After a solid hiatus from fieldwork, I indulged the worlds two most impressive mountain belts for quite some time recently. I quickly remembered how important it is to touch, breath, feel, and sweat with this earth that I spend so much time trying to understand. There is no substitute for the tangible experience. Dust and dirt accumulation is invigorating and inspiring, hardly any real nuisance and unnoticeable after some time. I’m most insightful during that extra time in a tent, reflecting on what my senses are telling me. Reading about it in a paper, seeing it on a figure or in a photo just isn’t the same; I just don’t get it, I just can’t see it in the same way.
I toast to field geology. I applaud the incredible landscape diversity on this planet. It motivates trying to understand the processes involved in its creation and evolution. Its beauty inspires us all and facilitates clearer thinking. Let’s get dirty and see more cleanly.
Reunion on the river...
A key trip to recharge my batteries and gain a little perspective with the old crew. Spearheaded by Dega, Jimbo, and Clay, we ended up near Polebridge, MT, and hiked in Glacier and paddled the Flathead River for several days. Although I hadn’t seen some peeps in years, it was like a day hadn’t past. Shenanigans were par for the course, as was a little volleyball, chillin’ at the campfire, a bear spray incident (w/o any bears involved mind you!), and morning coffee runs to enjoy the, umm, scenery... Seeing a carefree, smiling, mumbling Clay on the river after getting lost while the rest of us waited forever, worrying - was one of those many shake-your-head-and-grin moments. Witnessing the Clay-Jimbo missing boots mystery solved before my very eyes at the airport on the way home was a classic ending.
Thanks, tucson boys - keep on rockin’ in the free world. That trip won’t be forgotten any time soon.
Dressed to Kilt
“Don’t just visit, live it!,” exclaimed the Scot. Within 30 mins, I had been ‘properly’ fitted with the whole outfit, not just a kilt. Might as well try the bagpipes too. Let’s take these authentic broadswords out for a bit, and give it a go. In public, for the tourists....”Freeeeedommmm!” Thanks William Wallace, I needed that. Yes, posing for some pix by tourists happened, several times. Oh, now we can do some scotch tasting...the haggis is a bit farther up the royal mile.... even with a Guinness to wash it down. Romantic visions of running a truly authentic hostel where everyone wears kilts and are instantly overwhelmed by all that is true Scotland. Tales of Jeckle and Hyde stealing cadavers from their graves, and a stop to see an ancient prison facility within a graveyard; talk about a not so subtle hint to those shackled up where they’re headed eventually via starvation. Yikes. Thanks, Stephanie. That trip won’t be forgotten any time soon.