Some of you have said to me recently: "Four showers in thirteen days! How did you do it!" Well, people, it's complicated, but not that complicated.
You see, I just got back from the two-week field school we hold every summer in the ranchlands northwest of Phoenix. Far away northwest. Not like an hour northwest of Phoenix, but like five hours on dirt roads northwest. With cows and javelinas and antelopes and giant canyons and whatnot. It's very pretty there where we are.
We have a fabulous little propane shower at Winter Camp which is where we stay and which is comprised mainly of a weathered cabin, a roofless outhouse known affectionately as the Skylight Lounge, and some bees but which is not comprised of any sort of water-producing apparatus or, generally in June, rain.
What with water an hour-and-twenty minutes away, conservation makes even more sense than usual at Winter Camp. Especially if you're the one driving to the water-getting place after a long day of survey and most especially if you're me, which you were in this case. Also I have a deep fear of the shower on account of the flames that shoot out of the propane heater every time you light it. Hence, four showers in thirteen days.
I had a good time this year. The weather was cool and windy most of the time, which kept the biting gnats somewhat subdued. I'm apparently allergic to gnat venom - something I had blissfully forgotten, but which came back to me pretty quickly after my ear swelled to twice its original size. "Oh, right!" I thought as gnats also punched me repeatedly in both eyes. "That's what I forgot to remember!" The gnats are not my favorite part of the Burro Creek field school.
What are my favorite parts are these: We covered lots of acreage and found nearly thirty new sites. I can't tell you how many artifacts we collected because I can't count that high.
We also obtained a camp squirrel (Rocky) this year to replace our previous camp packrat (Splinter), and that was very nice. Rocky is at this moment probably huddled under the cabin we just abandoned, panic-stricken at the abrupt absence of peanut butter and jelly beans. Another positive thing was that we had jambalaya one night for dinner for the first time ever which was very tasty and delicious. I'm not going back if people don't commit to jambalaya again next year.
One interesting thing that could be positive or could be something different than positive but not exactly negative was that the crew was kind of boy-heavy this year. This led to games such as "Quesadilla Free-For-All" in which quesadillas are consumed in record time and in massive quantities in order to prevent other people from getting quesadillas, and "Trying to Hit Oranges With a Machete" in which people (mainly boys) attempt to hit oranges with a machete. It also led to the removeable backseat of the Suburban winding up in the outhouse. Here's some pictures: