18 January, 1997
>3:40 PM Jan. 18 I hope by now that my earlier journals from the field are >finally up. > >I received a number of questions and comments recently but do not have the >battery power to answer them all. We are returning to McMurdo in just five >days and I promise to work on them there (unlimited power at MacTown). > >On January 16 we went to Solitary Rock to collect rocks. It was a >spectacular helicopter ride. Maria Stegal, the photographer for National >Geographic was with us to get some shots of us, especially when were >climbing rocks---she calls us the Billy Goat team. The climbing might look >a little scary in a picture, but I don't think any of us ever feels any >real fear when we are doing it. We are one of the few teams that does this >kind of work without a mountaineer to assist us. This is because Jon is >experienced at climbing and Bruce is very cautious when it comes to moving >around on rocks. Our greatest danger is rocks that are dislodged by the >person above us, but there is always plenty of warning when this happens. > >I've taken D Bear with me on the last few expeditions; I keep her strapped >to the back of my pack. I'm afraid her white fur is getting as dirty as >the rest of us. Maria took a few pictures of D Bear while I was up on the >rocks, so maybe D Bear will make National Geographic. But the chances are >very small---Maria has taken about 17,000 pictures in the Dry Valleys over >the past few weeks. Only about 25 of them will make it into the magazine. > >January 17 was a parcticularly pleasing day for me. We flew to the Friis >area which is one of the most beautiful areas I have seen. From the >mountainside you can see many peaks around us and the snow covered >Antarctic plateau. Below was a lovely glacier. Bruce wanted to study this >area because he noticed that aerial photos of the the two sills (horizontal >layers of igneous rock that formed from melted material deep inside the >earth), the Basement Sill and the Peneplane Sill, showed that the two sills >touched in this region. If we could find the contact we would know which >of the two was older, which could lead to more information about the >formation of igneous rock. > >The evidence lay all about us. Everywhere we looked we could see pieces of >rock that that form when melted rock meet cool rock. The boundary between >the Basement and Peneplane had to be somewhere nearby. However, there was >so much debris on the mountainside that we could not see n > >1/19 I quit! I lost a whole page of journal notes because of the battery >yesterday. I'll use what little power I have and try to get this out >tomorrow. I sent one battery to McMurdo for resuscitation. Maybe I'll be >able to work with that. In any event we will return to Mac in just three >days.Return to Bill Philips' Page
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