Friday, July 30, 2010

The Old Man

This post won't do him justice. If you know him, you'll agree. But I've got to post it regardless.

My dad is amazing. I'm always amazed at how he handles life. He's got more responsibilities than anyone I've ever known, most of them self-chosen, and he somehow manages to stay on top of them one way or another. I think there must be magic in that hat of his...
You see that? He's got a clip-on LED light for his cowboy hat. He was using it to grill up some incredible steaks the other night, and I'll bet he uses it while irrigating too.

Know what else? He used to use a slide-rule. I knew what one was, but had never seen one. Dad saved his from back in the day. How cool is that?
I didn't always fully appreciate his choice of vehicle when I was younger, but the old Scout has become a favorite. That thing can go anywhere. The doors may fly open from time to time, and dust may come through the holes in the floorboard, but that's all part of the fun. I love that Scout and I can see why my Dad does.
I could go on all day about how awesome my Dad is, but you really have to know him to appreciate it. We've got some big boots to fill.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Home at Last

It feels so refreshing to be back in Joseph City and to know that I've got a few weeks to really soak in the Arizona sunshine before starting another semester.

It's not only the sunshine and rocks I'm excited about. I'm excited about the friends and family I'm able to mingle with again.

Some plans for the break: Lord of the Rings marathon with Jay and Lindsay, road-trip to Thatcher and Queen Creek with Julianne, a visit from Perla, doing volunteer work with Bill Parker, the Paleontologist out at Petrified Forest Natl. Park. That's it so far, but that's a good start. I'm expecting to spend a lot of time out exploring the hills on my own when I'm not doing other things.

Arizona, it's good to see you again.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Back from the Mountains

Yes, I'm back in civilization, though it's a very melancholy feeling.
After 6 weeks of living in the great outdoors, it really grew on me. I have an itch to just go back out and forget about all that remains to be done here in town. The mountains awoke the mountain man inside me.This was an old truck on Mr. Wagner's farm that was in my map area.
My little dome sweet dome tent
Patrick's tent, buried deep in the realm of the wood elves.
Our bathing spot!

There are too many photos to post. Those of you who have facebook can see my albums there. You can skip through the rock and mountain photos if you get bored.

Last weekend, instead of coming back to Rexburg, me and my friend Patrick stayed at camp so that the group wouldn't have to pack everything up and haul it home then back again to set up on Monday.
I opted to stay because in all the time I'd been out there camping, I hadn't had the real relax and enjoy feeling you should have when you camp. It had been nothing but work, work, work, go, go, go. So Friday night through Monday morning, I enjoyed the relaxed pace and had a chance to breathe. (Patrick even walked me through his Yoga routine on Saturday morning. Namaste. It means, "I bow to the divine within you".)
Me, Patrick, and Meesha ...down in an old copper mine.

We camped along a little stream called Birch Creek. It's out about 30 miles west of Mud Lake, Idaho (yes, there is a town called Mud Lake) in the Targhee Natl. Forest between the Lemhi Range and the Beaverhead Range.

I have way too much to try and tell it all here. Besides, half of it is just stuff my geology buddies would appreciate. Here's what I'm going to do; I'm going to list all the things I carry with me each day.

Here we go.

I have my backpack and my vest. These are what all the items are carried in. The vest is a hunter's vest and has more pockets than I care to count.

In the vest, I have:
-a small dropper bottle full of dilute hydrochloric acid.
-a hand lens
-a zip-up case that holds my field notebook, pencils, a sharpie, masking tape, a protractor, a plastic PASON card for describing sedimentary rocks, and a small geologic timescale.
-a very fancy GPS unit called a JUNO "Trimble". (I love this thing)
-Jolly Rancher candies
-a 2-way radio and spare batteries
-My field hat (which I can fold up flat)
-a stereoscope
-a pocketknife

In the backpack, I have:
-a clip-board with all my aerial photos and stuff
-4 liters of water
-2 bandannas
-my rock hammer
-a bottle of sunscreen
-a can of insect repellent
-ziploc bags
-a Brunton compass
-a pair of gloves

...and at the end of most any day, a couple of pounds of rock samples.

That's been fun.

I've hiked my legs into great shape and my feet are still reminding me that it was a no-no. But I loved field camp. It's been the best class I've taken so far.

Monday, July 5, 2010

I Think I May

I'm laying plans for my Fall semester here. One thing is for certain, I'll be rooming with my roommate Tyler.

The rest is all uncertain, but here's how it's looking:

I might be moving apartment complexes. I really like Alpine Chalet. They have a pool, a recently renovated weight room, a really nice lounge, free laundry, and a really pretty courtyard in the center of the complex.

I might be managing one of the talent events on campus. It's a Stand-Up comedy show called "Sit Down for Stand-Up".

I might be joining an A Capella group called "My A Capella".

That's the update. While I'm enjoying the thrill of summer still, and the prospect of 6 weeks at home in Arizona, I'm still pretty excited at the idea of another Fall semester here. I can't believe it's almost that time of year again.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

A Long-Expected Purchase

Today, I did something that I've been meaning to do for about five years. I bought the Lord of the Rings trilogy on DVD. All three movies, the extended editions.

I was thinking to myself, "I've put this off for far too long."

I love those movies. They are epic. They are at the very top of my list of favorites. So why don't I own them? Two factors: availability and frugality.

I try to limit my spending. If I bought every movie I loved, I'd have no groceries and DVD covers don't taste good. It may be different if the movies were on the rack at Walmart. But they aren't. I know. I check. Nearly every week. If they were available, I may have bought them.

There was a time when they were available, some years back. But at the time, my frugality still won out. I thought to myself, I love those movies, but do I really need to fork out money for something I'll only watch occasionally?

It turns out that I get the urge to watch these more than occasionally. I find myself reviewing the stories and quotes in my mind all too often. They're the kind of movie I could cue up while I clean the kitchen or do homework. It's especially easy to think of Hobbits and elves and rangers when I'm out in the Hills hiking all day doing geology -out in the rocks, the mountains, the mines, the streams, the grassy hills, the sun, and the rain.

So now, I'll have my movies. They'll be mine. My own. My Precious!