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Jerry BartholomewJerry Bartholomew's Recollections of the 1963 Field Camp (Jerry still teaches at the Penn/YBRA Field School), with additional comments by Lynn Brant

I went to field camp in 1963. Rob Scholten taught the camp that year with Larry Ramspott, who was then an Assistant Professor at the University of Georgia, as his assistant, and Lynn Brant, who had been at the camp the previous year, as TA.

     Different groups of 3-4 drove the vehicles out. Lynn Brant was in our vehicle. We stayed one night at "Wendt," SD at a ranch where they had stayed the previous year [see Lynn Brant's story on the 1962 webpage]. The ranch was quite large, but the owner could neither read nor write (except his name), and his spouse did not want any of those oil rigs on their property. Their living room had a walk-in stone fireplace, where you could place large logs, and then a sunken area in front of it, and a wide stairway that went to the second floor. We then drove west and over the Bighorns (and had our first snowball fight) before Bob Gardnerarriving at YBRA. I believe that it was the 4th of July when we were collecting feldspar crystals (which I still have) from a granite in the Beartooths when we got a blizzard that dropped about 7-8" of snow before we got back to YBRA.

     We collected near YBRA and then spent a couple of days touring the Beartooths, Yellowstone, and Hebgen Lake on our way to Lima, Montana. We spent most of our six weeks camped at the campground on Little Sheep Creek near Lima; we typically had Sundays to go into Lima. There were about 10 of us there, along with a couple of graduate students who were working in the area (the names of Donovan B Kelly and Robert W Hall from the 1962 camp list both look familiar). One of the grad students got sick and stayed in the Lima Hotel for a while. [See Lynn Brant's recollections below: that was actually Don Kelly, an undergrad.]  Another graduate student was a tall, thin guy [Herm Witte: read Bob Gardner's story] who put wheat germ on everything and constantly bragged about how much he could eat, until one day I came back hungry: he had 7 burgers without buns, so I had 8 burgers with buns and toppings!

     Each student pair had a block of the Tendoy Range to map using air photos. Our base maps only contained ridgelines and streams, so all mapping had to be done on the photos. We completed a map, cross section, and report, usually by the light of a gas lamp in the tent to stay warm enough to work in the evening. My map wasn't too bad. I started working in that area again in 1983 when I joined the Montana Bureau of Mines & Geology at Montana Tech and have continued to do work there.

     My partner was Mitch Smith (who was wounded in Vietnam; I later ran into him in the late 60's in southern California). Mitch and I were assigned a 28 square mile area west of Dell, Montana that was the northernmost of the five areas and included Timber Butte Mtn and Dixon Mtn to just south of Big Sheep Creek. Bob Gardner (who later joined the faculty at the University of South Carolina) partnered with Dave Reidenouer (who I believe later worked for the PA Survey) to map the the adjacent area to the south between Big Sheep Creek and Little Sheep Creek. T K Reeves and Mary had the next area to the south, which they could walk to from the camp on Little Sheep Creek. Another team was farther south in an area that included Garfield Mtn (the highest peak in the area) along the continental divide.

     One of the short day-projects that we had to do was to sketch the "wailing wall" along Big Sheep Creek (sec.15, T14S, R10W). My original sketch in 1963 was not very good, but I redid the sketch and analyzed the outcrop for the 1989 Tobacco Root Geological Society meeting in Dillon, so other field-camp people can see it again today in: Northwest Geology, volume 18, p.33. They may also recognize the outcrop with folds about 2 miles west of the Red Rock fault scarp on Big Sheep Creek (sec. 25, 36, T13S, R10W) on p.27, and the Red Rock fault scarp, which we trenched, near the road to camp on Little Sheep Creek (p.23).

     Rob's spouse [Marsha] cooked our meals for us, and I believe that his son was there as well. Rob took us to Dillon one evening for a steak dinner; we visited Bannock; some of our group participated in the cow-milking contest at the Rodeo in Dillon; we took a two day trip to see volcanics in Idaho; and at the end of the camp, we took a trip to Butte and Anaconda and Glacier National Park.  On the trip to visit volcanics in Idaho, we climbed up a steep slope of volcanic material and I remember that Rob was surprised that I climbed it faster than he did, but not by much. (Of course nowadays at YBRA there are an increasing number of students who can climb the hill faster than I can!) We came down the far side and collected beautiful petrified wood (with tree rings and worm-holes or ant-holes well preserved) so everyone picked as many pieces as they could carry in their arms. It was several miles back to the vehicles, however, so the trail was marked by pieces of petrified wood. I still have the 3 pieces I brought back along with an unusual gizzard-stone(?).

     The small groups drove the vehicles back to PA after Glacier, while Rob went back to the camp on Little Sheep Creek (a bear had raided it once we had left!). Our van (Mitch, Bob, Dave, and I) drove north from Glacier National Park into Canada, detouring far enough west to "set foot" in British Columbia and to see some spectacular folds before heading back east to Medicine Hat and then straight across southern Canada to Winnipeg, then south into the USA and across the northern peninsula of Michigan, then south to the Turnpike and back to PA. [DHE: This short side trip gained some notoriety in later years and has now reached legendary status.]

     I know that Rob taught the 1962 camp in the same area, and I believe that he also taught the 1964 and 1961 camps there as well.

     Of all the faculty members at PSU, Rob and his field camp had the greatest impact on me. Dick Jahns and Lauren Wright were also quite important to me. That 6-weeks camp in one area really gives people the time to learn how to map, and those principles can then be applied to any area and any rocks. Having since mapped some 40-50 7.5-minute quadrangles in many different types of rocks, I know that initial long period of time in one area was more important than a variety of short projects in different rock types. Of course most camps today don't operate that way, including YBRA.

Some additional comments by Lynn Brant on the 1963 field camp

Lynn BrantI was at the Penn State summer camp among the Lima Peaks in 1962 as a student and 1963 as a student instructor.  I also popped in several times in 1964 when Oscar Huh and I were working on limestones in Idaho. 

Yes, I read Jerry's piece.  He tells it pretty well.  There were a couple points I remember slightly differently.  The guy who got sick and spent a night or two in Idaho Falls was Don Kelly who was in my class but who worked in Greenland the summer of 62 and took summer camp in 63.  I was with him in Idaho Falls that weekend he was sick, and we watched a partial eclipse of the sun from the hotel window.

Click here to read Lynn's comments about the previous year's field camp