Saturday, March 8, 2014

Geology - not a job...its an adventure!

I am NOT joking. I have not met one geologist who doesn't love their job. Good for me right?

I look forward to many adventures to come. My first multiple day geology trip is next weekend during the first half of our spring break at UNR. We are going to Red Rock Canyon State Park in California. Our base camp will be at the Ricardo campground. As any geology major...these trips are what we live for. Like professional geologists who love their jobs, majors love their trips!!!

Blessed is one word I can use to express my past experience as a geology student for the first two years of college. I had a great geology professor (Garry Hayes) who took us to places I only dreamed of through the years. I learned to camp like a "mundane." A mundane is the term my medieval re-enactment group calls modern-day life play.

As a middle age enthusiast I camp very different than a geology major does. There are no tunics, late night fires singing body songs (adult ditties not to sung around children, or adult who act like children). Camping geology style it is the cot and a Big Agnes sleeping bag under the stars. In a medieval camp it is the pavilion with tapestry and persian rugs everywhere.

Geology camping is so much fun, but it takes a student a few of them to get the hang of it. My very first field camp was to the Eastern Sierra Nevada. The flyer said to travel light. To me that is a few changes of clothes, sleeping bag, a tarp, a cooler, a camp stove, fuel and a flashlight. Of course toiletries are essential to masque the 4-day human odors.

Well, that didn't go so well. I packed too light. I ended up buying a one-person tent at the campground store and other items because apparently everyone else packed "not so lightly." Lesson trip was more comfortable. By the end of my second season this ol gal had a REI self-inflating campbed, a  two-person Big Agnes tent and sleeping bag. Two totes. One for kitvchen stuff and one for clothing, rock hammers, tools, toiletries, towels, lamps, etc.

Last summer Garry asked that instead of driving one of the college vans for our summer 2-week field camp if I would be interested in cooking...for about 30 people. Hmmm....sure why not! I have done medieval feasts for over 50 people, cooked in camp for our war unit, even made stuffed game hens for 15 in camp one night after one of our Royalty feasts had leftover game hens. So I researched recipes and manipulated a few favorites. I felt that it went well and hope that people enjoyed the variety and seemed like the amounts were adequate.

Feeling ready for our trip coming up. In lab today we had our meeting about the trip. I was a little taken back by students who confessed that they have not ever "really camped"...I think that translates that they camped RV style. Anyways, I felt grateful to Garry and the Society of Creative Anachronism for my camping skills. Our family camping each summer is even different from the other two, but we camp with fun in our hearts, and comfort.

I am so thrilled that my geology adventures have not ceased despite school, and that I still have the opportunity to get away from real life. Mapping rocks for four glorious days at Red Rock Canyon...WHAT A LIFE!!!

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