Sunday, February 15, 2015


When I'm hiking and backpacking in the mountains I always stop to inspect and admire the geology. And I don't just mean the obvious mountain panoramas. Yeah, that's geology, but I'm talking about the specifics.

There are always strange and interesting rock and soil formations to see along almost every hike. Everything from odd outcroppings of minerals to amazing shapes eroded out of the topography. When I see something exceptional I generally stop to take a photograph.

One of the only times I saw something unique when I also did not pause to take a photo was once in Colorado when I saw fossilized ripples in sandstone made when the rock was once underwater. The reason I didn't take a photo was that I was so ill with altitude sickness that I didn't even want to take the time to snap a picture!

So...all of the following examples are from Colorado. I'll post some from other place I've hiked later...

Landslide. Weminuche Wilderness.
I took this one because of the large dike on the right. I will assume this is some kind of large, volcanic extrusion eroded out. But I could be wrong.

These towers of stone were interspersed along a chasm wall in the Weminuche. Nothing here to give them scale...but they were really tall.
We would sometimes pass creeks where some mineral or another was forming as accretions on the rubble. A couple of streams we passed were creating white residue on the rocks. Although the water was crystal clear and appeared clean, I would not want to drink this water. It could be safe...but the Weminuche is dotted with old mining operations. No telling what's leaching out of some of those old sites.

This creek had clear water, but reddish accretions on the rocks. Iron? Again, I would not drink this water. But it could very well be safe. I don't know.
At Blue Lakes. This is a glacial lake with a "rock glacier"feeding into it. Most of the ice is gone, but it's still considered a glacier in purely technical terms. There is still movement but what ice remains is buried under the rock.

A vast glacial moraine high up on Longs Peak in Rocky Mountain National Park. This moraine was indeed vast. Those trees at its foot are not tiny.

Pink granite. Weminuche.

I have no freaking idea...

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