to the left, we can see a wall of woodland sloping down the other side of the ravine. All around us, the circle of life is intertwined with itself. Little saplings await their first taste of winter beside old fallen trees that are now something between wood and dirt. Every now and then one of us steps on one, overestimating its strength, and it instantly crumbles beneath our weight.
Eventually, we come across a small, overgrown road. It’s going in the direction we need so we walk along it until it curves away from our trajectory. We then return to making our own path…until someone notices something interesting to the right. It’s a small tower of rocks. Flat rocks, and obviously stacked on top of each other intentionally. In fact, there is a whole wall cutting into the slope behind it!
We explore and observe and discuss until our crew chief is satisfied that it’s the bottom of what was once a barn built partly into the hill. This area was once pasture land. We measure it, take pictures, and take note of artifacts, which include the metal remains of farm equipment and glass bottles. And then we decide it’s the perfect place to sit down for lunch.
Lunch at the office. What can I say? I’m getting paid to walk around and look for old broken stuff. Maybe it’s not everyone’s ideal job…but it’s one way in which I’m fulfilling my desire to live an adventure.