Tuesday, June 26, 2007

I have apparently completely lost track of time here at LRFS. According to Cat, the TA, everyone does. The weeks don’t go from Monday to Friday with weekends off, there’s no TV, no newspapers, and no radio except for the sporadic radio stations between LRFS and wherever we may be headed to. “LRFS” is Lost River Field Station…Field Camp. With all this lost time, I managed to not only not write an entry here but worse…I hadn’t emailed my honey in 5 days. I’ll pay for that…my bad.

Boulder Creek was absolutely beautiful. It will be one of the places on my list to go back to on my own. This next place we are going to will be above the tree line above 10,000 feet. It will have igneous, metamorphic, sedimentary, and glacial deposits. The terrain is supposed to be more rugged than anything we’ve seen so far. Sounds cool to me :)

Next task…email my honey.

Here’s a couple more tips:

  1. Bring bright clothes. It’s easier to see your partner if they are wearing bright clothes and easier for you to be seen. Almost all of my stuff is camouflage or sage colored. That was dumb.
  2. Bring a radio, 2-way walkie-talkie multi channel type. LRFS provides them for teams but if you lose your partner and he has the radio you’re out of luck.
  3. Rechargeable batteries, lots plus a charger. The tents have power so you can charge your stuff I your tents.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

My experiment with an expeditiary beard is beginning to make me crazy (and making me look old)It may have to go when I get back to Poky. We were at some bar in Mackey and some guy asked if two of the women with us were my daughters (ouch). Technically, they were the same age as my daughter, so it could (sort of) been possible. Anyhow, after 2+ weeks, I am pretty scruffy.

The snot has cleared, the ear infection is gone (YAY).

The Jim Canyon exercise if finished for good or bad and we've passed the half-way point. Today we're headed to Craters of the Moon for allegedly a light show-and-tell day. After words we're headed to the Mackey rodeo I think. If I had thought this through, I would have brought slightly better going-to-town clothes. That’s one of the things I am picking up in Pokey when I go home and see my hottie wife who I hope if finally beginning to not feel sick.

Friday, June 15, 2007

I don't know what's worse, sugar or alcohol. I should know better than to mix Scotch and brownies. Yesterday was a light day. All we did was a profile of a volcanic section in Jim Canyon and ID the volcanics there. Toda we actually have to get of our asses and map the area... no problemo.

Geological mapping is not hard as long as you manage to get the contacts on the right place on the map and have a clue what the contacts are before walking past them. The first mapping project we only managed to get a couple contacts on the map inferring the rest (wrongly). The second mapping project I was completely out if it with a cold. This time I'll get it right.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Close encounter with a bear

The other day we were in Yellowstone up on Specimen Ridge. Valentina and Lindy were the last ones coming up the hill that we knew of. They had no idea a bear was pretty much headed right for them. We were all on top of the ridge yelling like fools but they couldn't hear us. The pic is a little hard to see but if you look closely, the black shape on the left is the bear and the other two specks are our people. Lucky for them the bear was a black bear and couldn't have cared less.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

I just learned what NOT to do with my camera as far as settings go. I tried to adjust the date setting so that the photos would be dated with the real date and no all 1/1/00. All I managed to do is delete the few photos I had (damn). Time fr a new camera. I am using an Olympus Camedia C-2040ZOOM 2.1 Megapixel. It does everything, it's sturdy, takes pretty good pics... that's the good part...the bad part is that's it's huge, heavy, and 8 years old. I got my $400 worth out of it. Maybe I spent $700 on it, who knows...that was when I had an income.

Today's plan is to head back into the Lost River Range and check out a rock glacier. What's a rock glacier? Heck, I don't know. It may be an old glacier covered with talus or it may be a new glacier formed beneath talus. It's supposed to be really cool and (here's the best part) it's just for fun (YAY).

Yesterday we hiked our asses off. We started out mapping out a fault scarp along the base of the range (by drive along, get out, map, drive some more, map some more). This was pretty lazy and decadent, but we have a fabulous map of the scarp. THEN we hiked 1200 feet straight up the side of the mountain to see a cool limestone outcrop. It was gorgeous...too bad I don;t have any pics of it. The limestone forms one leg of an anticline with a 800+ foot drop straight down. With 24 of us and all sharing photos, someone will have a photo. When we got to the trail head I realized that I had forgotten my clipboard, maps, field book, and lunch (duh). Glenn lent me his clipboard, map and part of his lunch so I didn't starve or wanted around lost. I bought him a 6-pack of IPA.

Tomorrow Yellowstone...and no blog entries until we get back on Wednesday.

Saturday, June 9, 2007

Missing stuff

SO far I have lost half my mechanical and all my erasers. Bring bunches of cheap mechanical pencils (0.5 mm) and lots of erasers. When I get back to town or Pocatello, I'm picking up a big pack of cheap pencils. Next tip, only put a few pieces of lead in each one. Inevitable, the pencil you lose will be the one with the most lead in it.

The Write-in-the-Rain notebook pouches kind of suck. They are too tight to get the notebook in easily. One guy here used a army surplus water canteen bag for his. I think I am going to borrow that idea. Hammer loops...the fancy ones they sell in the museum store that are all leather and snap suck too. They seem cheesy.

Mornings are the best time of the day at field camp…at least for those who can wake up. Breakfast is served promptly at 7:00 so most people wander into the barn some time between 6:45 and 7:00. (Last year people were wandering in some time before 8:00 when we have discussions). Between 5:30 and 6:00, almost no one is awake, the Pioneers are glowing in the west, and the birds are out (and some farmer’s freaking dog that needed a muzzle). It the best time to get laundry done or a shower. The professors (at least Paul) are awake, Cathy’s cooking breakfast, and the coffee is on.

