Saturday, June 30, 2007

Just Another Day in Paradise
This is my first post in this blog, I hope I do this right. I am currently in the Beaverhead Mountain Range mapping a 3 mile long 1 mile wide portion of the Copper Mountain Quadrangle. I am home right now for the weekend but will be back there Monday and Tuesday. The following stories and pictures are from last week's adventure in the area around the Horseshoe Cirque in the Lemhi Mountains.

On this map if you look slightly north west of where Rexburg would be you will see three skinny mountain ranges, the Lemhis' are the middle range, the Beaverheads' are on the east.

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.

That's right a glacial filled lake. Temperature around 25 degrees Fahrenheit. These hobbit feet of mine feel no pain. This is Meadow Lake, just a couple of canyons from where we camped.

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.


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.


mark said...

I promise I will honk going over every cattle guard from now on. I promise and swear by the purple eye of the dark goddess Lloth. What an adventure. I'm glad Danica doesn't worry about you from swimming in 25 degree water to shooting major sized machine guns to hanging from rock cliffs, it's all in a days work.
Keep posting because the pictures were great and the comments are so hilarious.

Aussie said...

Don't worry about confusing the Devonian Channel Fill, i get that mixed up with Hervonian Channel Fill all the time. I always wondered what you do on these forrays into the wild and now I know. How about wearing flea collars to keep away the flies....wellmaybe on your ankles.

b-ryce said...

Great post dave. I love seeing what you guys are up to out in the wilderness.

"...My only defense would be my purple eyes, You know what I'm talking about." Um, no I don't really know what you are talking about.

That lake is pristine! Do you guys do any fishing there?

All these adventures remind me of scout camp, and I loved scout camp so you are probably having a blast.

Now Danica's posts are great, and I love reading them, but heavy weaponry, beautiful scenery, cliff hanging, breaking tools, and ancient fish are excellent compliments to Jensen sitting in a basket, and Jensen standing up, and Jensen eating cake, and Jensen wearing gloves, and Jensen wearing shorts.

So keep up the posts Dave!!

Brad said...

That sounds like an awesome adventure. I must admit that my robotics stuff is pretty fun to work on, but you can't beat working in the great outdoors! Rock Climbing, Repelling, Caving, Glacial got it all!

Oh, and I wouldn't be so "worried that dark elves would kidnap me and take me to Menzoberranzan to sacrifice me to the dark goddess Lloth". You never know when some svirfneblin might come along with their rock golems and escond you to Blingdenstone for safe-keeping. It would be the perfect place to live for a geologist. I mean, come on, your house is molded out of the stone!

Celeste and Brad said...

I never got to do anything that fun in my acting classes! You and your classmates get to count fault lines in a rock formation,and all we ever did was count how many faults someone did in a monologue.

That machine gun looked pretty sweet too.