Last blog I posted, I’d just visited Sitka, Alaska and wrote about the amazing adventure my sister and I experienced there, and what led us to go there to begin with. In a nutshell, I was inspired by a traveling exhibit created in collaboration between a paleontologist and artist. Their exhibit, and specifically their book “Cruisin’ the Fossil Coastline” has grabbed my attention in a pretty profound way. The book is essentially a journal of their many trips along the entire pacific coast, specifically to study “Deep Time” and the resulting fossils and rocks in these locations. I find the topic fascinating and it actually dovetails nicely with other passions of mine: namely paddling, hiking and traveling because fossil hunting is strangely easy to co-mingle with all three of these activities. In fact, commonly you have to travel, and then hike or paddle as a way to access fossils…at least the way I’ve been doing it.
A few weeks ago the Tumalo team did an end-of-season trip on the Lower Deschutes, from Trout Creek to City Park (in Maupin). There were two rafts, three kayakers and myself on my paddleboard. Of course we had a blast and laughed a ton. Geoff (owner) brought the kitchen and all the food plus cooked! Tequila was drank and a birthday cake was eaten (by those who didn’t pass out before dinner, due to too much tequila, and for the record I wasn’t one of those people which was great because for once, I wasn’t the first to go to bed!). All in all, a pretty common river trip, however one of my teammates was a geology major and the another…well Topher just knows about so many things–a true renaissance man– and he knew of a place along the river where agates are common. We stopped and did some spontaneous rock hunting. Simply paddling the river with surrounding basalt cliffs is amazing and a geology-specific trip this spring is already getting planned between a few of us. Who knows, maybe by then I’ll actually know a little something about what I’m doing?!
Traveling. Well I love to travel! Especially to new places, but this last week I visited an old favorite. Newport, Oregon, where I’d originally seen the traveling exhibit at the Newport Aquarium. This time, however, I was armed with a couple hammers (apparently unnecessary but still a bunch of fun to break rocks open with). I was also armed with just enough knowledge to get me in trouble…combing the beach, busting rocks (barely avoiding a small, self-created rockslide….yep trouble!!) and generally enjoying the opportunity to wonder if I might find something incredible. For the record, I DID find some fossils…several clams and a scallop. Probably fairly common but a treasure to me.
My point in all this? Paddling or paleontology might not be your jam, but something is! And my hope is that you go out and do what makes you smile. What keeps you fascinated in life, and living. Earth may have been around for a very, very, very long time but each of us has just a slight ripple of it.
Thanks for listening…