Friday, October 17, 2008

It was cold!

Like I said in the previous post, I knew it was going to be cold on my trip and indeed it was! The advanced volcanology class had to arrive at the Devils Homestead flow lookout in Lava Beds National Monument by Saturday noon, which meant me leaving Modesto at 4AM to get to Sacramento by 5:30AM and after we got the van packed, we left Sac State at 6AM. Traveling by Interstate 5 to Weed, because I was map girl and instructed we could not go over the Medicine Lake Highland. Mt. Shasta was beautiful with a fresh covering of snow and surrounded by clouds. MacDougal and Dorris on Highway 97 are unchanged. There wasn't many birds in the Klamath Basin Preserve, but of course it was hunting season, so I would want to be there either! Arriving in Lava Beds around 11AM and not able to find the undergrad volcanology class (we actually did look), we went to the visitor center, but having been an organizer for a conference last fall at Lava Beds I was wanting to wonder around. The biggest change I noticed was that Cave Loop road was closed from sunset to 8AM, but I was so tired, I didn't get to do any lava tubing.

The undergrads found us and they were sent home and our field trip started. We spent the rest of the day at Prisoners Rock (also called Petroglyph Point for thousand of petroglyphs that are present). Prisoners Rock is a tuff cone that formed approximately 270,000 years ago. Types of hydrovolcanic deposits include armored lapilli (second photo), beds dipping 25-40 degrees from the vent area, lithic clasts, juvenile lava, and massive deposits (fourth photo). The third photo is an interesting feature that was unknown to any of us and not described in any papers we had with us.

It was very windy and a little cold, but I could of been warmer because I was only wearing a pair of workout pants. It got in the lower 20's for the night. The weather made me sleep in a tent for the first time in several years and I was glad I bought it. I had three blankets, lots of heat warmers and a nalgene bottle with hot water at the bottom of my sleeping bag. It was the best I had ever slept in cold weather. So I will leave you with a photo of a freshly covered Mt. Shasta from on top of Prisoners Rock.

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