Monday, October 15, 2012

24 Hours Notice

Accretionary Wedge #50 called for posts about field trip/field camp moments. I'm late posting this, but it means I have an extra story to share...

In mid-September my geomorphology class went on a field trip between Syracuse, New York and Ithaca, New York.

Mid-morning, we stopped at a site not far from Syracuse, where there had been a landslide in 1993. The scar is pretty much grown over now, and there's not much left to see, but we stopped on the roadside to discuss the morphology of landslides. The prof had just finished saying that if he'd called ahead to get permission we could have walked a little way onto the private land to have a look at the humps left behind by the landslide, but he didn't so we couldn't, when a guy rode up on his dirtbike. He was wearing a white muscle shirt, presumably to show off the tattoos covering both arms.  When he reached us he slid to a stop (and almost slid off his bike) before saying we needed to give 24 hours notice to be there. We pointed out that we were actually on the road, and we had no intention of going onto the private land. This went back and forth for a moment or too, before he gave up. Then he asked where we were from. We all suppressed our laughter--we were standing beside a van that had the university and department name written on the side.   Finally he gave up, realizing we weren't doing anything wrong, and rode back down the road to his home. Moments later, the air was filled with the sounds of gunshots, as he and a friend spent about five minutes shooting their guns continuously in an attempt to scare us off (we finished our discussion before we left).

The rest of the field trip was uneventful, making our way south to look at different glacial landforms.  The second part of the field trip was held in mid-October, when we looked at some gorges around Ithaca. We were about to go for a bit of a hike along one trail, when someone in the group noticed the sign saying the trail was closed because it was hunting season. Luckily, another trail on the other side of the brook we were looking at was still open, and we were able to see what we wanted to see.
Glacial valley

Drumlin at Drumlins Golf Course

Guess what we saw on this trail!

Esker (on the Esker Trail)

Stratification in a gravel pit

Imbricated Clasts

Ithaca is gorges
Bedrock joints controlling stream flow

Lick Brook - bedrock incision

Buttermilk Falls - bedrock incision

Buttermilk Falls - bedrock incision

It may not look like it, but this road runs over a drainage divide
Taughannock Falls