About a week and a half ago the stars aligned and I found I was able to attend the Society for California Archaeology meetings (#SCA2014) in Visalia, California. Since I didn't get a chance to pre-register I didn't get a peak at the program ahead of time. I wasn't aware that it was online this whole time. That's what being stupid busy will do for you. Anyway, the conference dates were listed as March 20th through the 23. Well, the 20th is today.
I've never been to the SCAs (not to be confused with the Society for Creative Anachronism) before, but, I assumed they were similar to the SAAs in that there was a full day of papers on Thursday. Not so much. Turns out there was nothing I could go to today. Well, not until this evening. I'll get to that in a minute. Looks like getting here on the 19th was a bad idea.
When I realized there was nothing going on this morning I found I had a whole day to get some work done. I figured I'd start out by going to the convention center and getting myself registered. According to the program, which I eventually found online, registration opened at 8am. So, I had breakfast at the hotel and drove over.
When I got there, the convention center was an absolute ghost town. Not even a hint of a registration desk. Since I brought my things I decided to go over to Starbucks and finish up a video I've been working on (www.digtech-llc.com/tablet-program-overview/). At about 1015 I went back over to the convention center and there STILL wasn't a registration desk set up. I saw someone that looked official and asked them about it. She said they'd open up at 12pm as though everyone already new that. Conference was off to a great start.
Well then. That's how it's going to be, is it? Fine. I went back to the hotel, changed my clothes, uploaded a video to YouTube, had lunch, and went back to register. After that I headed east.
Really Big Trees
It turns out that Visalia is only about 35 miles west of Sequoia National Park. So, that's where I went. I'm in a fierce step competition on FitBit with, among others, Jennifer Palmer (Archaeology Fieldwork) and thought I could get a few thousand steps around some massive trees. I was not disappointed. There were few people up there and I got in a nice four mile, or so, hike on some really great trails. She's still kicking my ass, though.
I did get some archaeology in today. There was a Public Archaeology session at the convention center at 7pm. In one half of the room, well, a third maybe, there were screenings of several documentary films. In the other 2/3 there were tables from various agencies, some demonstrations (including a really great flintknapping station) and a lot of conversations.
I started out watching "Talking Stones" a documentary featuring Dr. Alan Garfinkel and the Coso Rock Art on China Lake Naval Base. The Coso Rock Art is pretty amazing and the collections on the base are mostly untouched, protected, and vary numerous. Someday I'd like to get down there and check it out...
I spent the rest of the time doing some great networking. I met some fans of the blog (hey there!) and of the podcast (keep listening!). I talked to a few people about the tablet program and had some great interest. There is one thing I keep hearing in reference to using tablets in the field: it's time we did this. Yes. It is. Now call me so we can get going!
OK. I'm going to try and tweet from the conference tomorrow, but, there's no WiFi and the cell reception is terrible. At the very least I'll get some blog posts written about what I see and hear.
If I get any interviews for the podcast, some will go up on the premium content side. Join the others have already donated and give a buck or two to the show. You'll get access to the premium content and entered into a drawing for my new book. The book should be out any time now.
That's it. More from the conference to come.
Thanks for reading and I'll see you in the field!