20 December, 1998
Hello from beautiful, windy Beacon Valley:
Today at 7:30 comms I heard that G053, the team from the University of Washington,
has only two people in camp, not three. We wondered who did not come and why.
Some of us ate oatmeal for breakfast. By noon we were starving. Dave Marchant is right (of course!) - we need to eat something more substantial in the morning. And that something more should be Dinty Moore Stew - a kind of canned beef and potato concoction.. I guess I will try that in the morning.
We hiked down valley today and I am extra slow today. I am holding them up and this is not good. My knees are still swollen, but I had a more interesting problem today.
The wind actually knocked me down twice. This is significant when you consider that I am not a parcticularly small woman and that the second time I was carrying a rather heavy backpack.
This wind also blew till and sand (Aeolian sediments) around. I brought my goggles - part of the issued ECW gear, but Adam did not. We shared, but our eyes still got hammered by the amount of parcticles we got in our eyes. I wear contact lenses, so this made it even worse. When we got back to camp, I just lay on the cot and flooded my eyes with solution. We all have very red eyes at dinner
I was instructed in the proper use of the ice axe today. I am imagining that I may develop deltoids and bigger biceps too. Could Marchant's camp be considered a spa?
We got a nice and very deep pit for Adam ( it's his field area). This pit will later be excavated deeper, but today we went down about a meter and a half right across a furrow or trough. We can see how the rocks across the trough vary in size from boulder-sized at the surface to pebble- sized at the base. Eric Moore brings up the idea of a "sieve deposit." Of course the smaller sized parcticles are going to filter down over the larger parcticles. Eric had a nice flash of insight - this is how good science is accomplished. Most of the people I am with are not much older than my students, so it is fabulous to know the potential that my students have.
Today we returned early to camp, back by 6 pm. Adam made awesome and delicious chile con carne for dinner. A friend of Dr. Marchant's made an audio recording of "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" video and we listened to this for our evening's entertainment. At one point the friend interjected that "Rudolph gets hit on the head." This cracks us all up. It becomes one of the themes of the season.
These guys that I will be spending this time with are quite funny, witty and quick. This a quality that I have encountered with other geologists. I am advising all of you to get to know a geologist or become one yourself. I think that one of the things that makes geologists so much fun is that they have a grasp of the 4th dimension - deep time. Most of us exist in human time - but the earth exists in this geologic time. A year can be forever. But when one realizes that a million years is just the shave of a fingernail, then your perspective is profoundly changed. And I think that this gives you a different world view and maybe a new and healthy take on your own life. Get to know a geologist!
Over from Beacon.
Niles North High School
Skokie, IL 60077
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