Saturday, March 20, 2010

Headin' Out

When spring weather finally makes its way to Idaho, the geologists get something called "field-work fever". No, it hasn't been diagnosed, but anyone who knows a geologist can confirm my findings. It is stylized by sudden urges to be outdoors, the carrying (once again) of a rock-hammer and acid bottle everywhere (...even church?), and the desire to see afresh all the rock and dirt that have spent months hidden under a monotonous blanket of snow. When I get the fever, I'm ready to get out and look at rocks.

One of my friends on facebook invited me to a party that's coming up next weekend. In the RSVP box, I indicated that I wouldn't be attending and explained, "I won't be able to come. I'll be out picking up rocks."

It was an honest reason, and I didn't think twice about it when I wrote it. But now I look back, and that might be construed as a "heck no".

I digress. I have been granted the opportunity to go on a field trip down to western Utah (near Delta) this coming Thursday through Saturday. This is a field trip I've been on before, but with the fever in full sway, I'm jumping at the chance to get out in the hills and, well ...pick up rocks. Here's an overview of what I get to look forward to (in pictures).
This is at the museum of ancient life at Thanksgiving Point in Lehi, Utah. If you ever have a chance to go there, go. Unlike a lot of museums, this one is very interactive and hands-on, so it's fun for even the very youngest crowd. What a sea turtle, eh? It's called Archelon, it lived during the Cretaceous, and I don't know if you get a sense of how enormous it is. I could've stayed and stared for hours:
This is the U-Dig Trilobite Quarry out by Delta, Utah. Now this is my type of classroom! Blazing sun, a pile of rocks, and a rock hammer. You just take a slab of shale and split it open at the edge with your rock hammer. There are trilobites all throughout the shale, so every rock you split open is always a surprise. I'd love to take my brother Jim out here. I think he'd be in heaven, him and his fossil lovin' cousins:
Here are the trilobites I brought home from the last time I was there:Now that I've got a pretty good collection of my own, I wouldn't mind bringing some back for anyone else who'd like a trilobite of their very own. Just say the word.
This is Notch Peak. It's breathtakingly awesome:
And finally, fossil mountain at the southern end of the Confusion Mountain range. Another spot I'd like to take Jim and Nic. It's called fossil mountain because it's just bursting with all sorts of collectible fossils of all kinds. I leave Thursday, and I can hardly contain my excitement. I got the fever. I got it bad.


Steph said...

Have a blast! Sounds like fun, especially since we got snow yesterday. Probably made you want to get out even more...

Cat said...

Nic & Jim would love this! Great collection of trilobites. Nic has one that he bought, but I know it would be a thrill for him to actually find one for himself. Have fun this weekend!