Monday, August 12, 2013

Geo 365: August 12, Day 224: Geologic Special Interest Area

Yesterday, @GeoHols, her husband, one of her students from Chemeketa Community College, and I drove up to Santiam Pass, turned south, and bounced over an increasingly bad road to the Sand Mountain Lookout trailhead. While I've found many roads are passable to small vehicles, if you're patient, slow, and plan where your tires are going to be, this ultimately turned out to be not one of those roads. I was very thankful for the four-wheel drive vehicle we were in. There had been an intense thunder/hailstorm on Saturday, and there were several places where we went through patches of mud, water and slushy pea-sized hail. In addition, both on the road and the trail, the runoff had carved into the ash and lapilli fragments that constitute the "soil" of the area, which at times could be irritating or even hazardous. The upside? A persistent fire on Green Ridge had been largely suppressed, and the air was very clear. There were some lingering clouds, so we by and large couldn't see the crests of Mt Jefferson or Three Sisters, aside from brief glimpses, but for practical purposes, the viewing conditions were ideal.

The above sign amused me in a couple ways. First, what does "Geologic Special Interest Area" even mean? Especially in this swath of High Cascades, everything is of "special interest." Second, "Loaner leashes may be available below." And there was one.

Photo unmodified. August 11, 2013. FlashEarth location.

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