Field Follies: Casual Monitoring

Field Follies

Casual Monitoring

By Andrew Brischke

We have all heard the quote, “you learn something new every day.”

Just recently I did, indeed, learn something new about monitoring. I learned that you can, in fact, monitor in flip flops - though I don’t recommend it. I’m not talking hefty name brand flip-flops with thick, rubbery soles either, I’m wearing $2 dollar Wal-Mart specials (give me a break, my dogs eat them). 

I am well known around the Arizona monitoring circle for my casual monitoring style. I do take credit and pride for my use of the “monitoring chair” (I’m not even the one usually sitting in it), but what many other people may not know is that I typically show up in flip flops on field days. There is a practical reason for this; my boots munch on the top side of my ankles, particularly when driving.

So knowing that I usually have a 2 hour or more drive to most of my key areas, I see no benefit to wearing vicious field boots when I can wear a comfortable pair of slippers until I need to hike.

I was loading up my truck with all my field gear and had to go to my car to retrieve my boots and a jacket as the morning breeze was still biting. It was at this point that my boss walked up to me and said, “you look like a homeless person living out of your car.” To be fair, the assessment was more accurate than it should’ve been.

Anyways, I grabbed my jacket and headed out to the field.

After about a 2 ½ hour drive we arrived at our key area and I went to put on my boots. I had my socks with me, but no boots, anywhere. I was distracted and left them in my car, ooopsie! It would have been a wasted day to go back and get them, especially when I had help for the day so we decided to charge on. Luckily the key areas weren’t far off the road and my partner decided to read the first key area and I could sit in the monitoring chair and record.

To punish and assure myself this wouldn’t happen in the future, I read the next site. All was going well until I had to go through a small drainage where I could feel small stickers and thorns starting to poke through the sole, nothing more serious than a small ouch though.

At the end of the day I consider myself ahead . . . Wisdom – 1, Stickers and Thorns – 0.