Ok, so I know I’ve been slacking on the Weeky Run-Downs. A lot has been going on lately on all fronts, but an update is in order. Somebody please remind me to write soon about a recent health scare involving our baby daughter that landed us in Cody, WY, for a few hours one night last month. Let’s just say that my views on mountain solitude may have, um, evolved a bit.
U.S. Outdoors Today
I’d like you to check out a budding new website called U.S. Outdoors Today. It’s run by my friend Jason Hendricks of The Adventurist and Skinny Moose Media. The publication is geared toward outdoor journalism, education, and conservation. Whatever your outdoor pursuit, U.S. Outdoors Today is a great source of informative and interesting articles.
Dr. Benjamin Pykles and team are wrapping up their archaeological study of the Iosepa ghost town in Tooele County, Utah (click here for previous Iosepa posts). With the help of a special radar system, Pykles located a privvy pit, from which he and his students have pulled numerous artifacts from the turn-of-the-century Hawaiian ag community, including bottle and ceramic fragments, animal bones, and various trinkets.
Interestingly, based on his findings, Dr. Pykles has concluded that Iosepans used a whole lot of mentholatum jelly. He initially wondered if this might be for sinus reasons, since Iosepa’s settlers were used to a humid island climate. But he told me last Saturday that a Native American he met mentioned that her ancestors also used a lot of mentholatum- not for health reasons- but to straighten their hair. Hair straightening, Pykles told me, “was one possible function of the mentholatum.”
Also Saturday, Pykles, in concert with the Iosepa Preservation Society, opened the old townsite to the public and displayed his findings. I wasn’t able to make it, but I was out there the day before, and the good Doctor gave Tyler and I a tour of the dig. Pretty cool stuff.
Though his scheduled time in Iosepa is up on August 2, Pykles plans to return in 2010 to continue his study.
In the meantime, Tyler and I made a little discovery of our own, which you’ll be able to read about in Thursday’s TTB (I’ll probably post the teaser and pics on Friday morning).