Friday, September 28, 2012

K Bar Z

Hello everybody,

Sorry we haven't updated the blog for a while, we have very limited internet access here. Since our last update we learned about oil from a Stretch alum, Hal Macartney, and went to visit an oil rig. Then we drove to Cody and switched Professors and TAs. Meredith and Jason left and Dev and Ed joined us. We spent the night in Cody and went to Buffalo Bill's Irma Hotel for dinner and then in the morning we went to the Buffalo Bill Museum with Paige, Ying Qizzle and Andi. It was really cool, there was so much to look at. It would have been nice to have a few days to look at everything, but we were glad we went. Then Dave and Izzy bought really cool cowboy hats just before leaving Cody. We have worn them everyday and they were definitely worthwhile lifetime investments, and they're crushable!

This week we have been at the K Bar Z guest ranch. We were mapping igneous and sedimentary rocks and searching for gold at Henderson Mountain. It was really cool and we found where the gold is! We were mapping at the New World Mining District where there are a bunch of old gold mines. One day we went to visit a mine reclamation site and a Stretch alum, Doug, showed us around, it was really interesting. The K Bar Z is a great place to stay, today we are swapping professors again and Carl is starting the National Parks segment, but we get to stay at the K Bar Z for a few more days because the first park we visit is Yellowstone. Two days ago we went to Nye, Montana to visit a working mine, the Stillwater Mine. It is a platinum and palladium mine and we got to see how it works and see an old, deserted mining town. On the way back we stopped at Red Lodge for dinner and had some great Mexican food and lots of candy.

Yesterday was our day off and most of us went hiking up on the Beartooth Plateau. It was beautiful, we hiked down into a bowl with a bunch of lakes and then made our way up onto a ridge and looped back around to the start. It was a fourteen mile hike at 10,000 feet and took most of the day, but it was really fun and we had amazing views all day. We got to walk on snow and then there was an old car from the 1940s stuck in the mud that we got to go sit in. Unfortunately the internet is not fast enough to put up too many pictures so we are going to try to pick the best one from the last week and it put it up now. Once we get fast internet again we have about a hundred pictures we will put up!

This is from our hike yesterday, we are wearing our new cowboy hats! We think we will have internet in the Tetons, so be ready for some great pictures!

Dave and Iz

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Mapping and Dinosaurs

Yesterday we did another mapping exercise, this time we were at Goose Egg. Below is a picture of the site, you can see where its name comes from!

Dave's mapping partner was Kelly, here they are on top of one of the ridges.

Goose Egg is a giant anticline so there is a lot of oil under the surface. There were four oil wells at the site, they are called nodding donkeys because the head goes up and down.

Izzy's partner was Reed, they found a patch of wet bentonite so it was very clayey and fun to play with. Below are Izzy, Ben, and Reed.

Papa Blaine, Auntie Annie, and Mama Sam, our TAs.

We have 11 boys on the trip and five of them are named either Sam or David, and one of our TAs is Sam. Below, David, Sam, David, Sam, David, Sam.

The group eating lunch today at Goose Egg.

Izzy, Eric, Ari, John, and Claire were all in the same writing class freshmen fall.

Here is Ben a day later!

This afternoon we had another dinosaur day! We went to our neighbor's museum that has some dinosaur fossils and cool rocks, and then we went to the dinosaur track site they discovered.

Here is Andi with Mr. Buffalo, he's not a dinosaur.

The museum had a model fantasy town, this was one of the buildings!

Dave looking through the magnify glass.

Greybull, Wyoming.

Here is a dinosaur track from the track site, it is a little hard to see but there are three toes extending from the left side of the picture.

Our dinosaur at the track site.

Ranee and Kelly being dinosaurs.

We've been making a lot of friendship bracelets, here is Paige working on hers in the van ride.

We just finished up a barbecue with Dirty Annie's, the restaurant in town, and our neighbors who are really into geology and dinosaurs.
We add a pretty good percentage to the population of Shell! Tonight is our last in Shell at the ISU Field Camp, tomorrow we are driving to Cody and spending the night there and then we have our next segment at the K Bar Z Ranch, outside Cody.

