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Dave Eggler remembers a few things about 1984

Dave Eggler - 1984 Field CampThe first Penn State field camp I taught was in 1984, and for the shortest period.  I was there for a couple days of the overthrust project and for the stock project.  I made a map of the overthrust area, from the USGS map, that I used for 20 years, and which Don Fisher is presumably still using.  I actually mapped the country rocks areas north and south of the stock, along with the students, and I used that map for 20 years, augmented a little from time to time as I gained a new insight.  I developed some lecture sketches for the stock project from the Kerrick and Moore paper -- a cartoon of the stock and isograds and triangular CMS diagrams for the various facies through the isograds.  I used those diagrams for 20 years both in field camp and back home for Geosc 430 and, upon its demise, Geosc 201.

The area north of the stock had always been mapped on an aerial photo.  Not a stereopair, but one areal photo.  This, to me, is a crazy idea.  With stereo, you can see every peaklet and valley.  Without stereo, the only way to locate yourself is to find a tree or tree-less meadow on the photo that might be the one you are sitting in.  The "Big Ten" field camp mapped the area south of the stock that way for many years.  To help the students, a series of stations had been established and linked by plane table survey.  These station numbers or letters were re-spray-painted each year on rocks. They went from A to Z and maybe 1 to 12.  Fortunately or unfortunately, the pile of photos was left behind in State College that summer.  So a supply of topo maps was hastily constructed.  Charlie Thornton more-or-less located each station on the map from an existing photo.  In retrospect, he did an excellent job.  Chris Shuman and I then climbed up scree slopes and pinnacles to spray paint while Charlie stood below and directed us.  I kept on spraying stations for a few years, then gradually decreased the number of stations as I increased the size of the area mapped, and eventually just marked a few of them with orange surveyors tape, because painting didn't seem very ecologically friendly.  Plus one year the Forest Service was wondering why some nut was spray painting their forest.  There's probably still a little faded orange tape clinging to a scrubby tree by station T, located at the top of the rocky pitch on the way up to Twin Lakes pass.

     We climbed into the northern area from the campground road, a pretty good chug early in the morning.  I usually led, going at the pace I had used since working in the forest service while in college -- not too fast but never stopping.  Lou Bartek was a football player, and football players don't do slow and steady.  He finally said, "The heck with it," and charged ahead, then paused, and charged again.  We of course arrived about the same time.

     This was the only time that my family accompanied me to field camp.  The kids were nine and seven.  We had slowly driven our way across the country, stopping in the usual places like the Black Hills and Yellowstone.  We also stayed two days in Martinsdale, Montana in the Martinsdale Hotel while I collected some additional samples for Frank Dudas, a PhD student.  Martinsdale is a very small town, and the hotel wasn't actually open at that time.  But I had stayed there with Frank a year previously, so I prevailed on the owner, and she said OK.  My wife did some cooking and front desk work because the owner wasn't around much.  She also got to talking to some of the Indians, who could fish where no one else could at the reservoir.  So we had magnificent trout one night.  Afterwards the kids were in jail (the old lockup cages sitting on the main street), while we were across the street drinking with the locals in the bar.

     At the Peruvian there were so many students that some had to stay in The Fort, an appendage out in front of the Lodge built in part to absorb the brunt of any avalanches that roared down from the slope to the north and in part to house ski instructors and employees in the winter.  In the rest of my years at the Peruvian, there were fewer students and no overflow into The Fort.  The Fort decor was minimal and the ambience on the low side of "cheap college housing."  One time we couldn't find the kids.  After a prolonged search, one of the students said they were in The Fort.  My wife was horrified.  "My babies, alone in The Fort with crazy college kids!"  But they were, of course, fine, sitting in The Fort playing Uno with the college kids.  And doing rather well, actually.

     Snowbird has always had a program of summer concerts.  They are held now in a tent, but back then under a canopy on the plaza by the gondola.  We went to see the Utah Symphony in a pops concert during a heavy rainstorm.  Just as one of the pieces reached a crescendo, rain dripped onto some of the floodlights, which burst with a loud bang more-or-less in time with the tympani.