Sunday, June 29, 2014

Antelope Island and the Great Salt Lake

The bison pictures also happened to be from Antelope Island, but we did do some more there than just look at a few bison.
We also went on the Antelope Island Death March.  Ok, not really that bad, but 5 miles in 90-100 degree heat under full sun equated to me emptying all of my water bottles.  It should be mentioned that I generally carry about a gallon of water for hikes.
This also was the hike where I basically said goodbye to my knee strength.  One more day in the field and now I have a brace that I am wearing every day.  Bah, to hell with getting older.

Here are some pictures though!

Reflections of mountains of the water in the morning.

There were birds making nests and feeding young at the visitor center.

A lonely island out in a Great Salt Lake.

The rocks were rather tipped and twisted here as well.

This is evidence of global glaciation about 2 billion years ago.  Also possibly of vandalism because it looks like someone wrote on the rock at the bottom.  That is, however, less than 2 billion year old.

A big grasshopper
These rocks are actually fossilized evidence of algal blooms in the Precambrian.
Interesting how all the trees grow in the little valley.
A look down at the beach from up towards the top.
A parting shot from the window of the Turtle.

Buffalo, Bison, American Bison.... Whatever...

Buffalo buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo.

Technically a proper sentence.  Anyway, they are actually American Bison.  But there were a bunch of them on Antelope Island.  Which ironically is where the knees started to get bad.  Hence my now calling it the Antelope Island Death March.
This one was wandering about...

Just doing the mosey, didn't seem to care about us at all.

This one was taking a dirt bath.  You can actually see where they do this because it flattens everything.

Just rolling around...

Kicking up dust.

They sitting there pondering, which way should I wander today?

They look just like the nickels.

Solitary beasts...

Week two... Not as much time to take pictures.

Where did you do your classes?  Here is where I have been studying the last couple of days.  Please note, you will not get to see my maps, and I am making sure that the pictures do not give away the history that people need to figure out for themselves at field camp.
This week we were out along a reservoir near Deer Creek.  This particular sight is known for three things.  Ticks, deer skeletons, and rattlesnakes...

Although I did not have any issues with ticks, I did come across three rattlesnakes.  As you can see there is still snow in the mountains.

In the mornings the water was really smooth, you could actually watch the fish swim by.

We climbed way up in the one section, then I turned around.

I am curious about what this flower is.  Three petals, alternate or whorled leaves.

Look down the valley...

Nice view of the mountains.

The Wedge, Little Grand Canyon, and Pictographs!

This is the last set of photos from the first week of our adventures.  We continued our drive about, found another amazing camping spot, and the next day found some really cool pictographs in the canyons.  It should be noted that we were driving down some roads that were really testing the Turtle's ability to survive...
This is the Little Grand Canyon...

It was not as deep, it was little, still damn impressive.

Look, it got invaded by students!

The San Rafael River ran across the bottom.

This is the crew from UMD, plus Danger Alli who is a TA this year.

Kyle sitting on a rock over nothing.

Look!  More cross-bedding!

We ran into another area with Pictographs!

Some were a touch faded, but no they are protected.

I am not sure what exactly all of them are, I did not photograph the signs...

These were all sitting at the base of a cliff, where the rain would not get to them.

Of course it is Utah, rain is rarely an issue.

But the sun still beats down on them...

We were now right along the river that made the canyon.

This should give you an idea of scale.

A hike up to look at statigraphy where the gnats escape from the seventh circle of hell

There was one more major spot we had to look at in our three day quest to learn everything we possibly could about stratigraphy.  It just happened to be infested with gnats from the seventh circle of hell.  It was pretty though....
We were driving through sedimentary rock heaven apparently.

The rocks were amazing with the way that they stood up above the landscape.

However, as you can see from some of the preparations that people made, we were in gnat hell.

We did hike a little ways up above the vehicles...

But there were amazingly, even in this dry, desolate climate little flowers.

We found this spot to have a quick lecture, but it was hard to pay attention with all the gnats.

Later we adventured somewhere else and found these!

They were right at the base of yet another large cliff face.

But this was apparently the spot for leaving your mark, several hundred years ago.

Some of the designs were really cool, there were more, but those go in the next post.