Tuesday, May 31, 2005

These boots are made for hikin, and that's just what they'll do...one of these days these boots are gonna hike right on by you...They're finally getting broken in Posted by Hello

Monday, May 30, 2005

So we learn first day at field camp..."we don't go out in the rain"..so what did we do today in the rain? Go out...here's the aftermath. After a tow truck and rebuilding the road we finally made it out without rolling down the embankment... Posted by Hello

Sunday, May 29, 2005

And on the 7th day he rested...

And so am I! The past week has been so outrageously physical that I'm about to fall over from exhaustion. Today, I'm resting...I deserve it...and I'm going to do it! This morning started off with a leisurely breakfast after waking up at 8:15. Cleaned up the kitchen with everyone else and did my homework. I figure from here I'll do a little pleasure reading and then Casey, Hillary and I are going to take a slow walk up to Dirty Annie's so I can get some postcards and things. Tonight we're grilling out hamburgers...that should be fun.

The weather here has turned cold again and we have no heaters in our rooms. I have on two shirts and my jacket and am still frozen. It is also supposed to rain off and on today.

Not to cut this short but I'm going to head off to read now. Pleasure reading has to take a backseat to science reading so when I get a chance to read a juicy novel I need to take it. Have a great day and count down with me...only 32 days left!!

Paleogirl Rene

A big hello to my niece, Haley!! The last door on the left is where I sleep. Posted by Hello

Saturday, May 28, 2005

Me in the field with my friend Jon behind me. The people here are really great. Both girls and guys are getting along well. I think we believe we're all in this together! Posted by Hello

At the base of Exercise Hill...AKA Heartattack Hill Posted by Hello

It's finally Saturday!!

Well, I didn't get a cowboy last night. Even the best laid plans sometimes go by the wayside. My friend Matt asked last night if I would switch with him and go do laundry and he would stay here instead. I know he really wanted to party so I figured I'd help the guy out. However, next friday night it's my turn at the bonfire!!

Today we spent half a day in the field learning how the outcrops we'd been working on really were created. It was very interesting but I think the level of exhaustion we are all feeling put a damper on things. Afterwards we went to Roy's Food Barn (a grocery store) and picked up some necessities. I got cheez-it's, beef jerky, lotion and motrin. My life is way, WAY too exciting! However, we are now off until tomorrow night when the professors will hold a lecture to prepare us for our structure mapping project on Monday.

As you can see from the posts below, I am finally able to upload pictures again. The one of Heart Attack Hill came out pretty good. I've been trying to post it for days now. If you look at the very highest peak in the background, I climbed all the way up there and back down again...TWICE! Yes, me...I was scared out of my mind. But let's not relive those moments.

I also uploaded a picture taken yesterday in the field. As I said under the picture, everyone here seems to be getting along really well and we've formed a close-knit bond with each other. I think it's the stress level that brings us together too. Jon is a really nice young man who was one of my van-mates on the way up. He and I have been in groups together for the whole week.

Will close for now. I think I'd like to relax on my bed for about an hour or so before I do some minor homework so that I don't have to do it tomorrow.

I'll post some more in the morning....Until then...Happy trails to you.....
Paleogirl Rene

Friday, May 27, 2005

Ropin' me a cowboy!

Hello, Hello!!

So tonight there's a bonfire up the street at Dirty Annie's (the local convenience/we've got everything) store. I'm hopin' there might be a fine looking cowboy sittin around that there fire who might need a gal to hang out with!

Today we went back out to the formation with the dinosaur tracks and finished up our observations. The local newspaper came down and interviewed me, YES ME, for the newspaper. I talked to her about the dinosaur tracks and also about the rippled bedding planes, explaining that Wyoming used to be underwater in the Jurassic, covered by the Sundance Sea (maybe I did learn some things...huh?) The article will appear next Thursday in the Shell, WY paper so I'll make sure to try to get a couple of copies to send out to show you. if they quote me. They even took pictures of me...wouldn't that be cool to be so far from home and yet make the paper!!

