Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Different types of Geology

I was talking to someone earlier who is interested in a career in Geology. "What type of Geology?" I asked.

I got a blank stare.

There is so much to learn and explore in Geology. It's not just "about rocks", though rocks are a huge part of the discipline.

I know so many Geologists who literally have nothing in common. Even the hubby and myself have such different interests that our research rarely overlaps. But that keeps things interesting, in our opinion, because then we always have something to talk about.

I was talking to someone else about Archaeology, and different field methods. "Of course," I said, "every question in Archaeology starts out as a question in Geology," to quote Colin Renfrew, a famous geoarchaeologist.

I got a blank stare.

We've gotten to the point in academe and in education in general that we think none of the major disciplines are compatible, or overlap at all. We study to be "Engineers", thinking that they are so very different than Architects. Or that Physicists don't know anything about rocks.

"The DIRT people!?" 10 points if you can tell me where that's from. :P

As Americans, we also don't read enough outside of our job or career any more. Scholarly book sales are on the decline. One could argue that this fact alone is the reason I'm getting all of those blank stares. Where or not the problem is that we are all so busy trying to make a living, the issue is there.

This post started in one place, and ended up in quite another. But I do tend to get philosophical about the question of education from time to time. Please bear with me. 

Monday, August 29, 2016

Haven't been anywhere in awhile....

 I haven't posted lately, because we haven't really been anywhere besides work and back for awhile. Well, that's not entirely accurate. We tried to go out and look at some stuff this weekend, but had a flat. Luckily, the hubby always carries a small army of supplies, including Fix-a-Flat, a jack, and an electric tire inflator.

None of which helped, because the donut that this car carries wouldn't inflate past 40psi for some unknown reason.

So I called our Roadside Assistance provider, as we didn't want to drive with a semi-inflated donut with Sweetie in the car. Only to be told that most tow trucks don't allow car seats. 😒

So luckily, we have great friends that dropped everything to rescue us from the side of the road. But it got me to thinking: What if we were in another state? With friends several hours away? Would the tow truck driver be willing to drive one of us into town to get a rental car? What if the rental car store was closed, as they often are in small towns on weekends?

I have no idea what the answers to these questions are. I will be calling my insurance provider to figure out how we would deal with it if we were stranded without friends close by.

But we'll keep exploring.

Friday, August 19, 2016

The Culture of The West - Or, an amazing list of all the things to see in this area

I've been asked recently about the culture of The West, Wyoming in particular. It came up in a conversation about the abundance of things to do in this area, or better yet, the seeming under-abundance of things to do, because they are "inconvenient" or lacking in practical value. Or, one could argue, lacking in "prestige value", meaning that those that have lived in the area for a long period of time don't think of going to these sites as worthwhile.


Though I would like to mention that I completely understand the situation of being without the resources or ability to drive to these locations. Gas costs money. Some people can't afford cars, even. But to be honest, those are not the reasons that most people I talk to have not seen some of the amazing things in their area. They just confess to not taking the time, or at best being ignorant of the existence of such places.

Maybe that's what this blog is for. Wyoming is so rich. I hate to see it go to waste. Or for people to leave, because they mistakenly think there is "no culture here". The culture is different than other places, that's for certain, but we do have culture. You have to be willing to explore it for yourself, it won't come to you.

And that's the culture of The West in a nutshell. It won't come to you.

So. A list of all the places I strongly urge you to visit in the next year, or at least make a strong effort. I will post more information about these locations as I get to them. This is your country. Enjoy it.

  1. Fossil Butte National Monument
  2. Seedskedee National Wildlife Refuge
  3. Boar's Tusk
  4. Killpecker Sand Dunes
  5. The White Mountain Petrogyphs
  6. Natural Horse Corrals
  7. Medicine Wheel National Historic Site
  8. Linwood, the Town that Drowned - at the Lucerne exit on the Flaming Gorge
  9. Sinks Canyon
  10. And Yellowstone. Because. :D
 This is hardly an exhaustive list. I'll post other lists at a later date. Let me know if you go to any of these, and what you thought about them!

Hubby and Sweetie at Scott's Bottom, Green River, WY

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Along WY-28 and WY-131

One of my favorite roads is WY-28, and one of my favorite places is Sinks Canyon, just off WY-28 near Lander. The middle fork of the Popo Agie River(*Puh - Po Shuh) "sinks" into a limestone cavern and then reappears on the other side of the ridge. It can take water up to two hours to make the journey through the cavern. It's a incredible place.

Not for those without good walking shoes or agility, however. There's a bit of scrambling up and down the enormous rocks that were left there from the last Ice Age. The ice scraping down the canyon exposed the deeply buried Madison Limestone Formation and then billions of gallons of water from the melting glaciers flowed into the soft rock, creating the underground passages.

The Sinks are still slowly eroding from current of the river, but haven't changed much over the past hundred years. Historic photos from the early 20th century show the cavern to be almost identical to how it looks today. Which is kinda cool, geological speaking. :)

Get a sandwich at The Breadboard in town while you're at it. I highly recommend the Hot Pastrami.

Red Canyon: remember, red usually mean IRON!
*How Do You Pronounce Popo Agie?

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Between Manila and Mountain View

Let's try some video.

When wandering around looking at the beauty of an area, please remember to respect any posted signs or private property.

As a side note, I've been having trouble loading photos (and even finding certain photos) on my phone because I have so many. The hubby carries a camera most of the time, but I'm very fond of my smartphone. Remember to back up your pictures and video somewhere, be it on your computer or using a cloud service. It would be terrible to lose pictures of such splendor!

Please leave me a comment! Tell me what you think!