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Joe Donovan Recalls the Cross-Country Trip in 1974

Joe Donovan Recalls the Cross-Country Trip in 1974
Penn State Geosciences Field Camp

Itinerary of field trip (this is from memory...):

1.  Stop 1: Skytop!!

2.  Cincinnati Arch fossil assemblages -- off I-70 in Ohio/Indiana somewhereJoe Donovan 1974 Field Camp

3.  Mississippian karst in Missouri; collapse sinkhole exposure

4.  Bartlesville OK area -- Permian sediments

5.  Kansas tour of bryzoans and Roger Cuffey's dissertation areas

6.  Mass arrest at dusk by KHP on I-70 12 miles east of Ft. Hays.  The KHP eastbound clocked the pace car going 85 westbound.  I'll never forget the sight of the bubble gum machines flashing as he nosedived across the median.....

7. Court appearance in Fort Hays by Cuffey and the Fort Hays Eight.  The rest of the group toured the old Sternberg Museum and looked at Cretaceous fish.

8. Colorado Front Range at Colorado Springs.  Garden of the Gods.  

9. Royal Gorge.  Front Range Geology at Canon City and along I-25

10. Volcanics and dikes from Pueblo -> Walsenburg

11. Day off in Spanish Peaks area

12. Start from Walsenburg to Durango on US 160.  Great Sand Dunes National Monument.  Rio Grande Rift

13. Alamosa.  Creede Caldera.  Continental Divide

14. Pagosa Springs.  Durango.  Four Corners geology.  Shiprock.  Mesa Verde.

15. One of the best Mexican restaurants in North America at Cortez, Colorado. 

16. Grand Canyon South Rim.  Return back to Utah

17. Arches.  Moab.  Mesozoic Stratigraphy.  Up to I-70 at Crescent Junction

18. Price and Helper, Utah.  Coal Mining in Jurassic and Cretaceous

19. Wasatch Front Range.  Earthquake hazards.  Bingham pit

20.  Drive around Great Salt lake to south.  Visit salt-flat and oolite deposits (Charles Thornton group: collects some ooid sand for drying flowers).  Visit Morton Salt operation

21.  Cross western Utah on I-70.  Enter Nevada.  Visit geothermal property at Beowawe.  Humboldt Sink.  Camp in Reno.  Pyramid Lake tufa mounds

22.  Over the top past Lake Tahoe. 

23.  Trinity Alps.  Susanville, CA.  The Gold Rush legacy.

24. East from Susanville on CA 44.  View of structural junction between Cascades, Great Basin, and Lassen Peak volcanics.  Distant view to SW of Lassen.

25.  Continue west on CA 299.  Cross Jurassic ophiolite between Redding and Eureka.  Camp near Eureka.

26.  Day off in Redwoods.  I went with Bruneau to Patrick's Point State Park on coast.  Got some fabulous photos -- all in B-W negatives (still have those and some prints at the house...)

27. Are you still with me?

28.  Crater lake, 2 days after the road was opened

29. Oregon Cascades tour (C P Thornton).  The Seven Sisters.  John Day, Oregon (Tertiary sediments).  Shield volcano topography.  Some recent flows. Columnar jointing.  Flow stratigraphy.  Recent Cascade eruptions. 

30.  Snake River Flood basalts.  Cross Idaho to I-84, take US20 to Craters of the Moon.  Day tour. 

31.  Cross over to West Yellowstone, camp.  Enter park at west entrance.  Tours of Upper Geyser basin, Norris basin.  I think we
camped at Geyser basin.  Grand Canyon of YR.  Specimen Ridge. Travertine pools at Mammoth (Gardiner).  It was empty at this time of year (still May).  Saw a buffalo herd in northeast of park.

32.  Leave Park by northeast entrance (Cooke City --> Red Lodge).  Highway had just been opened.  I think we just drove over to Red Lodge. Spectacular drive in early June of course!  I remember the Heart Mountain exercise, but I think Duff did that with us later on our Beartooth Plateau field trip. 

Whew.  That's all I can remember.  I saw what Walt said about field camp.  The XC trip was just as intense and perhaps more enduring.  Like field camp, many of the things one knows and understands about geology date back to this trip, in a photograph still in one's mind.  I have revisited perhaps 50% of the stops on the trip and am looking forward to revisiting  the other half.   I think what the camp did for you was showed you the backyard too quickly to really see everything, but it allowed you to tuck it all away for future reference.  It was why I first thought of going out west for my first job.  In hindsight, it is amazing how Roger and CPT came up with this plan, and how carefully crafted it was.  One could not put any price on the value of this experience.  It was the most productive summer of my career, with the possible exception of the 2nd year of my dissertation fieldwork.

I know I still have the maps in the office.  It would be fun to put together a Google earth itinerary of the field trip.