After field work we came back to the cabin and had 3 hours to put together a presentation to show the instructors our interpretations of sea level rise and fall in this area during the Jurassic. We were in groups of 3 and the instructor chose someone in the group to make the presentation at the last moment. I was not chosen this time. After the presentation, the instructors asked about half a billion questions and you had to know the answers or make an educated guess. I think I did well. Tomorrow morning we head back to the site and they will tell us what REALLY happened in the area. Oh, and sometime do laundry in town...YAY!

After that, we get to come back to the cabin, clean up the grounds and then we are off until Monday morning at 7:00am. I think I will probably do some relaxing. I'm a bit tired. But, the one good thing is that after tomorrow morning, one week of field camp is over....YAY US!!

But for tonight, it's about time for dinner (have I mentioned how incredibly well they are feeding us?) and then it's off to rope me a cowboy.......

Paleogirl Rene

Thursday, May 26, 2005

Dino Tracks!!

Hello Everyone!!

So today we headed to the Red Gulch field area and what did we find....DINOSAUR TRACKS!! I actually stood on top of one of them just to say I'd actually stood where a dino had crossed. I know, kinda geeky, but HEY, I AM a geologist...I think...haha! I took some awesome pictures of them and will try once again to load pictures onto the blog but I'm not holding my breath.

Tonight we have a new assignment that will be based on the field work today. The climbing wasn't so difficult today but I can tell you that my feet hurt really bad. I seem to be favoring the right one when I'm climbing downhill. I'm sure it will strengthen in time.

We're counting down the days until Saturday night, our first real free time. We get that night off along with all of Sunday. I think we may head to the "tourist" dinosaur area that is really nice and pristine rather than the stuff we hike over.

Will close for now and try to get a shower...it's another stinky day!

Happy trails..to you...until we meet again....la la la....
Paleogirl Rene

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Hello Hello!!

Sorry I didn't get a chance to post yesterday. Things were really insane. First off, let me say that the blog is having a bit of problem....seems it doesn't want to upload pictures right now. I keep getting a server error so I think it has to do with the server and not me. Hopefully they'll fix it soon. And now, on to the excitement of the past two days.

Yesterday we hiked back up heart-attack hill (or exercise hill as they call it). It's the 450 foot hill that I'd done the day before. From there we had to hike out to Lemonade Point. Please, don't be mistaken, there was NO lemonade there. How dare they trick us like that!! Getting to the top of that was quite tricky as the terrain was even steeper than heart-attack hill! However, I did somehow make it to the top, took my information and then slid back down the hill on my butt! Hey, if I'd have tried it any other way I'd have been face first. Those black jeans were caked with white gypsum dirt and I could have cared less...

After returning to camp and eating lunch as quickly as possible, we headed off to Devil's Kitchen. Once again, NO FOOD. What is up with these names? Instead, we found an area of badlands. We had to hike in about a mile over some pretty rough terrain before starting our work and then hiking back out. I thought I was gonna die!! Thank goodness Erick walked back with me as I was very slow moving!

After returning to camp, eating and showering, we then had a lecture and got two assignments that have to be turned in tonight by 9:00pm. So, we stayed up late and did what we could. The rest we finished this afternoon. Just as a side note, in the middle of the night another group arrived and the women who now occupy two of the spare beds in here decided that at their middle of the night arrival, it would be appropriate to turn on all the lights in our cabin, talk as loudly as possible and move around what seemed like rooms full of furniture. Thank you for the wonderful night's sleep. I'm pretty sure my "WHAT THE F**K" statement when those lights went on was appropriate!

