Friday, November 03, 2006

digging the geography (dirt geek)

I'm something of a closet earth geek. Not Earth-capital-E-love-your-mother-earth, but earth as in the stuff we tread upon. I think it's fun to stand around looking at the ground and rocks and cliffs and things like that. I DO stand around looking at stuff like that a lot. The fun part is in dredging up bits of knowledge and using them in trying to figure the earth stuff out. What kind of rock is that? Why is it here? How might it have got here? Why is it that color and shape? So, Klamath Falls gives me a case of the "Hey neatos" a lot. A lot of subtle reminders that the area is or was volcanically active. Down at the Grass Lake rest stop on the 97, you learn that you are surrounded right there by five small volcanoes. Going north on the 97, huge hills of basalt, in big squarish chunks, stretch out parallel to the highway. Closer to the surface at the roadbed, chalky stuff. Where the shoreline used to be. Eastward, near Lakeview, is a geyser and i hear there are bubbling mudpots so i must go see that. At the place we get our morning jumpstart, there's a ditch that leads out toward the railyard, always full of steaming water. I guess that's part of the whole geothermal thing around here. KF has pipes of geothermal brine buried under the sidewalks and crosswalks downtown to keep them clear in the winter. Some people have it as heating in their houses, which i guess is free. Heading down to Medford on the 140, you're on the scenic volcanic byway (the same one that wanders through the Modoc National Forest), and you can go check out some lava beds near Lake of the Woods. On a clear day, if you find the right hill, you can see the peaks that surround Crater Lake, pieces of the volcano that collapsed on itself. Mt Shasta is made up of 7 small volcanoes all packed together.

I would like to spend a lot more time poking at the ground and learning about it.

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