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Death Valley Geo Club Spring Break Trip 2012

April 12th, 2012

Three-Skulls Van: Corvallis or Bust...Skulls!!

Image: Nathan Pauley and Three-Skulls Van, Photo taken in Sierra Foothills, California on March, 31 2012.

Death Valley Geo Club Spring Trip 2012 

Three-Skulls Van: Corvallis or Bust…Skulls!!

Author: Lisa Riley, Geography Department, CEOAS (College of Earth, Oceanic and Atmospheric Sciences)

Place: Sierra Valley Foothills near Columbia City Historic National Park, Tuolumne County, California.

Our last stop was the beautiful Sierra Valley Foothills where we were welcomed by our attending staff Professor’s (Dr. Anita Grunder Deptartment of Geosciences) family who’s company and hospitality speaks legends.  We owe a great thanks to Anita and her family for such a wonderful welcome and tour of the area.  We had a huge cowboy-style bonfire and enjoyed songs and memories of our tales from the road our last night together.  The rains came the last Saturday before the new term but it never dampened our spirits.  Our week long trip over spring break took us to Death Valley in the Mojave Desert.

We saw the great wall of the Hoover Dam and a night on the Vegas strip.  We visited Joshua Tree National Park in the Sonoran desert as well.  A great thanks to the Motor Pool.  Our vans took us on all the washboard roads in both Death Valley and Joshua Tree and allowed us to see the geological splendor in these national parks.  The first night at Death Valley were accompanied with high wind/rains and we used Three-Skull van as an anchor while we all held other ends of an enormous tarp to make a station and eat dinner.  Our vans charged our cameras, phones, and iPods in the heart of the desert and gave us refuge for some very needed sleep at times.  Some highlights in Death Valley were the racetrack playa were larger rocks move on their own due to moisture, Cooper canyon, and Badwater pools and salt flat.

Badwater basin in Death Valley is the point of lowest elevation United States.  Our vans were tough enough for us to take the Geology tour roads in Joshua Tree, visit an old mine and dam, see a famous spot were cattle rustling commonly occurred, and view petroglyphs.  I thought the geology was amazing in Joshua Tree.  It looked like a giant made a lot of huge rock piles everywhere.  After visiting Columbia City Historic Park, a preserved California gold rush town founded in the gold rush boom March 1850 we returned to Anita’s family ranch (our last camp) to some very soaked tents.

For Three-Skull Van and the Geo Club caravan it was Corvallis or Bust…skulls!!!

Three-Skulls Van: Corvallis or Bust...Skulls!!

Image: Nathan Pauley and Three-Skulls Van, Geo Club Officer, Dept of Geology, Oregon State University, College of Oceanic and Atmospheric Sciences. Photo taken in Sierra Foothills, California on March, 31 2012.

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