GeoDESLA Day 1 Introduction to Geology

By Angie, Lauren, and Henry

The first day of GeoDESLA started with an introduction to geology but before that when we all woke up we got to experience a beautiful morning. The sun was shining and the morning was very cool. Henry who is from houston was very amazed by the sights because he is not used to seeing any mountains in the morning. After breakfast Our director Rosie Oaks explained the 3 different types of rocks(Igneous, sedimentary, and metamorphic) so we were able to recognize them out in the field. We also learned how to describe the various aspects of rocks so that they are easily identifiable. We then applied these skills in the Ybra quarry!

The quarry rocks were white to oxidized orange, chalky, easily broken (there were chunks the size of water bottles next to dust of the same rock and everything in between) yet hard and jagged. When looked under a lense, they appeared to be made of very fine well sorted sediment, such as silt or clay. What do you think this rock is? Its Limestone. We dumped acid on it to confirm. Because it fizzled under hydrochloric acid, we knew that it was limestone.

After that adventure, we set out to beiger pastures in the Bighorn Basin. We observed sedimentary rock layers, one of which was black and charred. This layer in the sediment marked the mass extinction that killed the dinosaurs. This layer contained charcoal from the trees that died during that era, which some of us collected samples of and smeared in our notebooks. It was a strange feeling, touching the dirt that some of the last dinosaurs walked on.

We then walked down to a small valley, one that held the remains of many dinosaurs and possibly more that have yet to be excavated. This place was nicknamed “Mordor,” for being a few degrees hotter than the surrounding area. The walk down there was led by Henry and a few others, with Angie and a few others enthusiastically following.

The walk down to Mordor

After finishing the walk, on our way back we stopped for ice cream and milkshakes at Red box care at Red Lodge. It felt so good, refreshing, and relieving after that long walk. Once we got back to YBRA we were taught about both topography and geological maps, but all through the class, thunder rumbled in the distance. The edge of a storm rolled over camp and as the dinner bell rung, it rained. When dinner was over and some time had passed, another lesson was held covering geological maps and how to read them. We learned that older rocks surround the basin on the surface while the newer ones are in the central parts of the basin.

Angie and Lauren are not so happy about tonight for the army of moths will attack again. They come into the cabin for the LIGHT and attack us as we lay in bed with our phones. Bring a blanket and pull it over your head, for then they will have a smaller target. Till the next day….

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