We drove out to see the site Tuesday. The water level in the creek has dropped considerably in recent weeks owing to record-low rainfall in August. Bob thought we could start getting ready to dig again, but advised us to see the drastic changes in the topography since the floods earlier this year.
Phil Mather (left), Mather & Sons, who has come to our rescue a dozen times in the last 5 years with his excavating equipment and long experience; Holmes (center); Bob Athen (right), the landowner and discoverer of the sloth.
Looking downstream over the site. The floods straightened out all the curves in the creek .
Another view downstream and slightly north overlooking the dig site.
Looking upstream toward the north bank. The flood erased all traces of the road Mather built to access the site and the large hole we dug to reach the bones. Good thing we were finished over there any way.
We came up with a plan and hoped to resume digging in just a couple of weeks but a thunderstorm hit as we were leaving Wednesday morning and dropped 1.44 inches on Shenandoah–as much as 4 inches upstream. No telling how high the water rose. . . we may be stalled for a few more weeks. . . . Dave