Tuesday, August 11, 2015
The prestigious 2015 Crawford Award was presented to UGS geologists Hugh Hurlow, Stefan Kirby, Lucy Jordan, Paul Inkenbrandt, Janae Wallace, and Mike Lowe in recognition of their combined work on the outstanding geologic publication Hydrogeologic Studies and Groundwater Monitoring in Snake Valley and Adjacent Hydrographic Areas, West-Central Utah and East-Central Nevada (UGS Bulletin 135).
This 294-page book presents hydrogeologic, groundwater-monitoring, and hydrochemical studies in Snake Valley, Tule Valley, and Fish Springs Flat in Millard and Juab Counties, west-central Utah. Collectively, this work delineates groundwater levels, flow, and chemistry in Snake Valley and adjacent basins to a much greater degree than previously possible, and emphasizes the sensitivity of the groundwater system to possible increases in groundwater pumping.
The Crawford Award recognizes outstanding achievement, accomplishments, or contributions by a current UGS scientist to the understanding of some aspect of Utah geology or Earth science. The award is named in honor of Arthur L. Crawford, first director of the UGS.
Friday, July 31, 2015
In a June phone conversation, Sister Di mentioned she had four great tickets to the musical Wicked at the Denver Center for Performing Arts on July 1 and they had to find some fun couple to take. “Pick Me!” I said. Drew was able to get a July schedule that allowed us a quick overnight trip to play with her and Tod.
We flew in early enough to go for a hike at Red Rocks.
The geologic setting creates spectacular scenery. Red sandstone (Fountain Formation, 290-296 million years old, Pennsylvanian Period) was tilted about 80 million years ago during the last phase of Rocky Mountain uplift (Laramide Orogeny).
I have always wanted to see a concert at the natural amphitheater.
We set out with ambitions of a 7 mile hike but it was hot so we turned around after we felt we had earned our dinner.
Fancy dinner in LoDo before the main event.
Down front at the theater.
Our seats were so close we could read the map-curtain, see expressions on the performers faces, and sleuth out that Elphaba’s green hands were pulled off by use of green gloves, not makeup. The show was thrilling and thoroughly enjoyable!
Friday, June 19, 2015
Drew busted his chops to get the yard looking fabulous for a friendly get together in honor of another year well and Happy Flag Day!
While he was toiling, I was tending to other important things, like getting myself ready
|Jeeze my feet look skinny.|
And making birthday pie
I made three: peach, strawberry rhubarb, and sweet potato.
My friends gathered to enjoy the pies and humor me with a game of Cards Against Humanity in the backyard
The "Card Czar" of each round had to wear the flag hat as my birthday request. The hat makes everyone look so cute!
There were no pies left and I lost count of how many bottles of wine we drank. Drew laughed so hard at the game that he said his tear ducts were dry on Sunday.
Sunday I requested a ride on which I could try out my new seat dropper post. Friends rode down Corvair trail in Deer Valley with me.
Fun new toy that dropper post.
Then dinner at Vinto in PC.
|Blowing out the candle on my birthday scoop of ice cream.|
Saturday, May 16, 2015
Detour back to Colorado
Our plan for Sunday had been to ride early in Moab and motor on over to see friends in Grand Junction, Colorado, but the trail we wanted to do was a bit of a detour off of Hwy 191 so instead we chose to go ride near Grand Junction and Fruita instead. New things!
We’ve ridden the some of the Kokopeli area trails before
Drew on Mary’s Loop overlooking the Colorado River. We rode this trail a few years ago.
Me on Moore Fun trail. New to both of us and over both our heads. Still nice to try something new.
The view from Moore Fun is, in my opinion, more beautiful than the riding.
Colorado River from Moore Fun
I was challenged but careful on all the difficult technical sections of Moore Fun, and it was a stupid bush on an easy section that finally got me in the end.
Made it to day 11 with nary a scratch, and then this from a bush.
But the owie didn’t hurt once we got to friends Jon and Kathy’s house in Grand Junction.
We had out first nice private showers in a week (glorious) in time to accompany them to a family Mothers day barbeque. It was nice to enjoy good home-cooked food with good down-to-earth people.
