Starting salvage at Walakpa

It was a long day.  I’ve been insanely busy, hence the lack of posts (although there are a few drafts I need to get out there…).  Aside from some projects at work and a paper which I should finish shortening tomorrow (the two reviewers both had useful addition, but one liked one section and thought the other half could be cut, the other felt the same way, except he wanted to cut the part the first one liked and expand the part the first one wanted to cut) I’ve been working on getting set up for salvage at Walakpa.

While I was in Iceland, reports came in of a house eroding from the bluff at Walakpa.  It was checked & sure enough.  The UMIAQ staff went down and taped it off to discourage the curious who were doing some damage, and we started organizing.  The North Slope Borough Planning Department and Mayor’s Office are helping financially, and I’m writing a RAPID proposal to NSF on the off-chance some funds wind up being available.

Monday we went down & set up a tent for the crew.  Yesterday was an off day, due to the funeral of Nok and Rita Acker’s little daughter Gabby.  Today we got back at it.

The trip down was more eventful than one might wish.  One of the machines we are renting, a nearly brand-new Polaris (576 mi) just serviced last week, that I was riding decided to overheat.  Fluids were fine, no idea what is wrong.  So it got swapped out, off to the shop, and we went on our way.

The bluff has fallen away from the house, leaving quite an overhang of sod, which is putting pressure on the structure, as well as being hazardous to work below.  We spent the day getting that cut back, and will finish tomorrow.  Then we can strip sod back a bit and start excavating properly.

Dennis Stanford excavated at Walakpa in 1968 and 1969.  On Monday, I had found two of his three monuments, and had set up EDM to use them, so we could just tie into his grid..  Unfortunately, I had assumed that he worked in metric.  Alas, not so.  I couldn’t remember how to change the settings on the transit to feet, so I had to do some quick English to metric conversions and reprogram while the others ate lunch.

I seem to have put the pictures I thought I was putting in my Dropbox somewhere other than that, so no pictures today.  Sorry about that.


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