Today we got up and had another lecture. Then it was back out to Devil's Kitchen where we hiked down into the middle of the area. For 6 hours we looked and recorded and analyzed and nearly drove ourselves crazy trying to figure out stuff. Finally it was time to go and then it was back up the steep sides and out. Upon arriving back at the cabin, we then had 1 1/2 hours to put together a presentation on all of our findings. "Not too bad, we can do this" I thought. So we get our presentation put together and get into the room to give it. One of the guys, Patrick, wants to give the presentation. No problem...however, about 3 minutes into it, Patrick completely freezes up...and I do mean COMPLETELY! I looked at him and asked if he wanted me to take over. He nodded yes and off I went. We got through the presentations and the professors felt we'd done a great job for the time we had. As a side note, one of the professors stopped me on the way back from getting some toilet paper, and told me that the whole staff noticed how I'd jumped in and saved the day...YAY ME!! The call me the bumblebee because I don't mind doing a little extra. Let's not forget....attitude and helpfulness counts towards your grade here so I'm doing everything I can to ensure that helps me. Even though this course is pass/fail for me, I'd still like to know in my heart I earned an A or a B or whatever my grade is.

Tonight we're having a bonfire...get this, we're burning the old outhouses...isn't that hilarious? Should be a rip-roaring time tonight. I plan on staying 15 minutes max as tomorrow we have a new field area to go to...the Sundance Formation!

Oh, side note: Dr. Watkins said he wanted to take some of the paleo folks up to a site that is just FULL of ammonites. For those that don't know what it is, it's the fossil version of the modern chambered nautilus. They are quite amazing. If you'd like to see one let me know when I get back and I'll bring one in to the Nook to show you.

Anyway, must close for now as it is girls shower time and I'm stinking like a fool. Be good, hope everyone is safe. Thanks for reading and responding to this blog. You don't know how much it brings me home with you all and keeps me going.

Until the next installment,

Monday, May 23, 2005


So today we did our first hike and OH MY GOD am I going to die out here!! I fell way behind but eventually got to almost all the places. In all, climbed 450+ feet. Think about that, that is 45 stories in an office building. All these kids are like 20 years old, all skinny as hell and in good shape. If I don't die I'll probably weigh 110 when I get home.

The girl on the next bunk is cooing into her freaking computer to her boyfriend on the other side....I'm going to be very ill in a moment....*gag**barf*

I'll try to upload a picture of me in the morning...the cooer (is that a word) is using all the broadband....

The exhausted hiker

Morning has broken....the view from my room in field camp. Not too bad, eh? Posted by Hello

Sunday, May 22, 2005

Arrived Safely

Hi All,

Arrived safely at field camp today. The rooms are rustic but comfortable. Toilets are porta-potty type and the showers are a group affair. Not really comfortable with that (don't feel like having my 40 year old body being judged by 20 year olds, ya know?) so will have to do something about that.

Scenery on the way up was spectacular. The mountains have snow on them. I'll try to take pictures as soon as I can. Be good...miss you all!!


Saturday, May 21, 2005

In front of the 13th Street Coffee Shop in Omaha, Nebraska. L to R...Erick, Casey, Matt and Rene Posted by Hello

Morning In Omaha

So here I sit at the 13th Street Coffee Shop in Omaha, Nebraska waiting for the van to take us off to "Camp". NICE TOWN!! I could live here except there's no ocean. There are a lot of strange looking folks here in the coffee shop...trust me, they need coffee as badly as I do!! The van was supposed to pick us up at 8am but they're running 1 1/2 hours late. Today we're supposed to be heading to the Black Hills of South Dakota and camping overnight.

The Czech dinner last night is playing heck with my stomach....worst food I've had in years. I had to gag down half my dinner because I was so starving last night. Their sign said "Czech us out"....wish we hadn't!! *yuck*

Have a great day and I'm going to try to post a quick picture from this morning...

Until the next installment.....

Paleogirl *Ü*

Friday, May 20, 2005

Girlfriends!! Rene and Diane in Ida Grove, Iowa...LOVE YA GIRLY!!! Posted by Hello

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Make the most of it...

