Painted Desert

Painted Desert

Saturday, July 31, 2010

A Saturday update

Here is a well-preserved bear footprint in the mud at one of our sites. Big, huh?

A couple weeks ago we made our third and final trip to the landslide. Largely it was the same old thing -- digging holes, and installing instruments, in beautiful natural surroundings. So I don't have that many pictures to show; you've already seen the slide, and red mountain, and the Matterhorn. But here's me in a hole I was digging:

Our supervisor removing equipment from a pole as a thunderstorm moved in:

We got to explore a little around the San Juan Mountains in the area where we were working.

This is a rock glacier in American Basin, and me. A rock glacier is a bunch of rocks frozen together.

Marmots. You could get quite close to the marmots before they would run away. I have learned, by the way, since my last post with a marmot, that marmots and groundhogs are essentially the same thing, but they are called marmots in the west.

This basin was at 12,000 feet (heck, probably still is) and from there I climbed most of the way up a trail to the peak of one of Colorado's 14ers--that is, a peak over 14,000 feet--called Handies Peak. The trail was very gentle and smooth but the altitude had a big effect. I was dizzy and tingling and had to go very slow. I made it within a few hundred feet of the top, but couldn't go all the way up as we didn't have enough time.

Here is a view from near the top, of mountains beyond mountains in the San Juans.

On the way back to Golden, this bag of chips was purchased at a tourist trap on Monarch Pass, at 12,000 feet or so. It was packaged at a lower elevation and the air inside had expanded a great deal.

Here in Golden, I have been doing many things, including making friends. The magic of the internet makes this easier. There is a site called, where you can search your area for groups of people with the same interests. So I have been dancing, hiking, and done photography excursions with people.

A rainbow confirms the existence of gold beneath Denver. Who needs geology?

Some new acquaintances on the photography hike. (The rainbow wasn't planned, though I claimed it was.)

Me above Golden on a hike. I have to stop sliding my hat off onto my back for pictures, it makes me look like a hunchback.

The clouds outside my house one night. This doesn't have anything to do with anything, it's just pretty.

A guy on an old-time bicycle at the Buffalo Bill Days parade. See you next time!

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