Ahhhhh! I'm home and well-rested after the long journey from Alaska. I'm typing in the kitchen while little baby Holt plays with a rattle in the next room. I just finished a bowl of cereal with fresh strawberries - yum! It's good to be back. I haven't had to put on mosquito repellent for 5 days!
Here's little Holt, happy to have Daddy back form Alaska. Actually, I think mom is even more happy to have some help again!
What an adventure it was. I've been telling everyone about the helicopter and flight suits, the grizzlies, moose and musk ox we saw, the seal meat we ate with Stanley from Kivalina and of course, the 11,500-year-old artifacts we carefully excavated. I can't wait to share this experience with the students. I have a big collection of goodies for them to get their hands on - everything from musk ox wool and hand-made bone harpoon points to coral reef fossils found in the De Long Mountains (how do you think they got up there?).
It almost seems like a dream now that I'm back in Colorado. The 10 days I spent north of the Arctic Circle at our remote camp were so incredible!
Here in Denver I've been unpacking my gear. I hung my nice REI tent from Polar Field Services in the rafters of my porch to air out and re-stuffed my zero-degree sleeping bag. I've also been going to school to start organizing my classroom and plan the archaeology lessons we'll do.
I've thought a lot about John Erlich who took great care of me during my time in Kotzebue. When he dropped me off at the airport he showed me these two incredible harpoons for hunting whales and seals. We don't see anything like this in Denver, Colorado!
I'll post more entries here so you can follow along on our experiences at school once classes start on August 24th. I can't wait to meet all the new students and see the students who are returning from last year (remember, I teach a combined 3rd- and 4th-grade class so last year's 3rd graders will be this year's 4th graders). I know the returning students will be great leaders this year!