Next week we begin the 2011 excavations at the Vicus ad Martis, and I am packing my bags. About this time last year I blogged about excavation footwear, noting that Italian law states that excavators must wear steel-toed boots. Last year I duly complied with a nice pair of Timberlands -- suitable for digging, "This Old House," and 90s hip-hop. They served me well and survived for another season. They will be coming with me. My only choice -- wear them and save room in my bag, or pack them and have a more comfortable flight. I'm leaning toward the latter.
Last season's hat, however, did not survive. My straw hat, a faithful companion since ca. 1998, died in Provence post-dig. It now rests in peace somewhere near Aix-en-Provence. What better place for a straw hat to see its final days? Of course, that means that I must choose a new hat. This summer I'm going with the Tilley Hat. This hat has die-hard fans in diverse corners of the globe, and it does appear to be well made. I've had a number of imitation Tilleys over the years, but this time I decided to cough up the money and buy a real one. I admit, I am sucker for their advertising.
They highlight Canadian workmanship (I suppose those guys earn a living wage) and the lifetime warranty. The literature that comes with the hat (yes, it comes with something like a manual) suggests that the owner is now part of club of adventure hat connoisseurs. Oh, and the hat floats -- a feature I doubt I will be able to take advantage of. Although, we did get down below the water table last summer.
I've been testing out the Tilley -- painting the backyard fence, walking to the park. So far, it has held up well in the Oklahoma summer. We will see if it can take digging in Umbria!