Aly’s End Game

By , July 13, 2011

We talked to Aly on the phone Sunday evening. Her field school crew has returned from a visit to a dig at Calico Bluff, near Eagle, Alaska. They’re wrapping up their portion of the ongoing excavation at Beaver Creek, and preparing for a trip to Dawson, YT for the music festival there.

Amazingly, Aly has decided to volunteer staff the festival, trading 15 hours of work for free admission to the festival. What’s striking is that she’ll be working security.When we visited her, she expressed doubts about doing that. It’s not the kind of job I would have predicted she would take, but she’s going to, trying something new, and, for her, risky. I’m sure she’ll do fine. Canadians are, on the whole, wonderfully polite people, and for every slight young girl working security, there are no doubt, several large, beefy staffers to back up her requests.

She’s also feeling more confident about the final exam and paper she needs to write for the field school this week. These aspects of the adventure have always concerned her, but she talked to her professor and learned what he expected from her, and how to proceed. It sounds like she got it sorted, as we knew she would. When we were up there, we reminded her that she’d already succeeded by getting accepted to the mid-level college course despite being too young, technically, to participate. She’s proved she can do it, the rest is just detail.

She had an exciting time at Calico Bluff. They were within 60 miles of the dig she participated in last summer. The stone tool fragments they excavated are incredibly large compared to the tiny flakes she found at Beaver Creek—she says some were almost a foot long! She got to swim in a tributary at the point where it entered the Yukon River (the current in the river itself was dangerously swift). It could hardly have been better.

The Dawson Music Festival will be a sort of last hurrah for the team before returning to Whitehorse, probably late on July 18th. We’ll go get her, and bring her home around that time.


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