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Getting ready!

Even Shayne's dog helps out with the packing!


Well, it won't be long now before I'll be stepping off a plane in sunny Albuquerque, New Mexico! I received an e-mail from the coordinator of my Earthwatch expedition telling me that Mr. Laumbach was concerned about us being warm enough and to make sure to bring a warm sleeping bag. The message said something about "gorgeous fall days fading into frigid nights!" Brrr! So, as I'm getting ready to help Karl Laumbach and Sally Cole with their research, I find I'm coming up with some questions of my own. What will the weather be like where I'm going? And what do I need to bring with me? Well, I always tell my classes that research starts with a question, so it looks like I need to embark on a little research project of my own!

One of my favorite weather resources is the Weather Channel's A quick visit there reassured me that I'm not likely to freeze to death during this trip. During the first few days I'm in New Mexico, the temperatures should be in the 70s and the lows will be in the mid-40s — that's not so bad for late October!

I've also looked at a map to see where we'll be working. The Monticello Box Ranch is about 128 miles southwest of Albuquerque, New Mexico — farther south in New Mexico than I have ever been before. I learned that this area is considered to be the border between the homes of the Mogollon Indians to the south and the Anasazi to the north. In 1997, I worked on an Earthwatch archaeology project at a site called Casa Malpais (House of the Badlands) in Springerville, Arizona. Casa Malpais was once occupied by the Mogollon Indians. Springerville is 118 miles northwest of Monticello, New Mexico. It will be interesting to see what similarities and differences there are between the two sites!  

Got to get back to my packing! See you in New Mexico!


PS — Do you think I should take a "luxury item" like the people on Survivor? What would you take? I keep thinking I might like to have my pillow when I crawl into my tent at night!

Credits: Courtesy of Shayne Russell