Breakfast’s are great. There is always cold cereal, yoghurt, instant oatmeal for the oddballs. But there is always something hot like French toast, eggs, coffee cake, sweet rolls.

Today, more running around the glacial terrain near Borah Peak. I think we have to turn in the geological map and descriptions today.

Friday, June 8, 2007

Well, I'm feeling better...the sickness has passed. OK so 'm still hacking a lung and snotty in the literal sense. BUT, teh plague has passed on to a bunch of other people here. The good news is that I was NOT the Typhoid Mary that brought the plague here (whew).

Today we ran all over Rock Creek and Birch Springs. This sounds nice right like a leisurely walk in the park. Wrong. This was walking up and down Pleistocene glacial moraines 1000 foot climbs up 60% grades. We were supposed to be mapping till about 6pm but by 4pm a bunch of us petered out. Mapping glacial and fluvial stuff isn't easy. Right now Google Earth is my friend.

Thursday, June 7, 2007

Being sick at field camp sucks. Being sick in general sucks and the location doesn't make being sick worse. The crummy part is not being able to participate 100%. This last project was an environmental assessment of the Chilly Buttes. The first day I felt fine but day 2 and 3 went down hard. Luckily, my partner on the project, Tina, is sharp and has her stuff together and carried me along. After an hour nap, dinner, blistering hot shower and another 11 hours sleep, I am almost back to normal. The bad thing is that I suspect this bug will be making its way through camp.

Three days ago it was almost 90F here. Yesterday it snowed. That's Idaho for ya.. We are doing the Borah Peak mapping project today and for the next few days. It has to do with mapping glacial quaternary sections I suspect. This will be cool.

Next suggestion, bring drugs... cough drops (Halls are great), allergy/cold medicine, whatever may come up. I don't think I will ever buy generic Neosporin again. The stuff just doesn't do anything; the same goes for generic Tums. My wife was right...she's (almost) always right.

Sunday, June 3, 2007

Glass Mountain

Glass Mountain
Originally uploaded by geoscirockhunter
This pic has absolutely nothing to do with Field Camp. This is Glass Mountain near Mono Lake in California. We came here on the Death Valley/Bishop seminar trip. The mountain is made up of all obsidian and pumice. I remember some guy in Yellowstone was trying to tell us that all the obsidian in the country used as arrow heads came from Yellowstone. He had no idea what he was talking about hence the giant obsidian mountain here.


This is a test post from flickr, a fancy photo sharing thing.

First day off

So today is our first of very few days off. My plan is to do absolutely nothing. For instance, I spent a half hour sitting by the river with my feet in the water, listening to the gurgling of the river and watching the water go by. This is the second part of nothing. Some of the people went to a trailhead somewhere and others went to Sun Valley. Personally I think that Sun Valley just sounds expensive and I already blew $50 in gas filling my tank (sorry Honey). I did get a ride from some people here back to Poky to pick up some stuff I had forgotten. Barkley (my monster poodle) was so happy to see me he nearly made a puddle. Too bad I had to leave him. I left my boat too. By the time I got back out here it was about 11am.

Hmmm...The last few days have been cool. We mapped out Leslie Butte. This is about a 4km field area with anticlines and sync lines, faults and 5 different limestones that look virtually identical except for a fews marker beds and differences in fossils. The first few days were hell just trying to get into the rhythm of things. By day 4 I was back to normal hiking self. Pat of the problem may have had to do with an over sized backpack. On day 4 I used a Camelback I usually use and was back in balance.

Allegedly, the climate this year is unusual. Last year everyone spent their first 2 weeks in their rain gear and battles raging rivers and snow. For us it has been relatively cloudless skies and hot. Recommendation: bring lots of water. When they say bring 4 quarts, do it. I empties my 3 liter Camelback by early afternoon.

Next recommendation, take invertebrate paleontology from Lief. Even though I stumbled over the Latin names in his class, the class was invaluable for this first week identifying the fossils in the limestone. In the Paleo class we went to the San Rafael swell and did the same sort of stuff staring at virtually identical limestone and identifying fossils. Other tips, a map and compass class or some sort if orienteering class would be useful and knowing how to use your GPS. Big one here, when you get the map for the field area in week one and probably the remaining weeks) scan in and blow up your field area. This week we were given a 8.5x11 map and our area was on 25% of the map. By the tpme you have a few dozen strikes and dips, the map is illegible. This doesn't include being smeared bu sweaty hands trying to hold the map in your clipboard.

SO ends this entry...I have some beer drinking and guitar picking to do. One more tip, bring spare guitar strings.


Friday, June 1, 2007

The neverending trek

Yesterday we hiked all over hell and back on the first field area. The field area is about 2 km by 1.5 km and we have to make a geological map of the entire area. It's all limestone that nearly looks the same but there are (allegedly) 5 different units. We wandered aimlessly for several hours thinking we were in one unit while we were actually in another.

Tip..bring lots of water. When they say 4 liters, they mean it. We walked from one end of the area to the other to get to "Enlightenment Point" which happened to be on the opposite end of the site as the vehicles managing to completely drain my Camelback. Nice little hike :)... by the time I got back to camp everything hurt. But bright eyed and bushy tailed this morning.

Next tip...if you actually want to share music with you MP3 player, the easiest thing to do it with is an iPod, not a different brand like I got. My MP3 player is a 30 GB Creative Zen. It's a great player but everything here is iPod and (deleted expletive) iPod equipment doesn't talk to anything else.