Sunday, April 13, 2008

I Still Do Stuff Sometimes

But it's mostly geology.

After a 15 year skiing hiatus, I finally shed the fear that my knee would catastrophically explode across the bunny hill and managed a couple of days this year in January and Ferbruary--enough to whet my appetite, but not enough to satisfy it. It all came back to me surprisingly easily.

Discovery has easy slopes and low crowds, but it's an hour-and-a-half away. Boo.
It also has nice views of the Pintlers and Sapphires.

On the other hand, Snowbowl is visible from campus, only a half-hour drive, and has the best bar in Missoula. But the green courses were designed by a sadist: Great Flaming Leap of Death, The Crippler, Bayonet To The Groin, Vertebrae Pulp, 9.8 m/s^2, etc. I got better but it was still a challenge.
The Lovely Ladies of Geology helped me down the slope so I kept the Daft Punk jokes to a minimum.

The panoramas of Missoula and the Bitterroot Valley are worth the possibility of arthroscopic surgery:
Campus is toward the left and Missoula is obscured by the trees a bit.

I finally decided on a thesis project. No one believes me that scenery was not a consideration.

I'll be working in the Big Hole Valley looking at Tertiary gravels.
See? Rocks.

Spring Break was a geology field trip to the exotic Oregon coast. For about a week we stood in cold wet winds and the colder, wetter Pacific Ocean looking at ripples, scour-pits, dunes, and outcrops. It would've been a bit more tolerable if it hadn't hailed and snowed on us for eight of the ten days. This was the one clear day we had:
A major non-geological highlight was a beached sperm whale on the Washington coast.

We also took a field trip to the Madison Valley this weekend. It resembled a cross between South Dakota and northern Nevada.

Not everyone had snowshoes though so we had to cut it short.

And finally, Spring has officially arrived.

Other sure signs of Spring:
  • 35 degrees and sunny = shorts + frisbees
  • only five more months 'til ice-fishing season is over
  • squirrel-on-squirrel action all over campus getting me hot
  • air is less painful
  • raccoons feasting on sudden windfall of thawed barf

School ends in four weeks, then I'm off to field camp.