Ice Cougar and Dragon Slayer

Monday, September 17, 2012

Rattlers and Jackalopes

The last two days we mapped an area called Sheep Mountain. It was a lot of work but it was an amazing place to spend our days. We spent the days in the field and then last night we were all up late working on our maps and geologic histories. Today was our off day here and a small group of us went on a nice hike close to camp. These first pictures are from mapping at Sheep Mountain.

We split into groups of four for mapping, David and Isabel were with Cat and Sam Streeter. It was a lot of fun, we split into pairs to plot points during the day and then we joined forces again in the evening to produce the maps. Below is Cat, Sam, and Dave.

Izzy, Cat, and Dave. We wore our soil scientists shirts that day!

Day 2 of mapping. We were in for a scare right off the bat because the two of us walked off to the west and then began trekking back east and we were about two feet from a small, dried up crick bed when we saw a rattler in the bottom of the crick and it rattled at us! Needless to say, we didn't stick around to say hi, we ran off in the opposite direction and made a wide circle around it to avoid it. We were all right, but it sure did get our adrenaline pumping! Sorry we didn't get a picture! We also some other wildlife out at Sheep Mountain, over the two days we saw four different female Jackalopes. We knew they were females because they didn't have antlers! Below, we stopped up on a high vantage point for lunch.

Artsy string cheese shot.


There were some amazing geological features at Sheep Mountain including folds and faults. Here is a fantastic anticline!

Dave's favorite gas station!

Today Auntie Annie (one of our TAs), Andi, Liza, Sam Streeter, Dave, and I went on a beautiful hike. We weren't able to get as high as we anticipated because the trail ended and rocky cliffs began, but it was a lot of fun. Below Andi and Liza prepare for the hike.

We encountered a snake in the beginning of the hike. Here is an attempt at a picture, you can see its body but it was hiding its head and tail.

Water break part way up the mountain.

Lunch time on top. It is still very hazy here, we found it is from fires in central Wyoming.

Dave on Pride Rock.

Auntie Annie in her new cowgirl hat!

We found what we think to be an alien near the end of our hike. It was dead so we brought it home!

Afterwards we went and jumped in the Shell Crick.

We waded through the freezing cold water to a cave that we thought would only be a few feet deep but actually went in for about twenty or thirty feet!

Liza, Dave, Andi, Annie, and Sam after our swim.

Iowa State Field Camp has been a great facility, we have a few days left here and then we are heading to the K Bar Z Ranch, also in Wyoming, for our next segment.

Talk to you soon!
Dave and Iz

Friday, September 14, 2012

Bighorn Basin and Dinosaurs!

For our morning in Bozeman we went to the Museum of the Rockies and looked at dinosaurs. Here are some pictures.

Kelly Wood with her favorite dinosaur.

Dave with his favorite dinosaurs. The little guy is killing the other one.

John Ortiz with his favorite dinosaur.


Dave liked this one.

Paige and Izzy.

T-Rex arms.

In the afternoon we drove to Big Horn Basin, WY. We some crazily dipping beds!

Here is Shelby in the van with her cowboy hat and big horn sheep animal.

This is the Chugwater Formation close to our camp, all the rock our camp is very red, it's beautiful!

Chimney Rock, formed by the intersection of two streams, everything else was eroded, pretty cool!

Here is our camp. We are staying at the Iowa State University Field Camp. The bunk houses were used as a Japanese internment camp during World War II and then ISU bought some of them to use for their camp. It's a bad history but they're getting put to good use now.

Today we went to Shell Canyon and looked at rocks from 3 billion years ago, all the way up to current day structures and deposits.

This afternoon we did bounding intervals with Sam Streeter. We found a really good hill right near our camp with a nice trail that took about five minutes. Afterwards we hiked back up and took some pictures because it was so beautiful. We found this cool cave.

Sam is from Wyoming and he told us that it is really hazy here right now from forest fires, usually there is a crisp line on the horizon.

Lots of cows in this part of the country.

View from the top, our camp is down in those woods.

Selfie in our cave.

This is the crick that goes by our camp, we went swimming after intervals, it was cold!!

Dinner time!
Izzy and Dave