Day 4: Maps and legends

New lesson learned: "carrying someone's water" is a phrase that denotes taking on someone's burden because literally carrying someone's water--for a mile, say, over broken and uneven ground beneath a spiteful sun--is really, really burdensome. At least I'm no longer worrying about not making it to the gym.

Logan Butte presents a wide variety of opportunities for re-education. Yesterday I learned about colors. Today I learned about walking.

The ground and slopes here are all blanketed in sediments that pretend to support your weight just long enough for you to shift your balance, after which point the sediments give up the ruse and scatter away. This requires mindful concentration on where and how one walks across the landscape. In some ways this is a blessing: being forced to concentrate on the landscape is really helping me to develop mental images of these new shades of "blue" and "green." My strat map might be more valuable than a frustrated scribble.

 Students surveying Logan Butte.

Students surveying Logan Butte.

This is good: the locality is covered in fossils and collecting those fossils requires mindfulness of the very features that provide necessary context for the fossils. Without mapping out the relations of different rock strata in the area, it would be impossible to draw anything other than tenuous connections between fossils collected from different locations. So as much as I'd love to start filling my field pack with all the little ex-animals I see lying around, I'm willing to accept this as a necessary first step.