In the morning we departed as Jon and Kathy left for work and made Salt Lake by 2 PM to the delight of our fur children. I was one day late for Mothers Day but they gave me all the love they had been storing up for me all week.
“Meow. Happy Belated Mothers Day, Mom. Meow.”
We had a fun and adventure filled 12 days of exploring the goodies southern Utah hides in her rugged beauty. I’ve lived in Utah for 20 years and I will say that this was the best Utah vacation I’ve taken yet. The days and nights out among the rocks and canyons with my best friend for company, the freedom to detour to unknown places, the shelter and coziness of our van, and the time to enjoy it all. Here’s to another 20 years of exploring this diverse, wonderful state with the best travel companion I could image.
Friday, May 15, 2015
It has been a few days since we arrived home from vacation. A couple of quick posts to finish the saga.
Off to the Races
Friday morning we broke camp in Comb Wash quickly and rolled into Blanding for breakfast at the Center Street Café. Tasty, especially after eating our own camp cooking for most of three days. We learned that Blanding is a dry town. Good thing we were there in the morning.
We motored on east, jumping into Colorado to get a campsite and reserve spots for our teammates at the 12 Hours of Mesa Verde Mountain Bike Race. Drew and I have done this race three times, in 2010-2012. A couple of months ago we decide to cap off our vacation with this race and found spots on three-woman and three-man teams.
12 Hours of Mesa Verde is a super fun event on a giggly fun course. We were looking forward to racing, however, as we rolled into town, the dude at the liquor store informed us there was a storm on the way.
“We’ve been lucky so far on this trip. I’m sure we’ll be OK,” we said. How wrong we were!
Friday afternoon we headed out for a pre-ride of the race course as clouds were building. The course was in perfect shape, but the weather was a little chilly. This lovely gopher snake thought it was cold too and wouldn’t get off the trail.
But 30 minutes in the thunder and lighting and hail came down. We huddled under some trees to wait it out.
Waiting out the storm. I look happier than I was.
Dinner in the parking lot.
Race DayOur teammates Jennie and Devon opted to take the first lap. Clouds were threatening and it was cold, but not unbearable.
LeMans start.Little did we know, that would be the best conditions of the race. As Drew and I were getting ready to go out on the next lap, the snow started coming down in large non-race-friendly flakes.
As we were waiting for our teammates to come in, the race directors called for a two-hour hold on the race to wait out the storm. Each of our riders came in and marked their time, but the next riders (us) were not allowed to go out. Since I had been watching bikes of other teams come in in bad shape, I was OK with just fine with that.
My teammates bike was trashed!
Riders were coming in very cold and VERY muddy.
At 10:30, the directors held another meeting and continued another hold until noon. We went back to our camps and warmed up in the van. But the snow and rain continued. Finally, at noon, the directors, with very heavy hearts, called an end to the shortest 12 hour race in history.
Since all the food and beer was already bought, they served it up and handed out awards and prizes. It was an OK time, but everyone was really disappointed.
Make LemonadeReports were coming in that the weather was better in Moab so we packed up and headed back west. With unexpected time on our hands, we were able to continue the theme of new experiences on this trip with a side trip to Newspaper Rock…
Newspaper Rock contains petroglyphs from Archaic, Anasazi, Fremont, Navajo, Anglo, and Pueblo peoples
Once again, we found ourselves up against nightfall and out of time to hike in a spectacular setting. We had to settle for pictures like any regular American.
Apparently lots of Americans like to feed the ravens in the park because this guy was not one bit shy to ask for a treat from his perch on my side view mirror.
Bold ravenWe checked every campground inside and outside the park
Dewey, showing off to his Sportsmobile cousins who never get to leave Indiana.but the inn was full so we ended up driving back most of the way toward Hwy 191 to find a nice spot for the our last night in Dewey during this trip.
Dewey’s last resort.
So 12 Hours of Mesa Verde was a bust, but we got to hang out with friends and continue to have new adventures.
