This weekend my GIS class left town for some good ol’ geologic mapping. The class is mostly computer based, and we collected data in our attempt to better learn ArcGIS software. The work wasn’t difficult, and the area very pretty. Be ware though, cacti are everywhere!
Our site was the Mason Mountain Wildlife Refuge: a place where the plants are all native, and the animals are all imported. We saw animals, but I didn’t get any photos. Silly me. Out job there was to map outcrops of a very old granite formation that is being uncovered by erosion of the sedimentary deposits above. Our group stayed in cabins last night (not all of us slept inside though – the sky was just too good to miss), and we even got to watch UT beat Missouri at football.
I’m just going to show some photos here and link to the rest.
Professor Helper giving instructions on what we were to do and our fearless TA, Ephraim ready to go.
An outcrop, our trucks, and my lab partner, Trisha. We traded off quite a bit, but there are no photos of me working. haha
Trisha again on the “big one”, the largest outcrop we found on the first day. This one caused us to be 20 minutes late and Ephraim to be sent out after us. We beat him back.
Last night was gorgeous. The sky had a few brushy clouds – the kind perfect for nice sunsets, and there was a slight chill on the air.
I took a lot of sunset photos, you can see some of them here.
I slept outside, and on Ephraim’s recommendation did so on top of the van; he chose the suburban because of the rails on top to keep him in place. It made for an interesting place to sleep, and the view of the sky was fantastic, as I so rarely see it these days. It was too good to even take photos, they wouldn’t do the scene justice. There were a lot of stars, and I must have seen 7 or 8 shooting stars to add to the wonder. I woke up once, and there, right over my head, was Orion and the entire winter Hexagon. The best part was finding the Andromeda Galaxy, The Perseid Double Cluster, and the Little Dipper, all three of which are invisible in the city.
And then we were back to mapping. Today we were busier, and it took all morning for Trisha and I to finish even the closest outcrops (which were far larger than yesterday).
On the way back we stopped at Coopers Barbeque for lunch 😀