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Archaeology Project in Arizona

Archaeology Project in Arizona — Wade: We do have a survey project going on out of Quartzsite, Arizona, through the end of September.  Then possible work beyond that on Arizona Forest surveys here and there.   If you’re interested, the pay is $12/hour, plus $35/day per diem and lodging.   The crew leaves for the field Monday [...]

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Archaeology Project in Arizona —


We do have a survey project going on out of Quartzsite, Arizona, through the end of September.  Then possible work beyond that on Arizona Forest surveys here and there.   If you’re interested, the pay is $12/hour, plus $35/day per diem and lodging.   The crew leaves for the field Monday morning from our downtown Phoenix office, and returns Friday afternoon.

You’d need to be very fit and able to keep pace, hike 10 miles/day, have a pack and container of at least a gallon of water, hat, sunscreen, sturdy boots.   Let me know if you’re interested.



Yes, I am definitely interested in this project. For sure, I will be there.

I am just working out the logistics of getting there. I am currently in northern Maine, so it is around a 45 hour drive to Phoenix. So arriving by Monday morning maybe stretching the realm of possibility a little.

But I could fly out to Phoenix on Sunday and meet at the office Monday morning. Would it be possible for me to catch a ride out to Quartzsite and back with another member of the crew?

From here, flying is looking like the best option. Please let me know if this would be a problem, and, if it is, I will drive out there as as quick as I possibly can.

Thank you,



That’s gruesome.   The company truck will be headed out on Monday morning and back on Friday.   Do you have a place to stay in Phoenix?   I’m OK if you arrive Tuesday or Wednesday out in Quartzsite, if you still want to drive on your own dime.  I think we could even pay you for 16 hours or so of your travel time, but not mileage/fuel.

If you don’t have a place to stay in Phoenix, you’d be on your own for lodging in or around Quartzsite over the weekends.   It may not be worth it for you.

Let me know what you’d like to do.  We’d love to have you join us.


This sounds great. I will leave today ASAP and start driving out. I will try to get to Quartzsite by Tuesday or Wednesday. I can fend for myself on the weekends, no problem.

16 hours of drive time would be excellent.

Do you have a contact number and a rendezvous point for the crew in Quartzsite?

My cell number is . . .

See you soon.

Thank you,



And this is how archaeology assignments work in the USA:

One moment you are hanging out in northern Maine, picking your boogers and downing a brew, and the next you are packing up your bags and changing the oil in your car for a 3,000 mile cross country haul that should take more hours to complete than are in the days available to do it in.

I have done archaeology fieldwork long enough to know that I can not expect anything to happen in accordance to any sort of plan — ever, as it is all contract work, and you can never really know when a project is going to begin until it starts: in point, the moment I push the send button on an email to an employer my bags need to be packed and my boots tied.

I received the first of the above emails at 9 PM Maine time, which gives me only a couple of days to run across this great big continent.

It is a 46 hour, 3,000 mile drive from Bangor ME to Quartzsite, AZ, and I will try hard to make it within three days.

My wife Chaya and little Petra will be waving goodbye to me for this project, though they should fly out to meet me in Arizona for the next. This job was offered to me around 3 weeks too soon for my family to make the journey with me. But by October we should be in the wide open southwestern deserts of the USA, near Mexico, and just about as far away from Maine as we can get without leaving the country.

I am a very fortunate man — fortunate because I found a wife who loves me precisely because there is no way that we will ever know what to expect.

To adventures.

3,000 miles from Bangor, Maine to Quartzsite, Arizona

3,000 miles from Bangor, Maine to Quartzsite, Arizona

[seriesposts orderby=date name=”archaeology field work” ]


Filed under: Archaeology, Arizona, Make Money for Travel, USA, Work

About the Author:

I am the founder and editor of Vagabond Journey. I’ve been traveling the world since 1999, through 90 countries. I am the author of the book, Ghost Cities of China and have written for The Guardian, Forbes, Bloomberg, The Diplomat, the South China Morning Post, and other publications. has written 3689 posts on Vagabond Journey. Contact the author.

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7 comments… add one

Leave a Comment

  • Karl September 13, 2009, 9:18 am

    Hello Wade,
    sounds like you have your own, private Iron Butt.
    All the best

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    • Wade | Vagabond Journey.com September 14, 2009, 11:02 pm


      You are right man, 23 hours in, I am sitting in St.Louis and feeling it haha.



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  • ellsworth September 14, 2009, 11:09 am

    Hello Wade, are you aware that the largest hobo/vagabond camp in the world is located around quartzite??? I doubt that there are many people out there now in the summertime, but my bachelor uncle used to spend winters out in a yuma apartment and told stories of the 100,000+ vagabonds and hoboes that would descend on the BLM land around quartzite every winter for the free camping and warm weather. Might be worth checking out, you could definitely stay there and pocket the $35 per diem.

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    • Wade | Vagabond Journey.com September 14, 2009, 1:31 pm

      That sound really interesting. I looked at some pictures of the place and it looks like a giant mobile home park. In St. Louis now, halfway there.

      Thanks for this note.

      I am getting excited to get there.


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  • Russ September 14, 2009, 1:57 pm

    Wade, I rode my bicycle through Quartzsite this past May and from what I recall your assessment is right. It was quite a small town, but had a nice library with free Internet and wifi. I’m not sure how it will be in September, but when I was passing through in May a lot of the residents were in the process of leaving for the summer. I guess many of those trailers are occupied by people who spend their time there in the winter then leave to get away from the summer heat. Also, there is plenty of open space outside of town so if you were in a pinch you could probably drive out onto BLM land and just camp or sleep in the car with no problems. The people in that area seem pretty friendly and it felt like there was still a touch of the Wild West mentality in those parts so I doubt anyone would be very uptight about such things. Also, if you’re looking for cheap hotel another option is the small city of Blythe 20 miles west of Quartzsite, not a big city by any means but more there than in Quartzsite. There are all the chain hotels there and probably also some small less nice places that I’d guess would be a cheaper option than Phoenix.

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    • Wade | Vagabond Journey.com September 14, 2009, 10:57 pm

      This sounds to be just what I am looking for right about now. Thanks for sharing this.

      Yes, the open desert.

      That must have been a really great bicycle ride.

      I would like to be on a bike right now. I am really excited about going to AZ. I have not been there before.

      Thanks for sharing, man.

      The summer heat is going to be fun haha


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  • Preston September 16, 2009, 4:02 pm

    Hello Wade,

    I have just started reading your journal and enjoy your writing.
    I live in Downtown Phoenix if you want to meet up and swap stories let me know.
    Enjoy the drive.


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