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7 March, 2001

Davis hike

Yes! Finally, a hike! It didn't matter that the sorrels I was issued at the beginning of the scientific cruise were two sizes too big, causing my feet to slosh around. We were hiking! We went away from the station and out into the "wilds". The landscape was completely barren of life yet the rocks, metamorphic in origin, begin to take the place of plants by virtue of their variety of colors: green, purple, black, white,and brown. In a short distance I observed granite, basalt and quartz, as well as many types of schist and feldspar.

Huge dark lines of magma (basalt) infused between the rocks, called dikes, striped the landscape. We walked along a cove with mounds of seaweed lining the shore. Bones, and carcasses of seals, penguins and birds dotted the beach. You could only wonder how long they had been there. The temperature is rarely above freezing making it difficult for anything to decay. Our group was quite spread out. I suppose this place with such a wonderful display of rocks is NOT where you take a group of geologists if you want to get anywhere. After waiting several times for "group catch-up" we hiked up over a ridge and across the rock strewn landscape, finally arriving at Lookout Hill.

Lookout Hill afforded us a spectacular view back towards the station, then out across the vast landscape to the edge of the ice shelf. It was breathtaking. We hung out for a while eating our snacks and trying to take pictures that would show off the beautiful view. After a bit, we headed back to the station to enjoy the company of our hosts. We finished the day with another delightful meal. Reluctantly, as the sun was setting, we boarded the zodiacs to return to the boat. The night shift headed straight for bed, as it would be only a few hours until our next shift began.

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