I know we are nearing the end of a fieldwork trip when we start to see the floor in our room again. By that point we are usually dog tired after several days of a routine that could be summarized as: If the sun is up: dive/install loggers, if the sun is down: prep data loggers. We try to make sure there are a couple of dry days before the flight home, but if anything those are even more busy as we run around returning borrowed equipment, and talking about interesting new sites with our cave diving friends.
This is where I just stand back and watch in quiet amazement as Trish weaves all those loose ends together in the flurry of last minute activity. Of course some times we have a quiet conversation afterward, that starts with me asking “Uhhh, so exactly how many loggers did you just promise to deliver, that I have to build?” Still, when you have so many amazing people offering to help with the project, it’s really darned hard to say no.
As ever, there are always plenty of cool things on a fieldwork trip that don’t make it onto the blog, like that moment when you realize the graph in front of your eyes is probably going to lead to a publication all on its own, or that point when you realize that you can’t close the windows to use the car’s air conditioning any more because collective foot rot has set in, and is approaching biblical levels. But even glossing over all that, I couldn’t sign off on this trip without mentioning one notable highlight: Aubri Jenson is a caver, and cave diver, who has joined us on past field trips deploying Cave Pearls. However this time she arrived with her own set of loggers, which she built for her own research. Watching her describe them to the other cavers in at the restaurant, was a milestone for the project that filled my nerdy heart with the kind of joyful songs and laughter that I haven’t heard since… May 25, 1977. Wooot!