Saturday, May 25, 2013
Friday, May 24, 2013
After a long drive today, we've arrived in Cloudland Canyon State Park. We didn't find any good exposures around Birmingham, Alabama, our rock stop target for today, so we drove on. Fortunately the beginning of Memorial Day weekend didn't bring too much traffic with it, and we're hoping that trend continues for our final push home tomorrow. We'll likely skip our regular stops along the interstate if there is heavy traffic, but we've got a few things to see on side roads too. For now, we've hiked into our campsites and are enjoying one last campfire.
After we finished off the crawfish last night we were serenaded by a cacophony of bayou fauna (listen). Most of us spent the night in tents for the first time too to avoid the bugs, and fortunately we didn't get anymore rain, just some nice lightning shows.
It has become a tradition on our Texas field trips to have a crawfish boil one of our last nights, as we pass through Louisiana. And, this year's version was as good as any. Much crawfish, shrimp, potatoes, andouille sausage, mushrooms, and corn on the cob was prepared by our host, Chad Hebert, and consumed by one and all. (Thanks to alumnus Carmen Nezat and her family for helping arrange the event!)
Thursday, May 23, 2013
A highlight of any geology field trip in this area is this glauconite-rich, fossiliferous sandstone. Some of the fossils here, some trilobites and inarticulate brachiopods, made their shells out of calcium phosphate, rather than calcium carbonate. Great examples of a variety of sedimentary bed forms in this outcrop as well.
Wednesday, May 22, 2013
We finished up with a few free hours to explore Fredericksburg, TX after our last rock stop today. Of course we started with a visit to the world-famous Opa's Smokehkuse, and the. Folks spread out it explore town in smaller groups. Now we're getting settled in for the night at Enchanted Rock State Park.
After dealing with the flat yesterday, we had to cut a few stops, but still managed to put together a great burrito/taco dinner. We also got a chance to swap stories with the field course folks camped next to us from a Texas university. First order of business this morning, a new tire for Van 4 from Oasis Tire and breakfast whole we wait at Penny's Diner in Alpine
Tuesday, May 21, 2013
Monday, May 20, 2013
The wealth of digital geologic information one can have at there finger-tips these days is quite amazing. Now we need to solve the multiscreen/multi-view problem.
Another day, another campground, another wonderful sunrise, though this sunrise is behind the Sacramento Mountains. As soon as we're packed up, it's into Alamogordo for breakfast and then back to White Sands for more time exploring dune formation and transport.
Sunday, May 19, 2013
After a minor brush with a deer shortly before our pitstop in Cloudcroft, New Mexico, we remain friends with the local wildlife. Everyone is okay -- including the deer -- and just a couple small cracks in the plastic. (Renee was not driving, but was willing to serve as our ambassador to mend fences with the critters.)
After three great nights camping in the Limestone Campground at Brantley Lake it's time to move on. The geology of the Permian reef complex in this area could easily keep us busy for longer, however, there is still plenty else to see on this trip! So it's time to head north and west over the mountains...