Monday, May 11, 2015
View looking southwest from Halls Creek Overlook (a.k.a. Brimhall Arch Trail Head) on the southern end of Capitol Reef National Park. I have labeled the geologic units on the photo above and included a stratigraphic column to put the units in context. The ridge I was standing on is composed of younger (Cretaceous), more resistant rock lying horizontally. The rocks in front of me are all tilted about 25 degrees except the horizon line, which is mostly horizontal again - there’s your monocline fold. Halls Creek carved the valley below into finer grained parts of the Entrada Formation , but it has a tougher time with sandstone, so that’s why you can see ridges of Entrada, Navajo, and Wingate extending away. Between each of those units are formations that are more easily eroded (Carmel and Kayenta), so you can’t see them as well, but they are exposed nicely in the canyons. The blob of red sediment pouring out of the canyon in the far left of the photo is called Red Slide. It is a big landslide of Morrison Formation material that slid when the wetter climate of the past saturated those muddy sediments.May 23 edit: Drew snapped this picture from his airplane yesterday. Wow!
We knew nothing about the hike except what the trail head sign said,
And the fact that here had to be quite an elevation loss and gain from where we stood.
Making our way down the rocky slope on the nicely built but still challenging National Park Service (NPS) trail.
Once to the bottom of the valley, the rocks and canyons loomed large ahead.
Farther up, we came to a fork in the canyon. We still could not see our arch destination, but we saw a few faint footprints heading into what looked to be the more passable fork, a deep crack choked with large boulders.
That's the "trail"!
I could chose to show you only the Hollywood version of how I traversed trail obstacles,
but I’m not a good liar, so here is how it really happens. Hip wedgies.After the tight slot section, there was still a lot of scrambling on loose terrain.
Look out below!
Capt’n Petey and Captain Jean Luc Picard marveled at the unique double arch formed in the top of the Wingate Sandstone (orange sandstone center of picture) and could clearly see the darker red and white ledges of siltstone and shale in the Kayenta Formation (left and right sides of picture).
Back down the way we came.
Can you spot the tiny frog in the center of this photo?
The rest of the hike was uneventful except that we got more unobstructed views,
as we climbed out of the valley.
Back at the van, we made a pot of cowboy coffee for our long drive ahead of us and hit the road. Three mile of rough dirt road back to the Burr Trail, now paved again.
Burr Trail Road heading toward the very upper reaches of Lake Powell, barely visible as a blue patch in the center of the photo.
A rude welcome back to “civilization” – rows of houseboats in dry storage at Ticabo. Gas was $3.19 per gallon, as compared to $2.90 in Blanding 100 miles away. Although I find motor boating on Lake Powell a waste of vacation time, I am pleased others flock to the reservoir and stay out of my backcountry.
About a hundred miles of this type of open country…
…brought us to Natural Bridges National Monument home of three large natural bridges formed in the Cedar Mesa Sandstone.Since it was late in the day and the campground was full, (meaning we would have to drive on farther to find a camp spot for the night) we just did the auto loop and took pictures from the overlooks. Not the experience I had hoped for since last time I was here nearly 20 years ago, I didn’t have time to hike down to the bridges either, but hiking remote and challenging Brimhall Arch was so much more exciting than the hikes in the monument would have been anyway, so I still win.
We earned another win by stopping to camp in Comb Wash.
Comb Ridge, an 80-mile long ridge exposes another monocline.
Another spectacular campsite, this one in the shadows of Comb Ridge and only a half mile off the highway, but still so much more peaceful than an RV park.
The campsite was surrounded by some of the largest Cottonwood trees I had ever seen.
The trees provided some privacy for a chilly but much needed solar shower.Clean and dry, we enjoyed our last night off the grid with cocktails and delicious-‘cause-we-were-hungry veggie chili from a can. Tomorrow we would head for Cortez, Colorado to meet friends for a mountain bike race. The last few days of this this vacation were soul soothing, sole pounding, and so amazing. A fitting “Lucy’s 20th Anniversary of Living in Utah” Tour of of Wild Southern Utah.
Morris, T.H., Manning, V.W., Ritter, Scott M., 2010, Geology of Capitol Reef National Park, Utah, in Geology of Utah's Parks and Monuments; Sprinkle, D.A., Chidsey, T. C., and Anderson, P.B, editors.