Where in the hell am I?

October 4, 2010

Against the wind: Wyoming Day 11 and 12

Even though I hate Bob Seger, I felt the need to choose this particular wind-related sing title in honor of Bigfoot 99, the local “rock ‘n’ country” radio station we’ve been listening to in the truck (which plays a lot of Bob Seger but also played “Just like Heaven” today so I’m cutting them slack).

The less said about Day 11, the better, since I have nothing nice to say about it. Spent about 7 hours of the work day driving between far-flung places to do 10 minutes of survey. Got bored and restless. The homesickness also really kicked in, too. Felt better after a run and weight session in the hotel fitness center.

Day 12 started with more of the same, but since I was ready for it (and since it’s the next to last field day for me) it wasn’t as bad. We did find a 5-foot tall cairn, which was kinda cool. Also an isolated biface fragment.

Today was mostly notable because the strong winds were back. It had to have been at a steady 20-25 mph rate, with frequent gusts well above 30. The past few days have been really calm, so this felt kinda rough, especially trying to do paperwork. Since the project is for a humongous wind farm (in two separate segments), this is a good thing.

Got to spend the last part of the day surveying landforms on Miller Hill (ps, this link has pop-ups). This is the highest spot yet, topping out over 8,400 feet above sea level, or more than a mile-and-a-half (even though the website above says differently, there is a USGS datum up there marked 8,433 ft amsl). We actually went up it on Day 11, too, but the only thing I really noticed was that my ears popped (remember, I was really cranky!). The winds up here were even more intense! Found a collapsed prehistoric cairn, which I thought looked like a natural bedrock outcrop scatter. The winds were too strong to do the forms.

The other cool thing about today was getting to cross the Continental Divide about a dozen times, including several on foot. I actually also did this on Day 11, but didn’t know because I didn’t look at the maps because I was pissy. Anyway, i don’t know why this makes me so excited, I guess because it’s such a neat geographical and geological phenomenon. Of course, if it weren’t marked on the map, you would never know you were crossing it. I wanted my photo taken straddling it (kinda like the Four Corners photos, which of course aren’t really in the cartographically correct four corners) , but forgot because the day got long and it was so windy. I did, however, pee on the Pacific side.

I’m gonna try and get the photos from the last few days uploaded tonight. Tomorrow, being the last night for us Texas folks, will probably involve at least a small farewell party, so I may not get around to updating again until Wednesday morning. I’ll try and include a summary with some of the things I haven’t had a chance to talk about yet (the Transcontinental Railroad, the Overland Trail)

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