Lowering the Sails

Mandy Morrow writes:

I can’t believe there are only two more days left on the tel!  I feel like I have only been here a week… Time flies when you are having fun I guess!

Well, this past week was fun and not so fun at the same time.  Sadly, I got the news that my parents had to put down my not-even-three-year-old cat because she had cancer.  That put a damper on my week.  Plus I was hoping to meet up with some people in Jerusalem over the weekend but that plan fell apart also.  So I ended up renting a car and driving 4 people down to Jerusalem to spend the weekend. My mental GPS functioned quite well but there were a few illegal U-turns and one illegal right turn from a not-right-turn lane.  Oh well, it was a fun experience anyways!

On Friday I walked around and saw some little sights, did a little shopping and driving around, and then had a nice relaxing dinner with a good glass of wine.  I went to bed early that night and on Saturday got up at 3am and drove all the way down to Masada and climbed it (yes on foot!) before sunrise.  It was beautiful!  Problem was that I had to wait until 8am for the cable car to take me back down (I was too afraid I might fall… I trip more often going down Tel Megiddo than I do going up).

After I got a ride back down in the cable car, I drove over to the Ein Gedi spa and treated myself to a massage before covering myself in mud and then going into the Dead Sea.  It burned too much and I ended up spending only about 15 minutes in the water before I decided I was good enough and moved on to the next location.

I stopped for lunch and then went to the real Ein Gedi and saw the remains of an ancient synagogue and walked along the Wadi David to the David waterfall.  Along the way I struck up a random conversation with some Canadians from Toronto and even got a picture with some of them.  After Ein Gedi I headed down the road to Qumran and spent about 20 minutes walking around and taking pictures (there wasn’t much to see) before heading back to Jerusalem to meet the people who rode down with me.

Unfortunately with all the activity of the weekend, I was sick on Sunday and wasn’t able to dig. 😦  But I was back on Monday, ready to go.

The last week of the dig is usually the worst (or so I hear).  We did a lot of cleaning and sandbagging (and sandbag removal).  We have almost ceased digging (except in one square) because we need to get ready for all the end-of-the-season photographs.

Tomorrow someone will be taking photos from a balloon of all the areas, so we had to remove the shade that covered the area today.  I can’t believe how heavy that thing was!  But even worse than the weight was the fact that we had to spend the last hour of work in direct sunlight.  Sweat was dripping off of my arms in the noon-hour sun!  I was very grateful to hear that we will not be working full-days tomorrow or Thursday.  If we had to, you would be hearing about me passing out from the heat in someone else’s blog.  Fortunately, we are only going to be doing some last minute cleaning, taking some photos, doing area tours, and packing up the dig materials.

Well, the sails of the Black Pearl (Area K) are lowered, and the season is winding down to a close.  I thank you all for reading and I hope you enjoyed reading about my 4 week adventure.  I hope to be back in 2012 so keep your eyes peeled for more of my blogging!

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