21 December 2010

Travels of 2010

Posted by Callan Bentley

I’ve been asked to put up a post detailing travels from the year now concluding. You got it!

The first day of January dawned for me in Buenos Aires, Argentina. I had just gotten done with one of the best trips I’ve ever taken, to Patagonia in December 2009. The capital of Argentina was a stop-over for a few days on the route back north to DC. On New Year’s Day, Lily and I walked through streets littered with broken glass and firecracker casings, and checked out the cemetery and some exotic trees.

February had me mainly at home, bustling about teaching classes. The only “travel” that happened then was virtual: I moved my blog from NOVA Geoblog to its new headquarters at Mountain Beltway.


…which would later become:

In March, Lily and I went up to New York City for the weekend. I did a bit of “liveblogging” that trip via iPhone photographs, including to responding to requests from readers while on the ground in Central Park. Here’s a glacial erratic I reported during that expedition:

The following weekend had me in Baltimore for the NE/SE section meetings of the Geological Society of America. I didn’t blog much during the meeting, but I “liveblogged” the field trip that followed, a two-day transect of Virginia’s Blue Ridge province and Virginia & West Virginia’s Valley & Ridge province. We saw all kinds of great geology there, including these tension gash arrays which have back-rotated Skolithos trace fossils:

April was “field trip month” in my teaching duties at NOVA and George Mason University. One result of that was that I blogged about purported “pillows” in the Catoctin Formation in the vicinity of Little Stony Man in Shenandoah National Park, Virginia, like these:

In May, I continued the habit of the previous couple of months by restricting my travels to Virginia. For instance, one day I returned to Shenandoah National Park to join James Madison University students led by professor Liz Johnson in checking out the rocks exposed along Skyline Drive. Another memorable field trip took me and my NOVA colleague Victor Zabielski down to Richmond, Virginia, to check out the falls of the James River with Chuck Bailey. There, we observed plutonic clues, two sets of intriguing fractures, and sculpting by the turbulent waters of the James.

In June, I finished up early summer east-coast-based teaching duties with a brief field excursion to Harpers Ferry, West Virginia. And, of course, I went to Turkey. I’ve shared some of the photos from that trip, but I’ve still got more to share, including the wealth of images I snapped up in Cappadocia. To give you a taste of what I’ve got in store for you in the new year, here’s one sample:

July saw me return to the United States in order to lead my field course in the Northern Rockies. Though I didn’t post much during the trip, I featured several student projects when I got settled back in my office for the fall semester. One of these, Filip Goc’s whimsical run-down of rocks in Glacier National Park, proved especially popular. Getting attacked by a monster stromatolite in Grinnell Glacier cirque was a particularly stirring memory of that trip.

August sent me and Lily up to New England, where we climbed Mount Washington a couple of times, visited with friends in Burlington (who live not too far from the Champlain Thrust Fault) and paid homage the Purgatory Conglomerate in Newport, Rhode Island.

In September, I stayed within a few hours of home, though that’s sufficient for fun adventures in Dolly Sods, West Virginia, and a return to Shenandoah National Park for a paleomagnetism sampling campaign.

October was  a busy month. Not only did I have the VCCS Science Peer Conference in Richmond (including the field trip that Pete Berquist and I led afterwards), but I returned to Turkey for the Tectonic Crossroads conference. For me, this included an epic 3-day field trip examining an ancient subduction zone complex called the Tavşanlı Zone and a first-hand visit to the North Anatolian Fault.

November didn’t let up on my crazy travel schedule. I drove out to Pittsburg for the Fine International Conference on Gigapixel Imaging for Science, and I went deer hunting with my brother in western Virginia. The month also includes Thanksgiving, and on our way down to visit Lily’s family in Asheville, North Carolina, we check out the Konnarock Formation. On the way back, we visited the Virginia Museum of Natural History.

December is the last month of the year, and the big travel piece (so far) was to go out to San Francisco for AGU’s Fall Meeting, and use the opportunity to do some exploration of the local geology.

Tomorrow, I’ll add one more destination to my 2010 roster of travels: Lily and I are headed down to Honduras to spend the next week on the island of Utila, in the Caribbean. We’ve got a house rented on the water where I look forward to spending the next week completely unplugged from the computer, and reading books in the sun. Have fun without me — I’ve set up a post per day to auto-publish in my absence. Enjoy.