Helicopters, Fishing Boats, Mountain Goats, and lots of Horse Flies

The other day I saw a talk given by a friend of mine whom I met during my first real geologic field experience. When I was an undergrad student at a tiny liberal arts college in the American Midwest, my advisor was a co-PI on a project looking into the development of the Canadian Coast Ranges. I was mainly a field assistant and hauler of rocks, but I did manage to get a (now embarassingly poor but at the time pretty sweet) senior thesis out of it. More important, I got to spend two field seasons in northern British Columbia and meet all kinds of geologists who helped me form my idea of what my science career would look like. A geologic post about the area might come some time, but for now I am simply posting some of the field photos I recently scanned (from back in my Kodachrome days). All of these pictures are from near the Skeena River, just east of Prince Rupert, B.C. I mainly worked on the Quottoon Pluton, mapping fabrics and contacts, with some P-T-ometry and thin section work back in the lab. Working in BC is pretty incredible. The geology is spectacular. The only real downsides are that it rains almost all the time, and that there are more black flies, mosquitos, and horse flies per square meter than anywhere I have ever been. My field books from those seasons are covered with their guts. Anyways

This is one of our camps, you can see our tents in the saddle. All of the work was helicopter based, we’d put in for a week or two at a time. Pretty amazing for sure. I must admit my mode of field transport has been all down hill since then.

I have no idea what the name of this lake is.

These two might explain why I ended up buying and reading and recommending A Beast the Color of Winter (see sidebar). We did most of our hiking on goat trails, and would see them all over the place. They are really amazing animals. I’ll never claim to be a mountaineer, but these things, even the babies, make us all look like cows. I am pretty sure that acrophobia has been selected against in mountain goats.

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2 Responses to Helicopters, Fishing Boats, Mountain Goats, and lots of Horse Flies

  1. IanH says:

    When it comes to climbing up cliff faces your average goat can make a human being look quite pathetic ! A very underrated animal, indeed.

  2. I am still amazed that ou don’t find more dead ones at the bottom of cliffs. Even the little ones are just absurd in their sure footedness.

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