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Some Recollections about the 1978 Field Camp
Kate and Dan Chess

Dan Chess - 1978 Field CampWe did our west-bound cross-country trip through Illinois --- glacier geomorph (first night); through Nebraska and Colorado (second night); stopped at the USGS office in Denver, Red Rocks amphitheater west of Denver, Big Thompson Canyon (this was 3 years after the big flash flood), Rocky Mountain National park (third night); then hiked to the glacier in RMNP and toured the park, stopped at Craig Colorado (fourth night); drove thru Dinosaur Monument then Park City to Alta. Our fearless grad student TA was Dick Craig who survived the cross-country trip both out and back.

     The second night we missed a turn and instead of camping in a state park, we ended up pulling off the road and pitching our tents on grazing land. We all managed to miss the cow pies, but a few unlucky folks pitched their tents on ant mounds(!). So we awoke about an hour later to lots of yelling and swatting. A few ant bite victims slept in the van.....

     Dean drove our van thru Rocky Mountain National Park along the winding roadway with steep drop-offs. It was hot (no AC), so we had windows down. A huge insect flew in the window and landed on the ceiling right over Dean. The whole crew tried to figure out how to get this thing to fly away so it wouldn't land on Dean (who might just drive off the cliff). We tried to convince him to pull over, but since we'd just started this leg of the trip. and we were the last van, he wouldn't. Finally, one clever person asked for the map of Nebraska. John was riding shotgun and passed the map back in the van. The unusual request got Dean to pull over at the next opportunity (and make a few colorful comments about "we're in Colorado, so why do you want the @#$%^ map of Nebraska!"). Dean nearly jumped out of the van when he saw the creature. As soon as the van stopped, the map was used to crush the insect. There were bug guts/limbs flying everywhere!  From then on, "hand me the map of Nebraska" was used as a warning phrase (we still use it -- our daughter knows this story!)

     The first part of field camp was on the Wasatch Front and was taught by Gene Williams and Derrill Kerrick. The second half at the Albion Basin was taught by Duff Gold and Art Rose.  The first project we did (and I have some photos) was mapping the fault-displaced glacial sediments along the Wasatch. Then we did the work across from the Peruvian, and then the work around the stock, including the skarns.  We had a trip to the Black Rocks volcanic area, and we also visited the Bingham Canyon copper mine. At Black Rocks we're the group that was nearly thrown out of the Campground.... we were a lot noisier than the Boy Scouts.

     During the first few days of the Wasatch mapping exercise, most of the students ran out of water very early in the day because we weren't used to the >90 deg. temps/desert environment. One group got really dehydrated one day, so we ignored the "rule" and knocked on a door in the development to ask for water. We ended up with cookies and lemonade --- from a geology professor's wife (oops). Needless to say we were ratted on, and the whole camp got a lecture.

     In addition to Derrill's "lost" story, another "lost" story happened when we switched areas. One morning someone drove the professors to SLC airport, and they left at the same time the vans did. Gloria DePaolis was the driver of the Super Crustum (takeoff on the vehicle brand name Super Custom -- but the crew was the rowdiest... hence the nickname). Gloria was the last driver in the queue that morning and when she got to a key turn, she continued to follow the vehicle with the professors, not the vans going to the field location. She thus earned her own song -- a version of GLORIA ("she drives the wrong waaay"). We sang this with great gusto at every opportunity ( including years later!).

     On the first trip up the mountain at Alta, Terry picked up an unexploded shell (from the avalanche guns) and showed it to me [Kate].  I told him to carefully put it right back on the ground... and explained what it was! Terry hadn't notice the sign explaining what they were. We marked the location on our maps and reported it later that day. We were the first to discover one.  We thought it was wild to have an icon for bombs on our map legend. Later in the summer we were formally introduced to the "grey fox" who ran the gun (and detonated the shell we found). His real name escapes me...

     The Peruvian was terrible the year we were there. It was better sleeping in the campground! The food was a constant complaint. The cook was a real character, one of these scary guys. He really couldn't cook but took offense at every comment about the food. About halfway through the camp someone drove to SLC and bought a bunch of "real food" including Captain Crunch, etc. Duff throught that was really funny.  The cook was NOT amused, however. At the end of camp a whole group ganged up and threw the cook into the pool! We did call it the "Peruvian Slodge," and even decorated the sign out front with an extra S (see the photo).

     I [Kate] didn't go back with the crew, so I'm not sure what the stops were eastbound. I stayed for the IOGOD conference at Snowbird and took Greyhound back, with 3 boxes of rocks as luggage!