Monday, November 12, 2007

Field Trip recap (aka where have all my weekends gone?)

I've gotten used to hearing "it seems like forever since I saw you" around the department during midweek. But, we took the last field trip for the quarter this last weekend, and I'm going to be in town for 9 days in a row (if you do the math, that has to include a weekend!) But, that doesn't mean the field trips haven't been fun. Here is a quick recap, with emphasis on the most recent weekend, since I can remember that one the best...

We had a couple of Saturday trips to the beach: Point Lobos and Ano Nuevo. Point Lobos is always spectacular. The area is part of a state park with some incredible rocky coastline and (as I know now) some great folds and faults. The top photo is a nice view of the students doing their best to ignore the gorgeous surroundings.

Ano Nuevo was sunny, beautiful and windy, with one geology tour sighting. How can you identify a geology group at the beach? They always face the wrong way:
The view for a normal beach-goerOur class....

The culminating project for the class is to map an area just outside of the old, mostly abandoned mining town of New Idria, and they do this in the course of 2, 3-day field trips. So, this requires logistics that include mass grocery shopping, hauling port-a-potties, long field days (rain or shine), beer and music around the campfire and a victory stop at the Panoche Inn on the way home, which is a cross between the Salty Dawg Saloon (Homer, AK) and the Chainsaw Sisters Saloon (Ely, MN).
The caravan resting at the Panoche Inn after the first successful weekend. That idyllic scene changed to a more comic scene as toilet paper from one of the toilets became a fluttering streamer behind the van as we drove. The vehicular equivalent of walking out of the bathroom with TP stuck to your shoe? I'm sure if vans could be embarrassed, it would have been.

Anyway, these trips are great because the students get so much better over the course of that first weekend. The overwhelmed, slightly panicky looks when first asked to draw a contact line on their map give way to debates with lots of emphatic gesturing among field partners about the orientation of faults into the hillsides. In the second weekend, they are exposed to more complicated structural scenarios and finally finish off their maps with an instructor-free afternoon.
First meeting with the Yokut Formation
And a more advanced view back to their mapping area.

And miscellaneous shots:
QuasiHilde: demonstrating mapping-in-the-rain techniques or serving up a platter of shrunken students? You decide.
When forced to decided which side of the creeping fault to be loyal to, most went Westside..
Evidence that full geodork-dom has set in for these students. Note the offset in Chris' birthday cake. The transform to official geologists followed with many bad puns over the weekend and excessive singing-while-mapping of songs with lyrics changed to bad geology puns. Case in point, the new song Lodo for the Lodo Formation, sung to the tune of (yeah, you guessed it) the Kinks' Lola.
Marshmallows sacrificed to the weather gods to keep the rain at bay Sunday.


Anonymous said...

I can't believe you referenced the Chainsaw Sister's Saloon! Which, sadly, is no longer.


kes said...

What?! When did that happen? Glad I got my commemorative t-shirt already.

Anonymous said...

They sold the land/it was bought by a land trust for public access a year or so ago...I thought it was closed but maybe the forest service will be running it for a bit?