This area at this time of year is home to some beautiful desert flowers, wonderful wildlife, and HORDES OF FLIES. Everywhere we hiked we were swarmed by flies of every sort; big ones, little ones, ones that looked like bees, ones that bit, ones that stung, ones with wings like moths, and finally ones that looked like ants(maybe a little Dr. Seuss-ish, but it makes the point).
How many faults do you see? The main exercises we worked on this week was correctly identifying faults and lithologic(rock) units. Each spot we stopped to look at was supposed to take about 30 minutes but at every stop the professors would argue about what they see for an extra 30 to 45 minutes. Got lots of sleep, well catnaps between fly bites.
This was the main project Tuesday, you know what it is right? Exactly, Devonian Channel Fill! What we did was repelled down the surface measuring and identifying the layers. Well, that's what we should have done but for insurance purposes we just slide and fell down the surface while measuring and identifying the rock. Here is another photo to put things in better perspective:
We, as a class, broke into three groups and did the assignment with William Hasler and myself tackling the far right side. What made this assignment fun was that the identification of the rock unit as Devonian Channel Fill may not have been correct.
This right here is a fish. Well a special fish that is. This fish is boneless. The carbon residue found in these limestones are bony plates, a type of exoskeleton for fish. This area abounds with these fossils.
This cabin is just one example of the mining structures in the area. This area is south of the mining ghost town of Gilmore. The miners in this area worked hard and the owners mismanaged some money and went out of business. The miners left a legacy though, lots of great rough roads for my lazy butt to avoid hiking. The miners also left a few mines in the area for us to explore.
This is one of the mines in Gilmore. I was in the back of the group and worried that dark elves would kidnap me and take me to Menzoberranzan to sacrifice me to the dark goddess Lloth. My only defense would be my purple eyes, You know what I'm talking about.
Next, I would like to tell a tale of flat tires, friendly neighbors, and guns. As we came off the mountain Thursday of last week our professor Dr. Little got a flat tire. Apparently the superstition among the students is that if you don't honk as you go over cattle guards something bad will happen. This is the product of another field trip where a professor didn't do it and right after the cattle guard a rock was flung up and bounced of off three surfaces and shattered the back window. Dr. Little refused to honk over the cattle guards and now he got a flat tire. This flat tire was on the one wheel that was changed at a profession place a week ago and they put the bolts on so tight he could not get them off with the tools he had.
For the 2 days previous we have heard gun fire in Horseshoe Cirque. With the flat tire, the professors decided to see if the mysterious gunmen had any tools. They did and with the new tools the professors were able to do..................absolutely nothing. The tools broke and Dr. Little had to head to Rexburg for more tools. While he was gone we went to visit the gunmen and ask them not to shoot while we did our assignment.
When we arrived it looked like a military camp had sprung up, camo netting shaded a makeshift firing range. A ten wheeled military truck was positioned where it looked like it had vomited guns and ammunition all over the area. The man's name was Mr. Lemont and he was a gun dealer who had lived in the area a long time and told us all about the mining in the area. Then he proceeded to let us handle and pose with some of the coolest guns ever. His 16 year old son and 17 year old grandson were in the hills in the area so he wasn't going to fire the guns. Luckily the conversation lasted long enough that his kid and grand kid came back and we got to fire a gun.THAT'S RIGHT A BROWNING M2 50 CALIBER LIQUID COOLED MACHINE GUN!!
This gun fired so fast and the rounds were expensive. The number I was told was something like $300 dollars a minute. I cost $50. If anyone is interested in more pictures of M-14 with the SOCOM II housing, M-249 "SAW", Barrett sniper rifle, and American version of the Russian PK I may post them later.
I hope you enjoyed the adventure I will post more later.