Thursday, January 14, 2010
Our first day started with examples of interesting geologic features — the very ones we teach our students about — as we drove from the airport to the Park. We saw sedimentary rocks that were folded by the heat and pressure of tectonic plate collisions; an igneous dike cutting across horizontal layers of older lava flows; and Devilís Slide, a place where layers of sedimentary rocks (especially sandstone) are tilted almost vertical and look like walls. Along the road we noticed columnar basalt, an igneous rock that forms 5- and 6-sided columns as it cools. We saw pieces of columnar basalt in the Roosevelt Arch, through which we entered Yellowstone National Park. Chuck told us about the historical significance of the arch, which was to be the main entrance to the park and whose cornerstone was set in place by President Teddy Roosevelt.
Along the drive and in the Park we spotted a number of different species of wildlife, including Mule Deer, Bighorn Sheep, Bald Eagles, Golden Eagles, Pronghorn and bison.
Already we are experiencing a plethora of emotions, ranging from inspiration to exhilaration; and we have only begun to experience and understand the wonders that Yellowstone has to offer!
Q & A for January 14