So Here I am, out in Arizona...working on a project that I don't want to deal with, I'm tired of traveling, I don't know when I can go home, I just want to crawl into my bed in denver and not think about anything...
and I'm standing on a mesa, in the middle of fucking nowhere- about 2 hours north of Phoenix, at the transition from basin and range geology to colorado plateau geology, there's nothing but the sound of the wind in my ears, and all I can think of is "how could I ever have been anything in life besides a field geologist?"
I feel like a belong in places like this: standing on a mesa top, hawk soaring overhead, basalt cliffs looming, carbonate allvium underfoot destroying my fucking boots. Arroyo, coyote, rattlesnake, mesquite, prickly pear, faulted landscapes. Jagged Peaks, breccia, scraped forearms, falling down a talus slope. Desert silence pervasive, undying sunshine and heat, sweat, and geology all around. Just me, a USGS Topographic quadrangle, a rock hammer, a brunton compass, a pencil, and a fucking canyon, its the perfect job. There's nothing that compares to mapping geology in the desert southwest. if you've never done it, you've never lived.
my Jeep, an angular unconformity between the Gila formation and overlying alluvium, basalt mesas, blue skies...no fucking people, just the desert.
yes, you are seeing this correct: its a photo taken from the top of an active landslide. the scarp is the white line along the back of the photo, in the foreground are dilational fracture sets, the ground surface is dipping at about 12 degrees to the south. this it what it looks like when a canyon tears away its constraining mesas. Today I mapped a landslide the size of Mile High Stadium. it was amazing. I sat and listened for about ten minutes to the silence and I could hear the rocks falling, the mesa flanks failing.
self-portrait, who else will take your picture when your alone in the desert?