Posted on Monday, September 27th, 2010 at 2:01 pm under Events

by
Brian, Class of 2012

Geology of the Great Basin Day 3

Wednesday started with another early morning wake-up at 5AM. We grabbed a quick breakfast of toast and bagels in the main lobby of our motel and piled into the van to follow the archaeology group back out to their work site. As we headed west from Tooele to Iosepa, I looked back toward Salt Lake City to see a multi-colored sunrise coming over the mountains. It was the first of many surreal experiences not just during the trip, but also of the day.

We arrived at the archaeology site around 6:15AM and helped out with setting up canopies and field equipment again. However today we would not be staying around the excavation site to do archaeology; we would instead head into the mountains to check out the local geology. We headed up the path that had taken us to the petroglyph rock the previous day, stopping to check out various points of interest, most of which included interesting features in the local limestone. Also spotted on the hike up (thankfully from a distance) were a small rattlesnake and a black widow spider. Both are extremely venomous and represented some of the greatest hazards out in the field. We climbed higher and higher, stopping under the shade of an outcrop to eat some lunch. The night before, I had bought a few cheap plastic discs to throw off the side of the mountain. They felt too light to really fly, so I had added some weight with duct tape earlier. I gave it three tries, which all turned out to be miserable failures. It was disappointing to see them take nosedives rather than float through the air, but somehow also satisfying to hear them smash into the rocks below. We reached the summit of Salt Mountain in the early afternoon, just when the temperature was reaching about 100 degrees and we were starting to run low on water. We headed back down the mountain, taking a different route and also making note of any interesting geology we passed on the way. By the time we reached the van again, we were totally sapped of energy but satisfied with a good day.

We returned to the hotel later in the afternoon, each took a cooling shower and had a meeting to discuss what we had seen and collected during the day. That night we had another meal of delicious (and authentic) Mexican food. After an extremely long and strenuous day, I was ready to put away a few enchiladas and tostadas, as well as some healthy servings of rice and beans.

Taking Measurements Along a Calcite Vein

View from the Top of Salt Mountain

Members of the Class on the Summit

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