As many of you know, I am not really looking forward to being gone for 6 weeks. However, this morning I woke up with a renewed sense of faith and have decided to MAKE THE MOST OF IT!! By this I mean I'm going to put back on my chipper face and head into this journey with a sense of adventure, realizing that I'm going to be seeing and doing things that will probably be rough at times. There will also be times of extreme joy as I'm taking this journey with the best of friends....Erick, Casey and Matt will be there to share the moments and the memories.

Today will be my last post for a couple of days until I get to the actual field camp in Shell, Wyoming. For the 4 of us I hope the wind will be at our backs and our memories will be shared for many, many years to come....

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

47 Days and Counting...

Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it. ~Ferris Bueller

So today I've been running around like a scared rabbit just trying to get EVERYTHING done! It just doesn't seem real that it's almost time to go...have I done this, have I done that, what am I missing? Actually, between today and tomorrow I'm doing the most important thing....PACKING! Yep, still haven't done that. Guess you could say I'm one of those last minute people...must be my spontaneous nature, eh?

Monday, May 16, 2005

The Final Countdown!

Today was my last day at work...and so now it begins, the final countdown to leaving. I'll be taking off here on Thursday and heading to Omaha, Nebraska where Casey and I are renting a car. From there we are driving to my friends house (Diane and Corey) and staying to visit for a day. Then it's back to Omaha where we'll meet up with Erick and Matt before heading off to Shell, WY on Saturday.

I've decided 6 weeks sounds FAR TOO LONG...so, I'm now saying the field camp is 42 days long. It seems much shorter in my mind. I am going to start my countdown today however....

Only 48 more days until July 3rd (when I get home)....thanks for counting down with me!!

Sunday, May 15, 2005

Sometimes ya just gotta dance!! Posted by Hello

Saturday, May 14, 2005

My heart remains at home....

Can you be homesick if you haven't even left yet? I was at work today and I was thinking about how much I am already missing my family, my friends and my house. They say your home is your sanctuary, and anyone who knows me, knows that is gospel to me! I admit it...I am a homebody...I like being comfortable in my home. In my "Book of Me" I did a page layout called "My Favorite Place". Most people doing this scrapbooking challenge wrote about adventures abroad. My favorite place was on my couch, in my jammies while ready a good trashy novel.

I am already homesick....

Friday, May 13, 2005

Ay carumba!!

So yesterday I'm thinking to myself that I've still got a week until field course. And then I realize, OH MY GOSH, I have a week until field course!!! I've got this list of things that I know have to be accomplished before I go...silly things like buying stamps and new jammies (because we all know how much I love my jammies). But then there are also big things like I needed new hiking boots and what in the heck do I pack for weather that will vary from to 100° F?!?! And then to make sure I've packed enough for 6 weeks! Ay carumba!! So, what I've decided to do is pack my crappiest clothes so that when field course is over I can just chuck those babies into the trash and call it good. I figure after 6 weeks of hiking, climbing and general physical stuff that they'll pretty much be ready for the trash anyway.

Added a new ticker/counter today to my blog. Can't figure out how to make it do days...oh well, thank goodness I'm a geologist and not a computer specialist or you'd wonder what the heck I was really doing when in class since I haven't got a clue....

I'll take fossils for $1000 Alex....

Saturday, May 07, 2005

While I'm gone...

So I wanted to make sure you know when I'd be gone. I'll be leaving on May 19th and be returning on or about July 4th. It's a full 6 weeks...*WHEW*. During the field course we've got a ton of stuff we'll be doing like mapping and such so I'll try to update every night, but can't promise it. I might just be too pooped to pop!

I'm so glad you're all going to be taking this journey with me. This time, let's hope for nothing broken and I certainly don't want to end up with anything poisonous!! Things that bite are a no-no also. Keep good thoughts!!!

I hear hunka-hunka-burnin-love might be stopping by as he'll be in the area and that he might hike with us for a couple of days. I'd sure like to explore him....um....I meant explore WITH him...yea, yea, that's what I meant! *wink*

Keep Wilmington safe for me while I'm gone!!