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Destinations, Dreams and Dogs - International adventure with a fast-track family (& dogs) of Old World values, adopting the Russian-Italian-American good life on the go…!

A Funny Thing Happened on our Way to Archaeology

thFor one day this weekend, my son and I needed to squeeze in a couple of hours of archaeology.


Two hours.

TWO HOURS. This would complete our two-year certification program which really didn’t amount to a whole lot in the grand scheme of things, yet provided us with hundreds of hours of lab, excavation and field survey experience. Along with lectures. And exams we had yet to take.

So we planned to work, then drive six hours over hilly, winding mountain roads, arrive late, sleep fast in a tiny local virginia_westmotel, arise before the crack of dawn, hit the field for the morning, only to drive back in the afternoon and be home sometime that evening.

If only.

Things started going wrong early on. The route numbers on our computer-generated directions did not match. We stopped at gas’n’go places to inquire. At one, an elderly man in a pickup truck led us through back country lanes before waving us on to victory… only to get lost again.

texashillcountryAt the next quickstop, the clerk eyed me entering with a pen and paper.

“Ma’am what can I help you with today?”

He knew. He could see the crazed look on my face.

“We are sooo lost…” I started.

Hearing our tale of woe, he confirmed what we knew to be true: “All of the exits and route numbers have been changed ‘round these parts recently.”

He got us back on track… only to get lost again. This was becomingAutumn country road in Vermont frustrating. Very frustrating. We could not access any GPS nor maps programs in the mountains. It grew dark and cold. We gassed up the car again. Petya didn’t feel like eating, but at this rate, I didn’t know when we’d reach our destination, so we paused to buy a sandwich and share bites of it, rather than grow hungrier and hungrier as civilization faded from the horizon.

Pulled over on a country lane, the two of us finally got through to Benedetto who dictated new directions to us. We had to backtrack and spend maybe a couple more hours on the road. We were exhausted. Our six-hour trip lasted more like nine or ten hours. It was late, late, late when our Indian motel-keeper greeted us in the middle of nowhere.

scraping-ice-from-car-windowKonking out almost before our heads hit the pillows, I sprayed our smoking room with some fragrance to clear the air. It was the only room we could finagle on a no-vacancy weekend.

In the early, pre-dawn departure for the field, we found the temperatures were near freezing and a heavy layer of ice covered the windshield. Mother and son donned heavy, insulated jackets, boots and backpacks and headed to the field.


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