One of the nice things about oldd age is being able to hobble into the local REI and flashing a very low number. I have been a member since the early 1960's when I snagged a permanent job with the National Park Service. Plunked down all of two bucks for membership, an investment which has turned out very well.
Over the years I have enjoyed hiking, backpacking, caving, cycling, and rock climbing, mostly in Arizona and the Four Corners area. Stationed in Tucson during the 70s and early 1980s, I renewed my interest in volunteer search and rescue as a member of Southern Arizona Rescue Association.
In 1985, I moved to California, stationed at Channel Islands National Park, retiring in 2001. I developed an interest in the now extinct pygmy mammoths that once flourished there and I have continued to participate in projects there, and also at the Mammoth Site of Hot Springs, South Dakota, digging there during the summer.
Now in my 80s, I am definitely slowing down, but I strive to be as active as possible. I still enjoy the outdoors. Nature is wonderful, whether you are really active or more sedentary. It is all good!!
Hey, thanks for the mention of the low REI number. My brother and I joined in the Seventies and I no longer know my number - so I joined this morning with a HIGH member number. We were doing a lot of hiking in Cochise County Arizona, so we're probably familiar with some of the same places, especially the Amerind Foundation in Texas Canyon - in between Willcox and Tucson. I'm going to send a message to REI to see if they can at least tell me what my member number was - three or four digits I believe. Did you know a Forest Service guy who published a short guide book about hiking the Chiricahua Mountains? 'Hiking Trails and Wilderness Routes - Chiricahua Mountains' by Cachor Taylor? He helped out our scout troop in Willcox but I can't remember if we hiked together. Actually we must have, since he taught a hiking class at the community college. Anyway that's more than enough out of me. Here's Rick Cachor Taylor's author page on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Richard-Cachor-Taylor/e/B001K89R1E/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_0
Fantastic! Sounds like you've had quite a life, Old Timer! (Pretty old myself!) But you sound more like an Elderly Paleontologist than an Archaeologist. My son and I are amateur Paleontologists as well. We volunteer at New York State Museum with the State Paleontologist, Dr. Lisa Amati. New York State has turned up some mastodon bones in the past, but mostly Devonian and Ordovician rock here so lots of trilobytes, crinoids, eurypterids, scallops, etc.
We are all doing prep work then, which I find fascinating and challenging. I volunteer at the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History, the intitution now doing paleo work for the park.
On the Channel Islands, Pleistocene paleontology and archaeology are inextricably mixed. Mammoths inhabited the islands for over 100,00 years, disappearing about the time that people showed up, around 13,000 years ago. The role that people played in their demise has been the subject of speculation for many years, and is still unresolved. Hoping for a discovery that will shed light on the question.