Tuesday, May 27, 2008

For my fellow geologists

You should all read this:

If you haven't already! I would be there in a flash!

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Pre-Italy Adventure #3

Yes, flying in a 6 seater Cessna to Death Valley for lunch. Also known as the "$100 hamburger" - although technically this should be considered the "$100 buffet lunch at the Furnace Creek Ranch where hamburgers were not on the menu".

Top row (L-R): Bakersfield actually looks pretty in this shot. Kern Gorge Fault - looks as close to a textbook diagram of a normal fault as I've ever seen! Kern River up the canyon - classic V-shaped valley and an incised meander.

2nd row (L-R): Rather large classic alluvial fan. More alluvial fanage = bajada. Flying at sea-level is waaaaay too cool!

3rd row (L-R): Colourful rocks under a darkening layer of cumulonimbus clouds. Coming in for a landing at 211 feet below sea level! Nobody was home at the "airport", so we were the only plane in the "parking lot".

Bottom row (L-R): A (most likely hot) spring on the valley floor leaving a green trail behind in the sand. Cinder cone volcanoes!!! (Possibly lava domes - but either way...) Volcano + lava flows = one of the best views of the day!

The plane, aka "4 sierra sierra". The wagon, as in "20 mule team". Both forms of transportation, both suitable backdrops for adventure team shots such as these.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Pre-Italy Adventure #2

Ahhh, the Calico "early man site" near Barstow, CA. I knew it had highly controversial (read: not widely accepted) conclusions about when human ancestors puttered around the middle of the California desert, but I still felt I had to see it for myself. I was not expecting the sad sad sad archaeological dig site that I came to.

That last little shot there is in Yermo, where three years ago we attempted to stop and fuel up but found a distinct lack of fuel. It needed to be photographed for posterity's sake.

Unfortunately we had started with Calico Ghost Town's parking lot to look at a spectacular syncline/anticline pair - and that made the "early man site" even more sad and pathetic... However, it also makes the long-postponed trip to peruse Calico move up higher on the roster - very cool.

And yes, it does appear that there are a lot of folded rocks in my most recent posts. And yes, I did eat a burger at Bun Boy in Barstow after the adventuring was done. It's tradition (even though Tammy doesn't work there anymore).

Pre-Italy Adventure #1

Thanks to my Rock Buddy for the adventure and being way more on top of photos taking and uploading than I. These are all his!

Mineral King National Park - Panorama across Hume Lake to the snow-capped Sierra Nevada. Oh wait. Sierra Nevada MEANS "snowy mountains" so I guess that was redundant...

Requisite jumping photo at Roaring River Falls, I've done one here before... but it never got blogged.

Chevron folds of the most fantastic foldiness. This is totally a "where's Waldo" photo!

And while one is romping in King's Canyon, a slight detour to see the big trees of Sequoia National Park is almost impossible to avoid. This is the "Nation's Christmas Tree". It's the widest one apparently.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Devil's Kitchen Syncline

Yup, that's what it's called! Ha ha ha, gotta love geology humour. And I had nothing to do with this one at all. Please done mind the horrendous nasty disgusting brown smear across the valley in this photo, that's just the "air" here... If the grossness of haze were not there, what you'd actually see is the great San Joaquin Valley (ironically also a syncline) and behind it, spectacular snowy-capped mountains. But no, you don't see that, instead you see brown. As such, it is preferred that you instead look at the spectacular syncline in the foreground, the one named "Devil's Kitchen Syncline".

In addition today I also collected some spectacularly bizarre blobs of magnetite (possibly of hydrothermal origin?), see the magnets sticking off the blobs? See the hydrothermal-looking-ness?.

Saturday, May 03, 2008

Solar Galore!

Mirrors for Miles

Collecting tube at the focal point - vacuum seal like a thermos!

Renewable energy ad...

More mirrors for miles... I was sooooo excited to see these parabolas up close! Way too cool.