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Thursday, April 28, 2011

Travel to Bristol RI

Snorri here.

As many know, I am by far the most travelled member of DARC. My most recent adventure was accompanying Darrell (Ketill) to Bristol Rhode Island. The purpose was to run an iron smelting workshop with archaeology and material sciences students from Brown University. The activities took place at the Haffenreffer Museum of Anthropology, with DARC's good friend Kevin Smith.

The trip down was uneventful, despite rainy weather. Here I am at the Duty Free at Fort Erie, grabbing a last Tim Horton's coffee before negotiating US Customs :

Now the purpose of the entire trip was to guide the students through building and firing a typical Norse styled Short Shaft bloomery iron furnace. Here I am helping to start the pre-heat / drying fire at the end of build day. The students were off smashing ore at this point, leaving me to manage the fire :

The next day (Saturday) was the smelt itself. This turned out to be a saga of pushed in tuyeres and massive slag tapping - a tale better told by Darrell. It pissed down rain that whole day, and generally was pretty miserable. Not having a direct role in the smelt activities, I wisely 'kept out of the rain'...

Sunday started warm and sunny, at least while I supervised Darrell packing up. Of course we Norsemen completely disregarded the *day* which turned out to be some high holiday for the Christians! By the time we finished packing, it was the middle of the afternoon, and we found almost everything was closed up tight. I was dearly wanting to go look at the Newport Tower, but Darrell had yet to have more than coffee that day, and whined about the 45 minute drive over to Newport and back again. So we just set off to return to Wareham.

Well the further we travelled from Bristol, the worse the weather got. Fatigued from his week of teaching, Darrell was more than ready to stop by the time we made Springfield Mass.

You know how tight Ketill is with his silver, right?
Not to 'waste' money on a major motel (which might have had a relaxing hot pool or something), he picked a small, kind of run down, place, well off the main highway. Asking for a non-smoking room, he ended up with what you are going to see below :

And yes, that is a Mirror on the Ceiling.
And yes, that is a round bed on a raised platform.

And NO we did NOT sleep in the same bed.
I hid out in the bathroom - with the door locked. (no ERGAY!)

'The head rests best in its own hall.'

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