Hello LHIP community,
Today and tomorrow are the final two days that I will be working at Grand Canyon National Park this summer. I have to say it was a great time. I met many interesting people of various backgrounds, which includes many geology majors. It was neat learning about botany, fauna, and the ecology of the Grand Canyon.
Last week, I had the opportunity to work with the physical science staff down in the canyon. We drove to the north rim and started hiking down from there. Our first stop to collect data and water samples from was Roaring Springs. We had to hike six miles to get there, with a 50-pound backpack. We put on the necessary gear and started caving to find the specific site that we’d be testing and it was glorious, I mean absolutely amazing. After collecting data and samples, we hiked to the Manzanita Bunkhouse, where we would stay the night. Unfortunately, there was no power available in the bunkhouse, but we made it work. The following day, we hiked three miles to Upper Ribbon Falls. There we collected water samples in order to test the uranium cation/anion (in a lab at Flagstaff). Much hydrology work was done that day. We also replaced the dye tracers in order to find the aquifer source, and we collected pH levels, temperature, discharge, depth and width with a tool that measures the average flow rate. We did this at five sites. On the next day we set out to Phantom Ranch, but had four sites to collect data from on the way there. One site in particular was fascinating. It was a side canyon in The Box, where a tributary called Phantom Creek was. It was a gorgeous site and we even got to swim while we were there (after we conducted our hydrology work). After the day, we stopped by the Colorado River. There was a lot of sediment being eroded away by the river. It was actually red for once! The last few times I saw the Colorado River it was green. I thought it should’ve been called the Colorverde. Anyway, we relaxed for our big hike out of the canyon the next day, and it kicked my behind. It was a 10-mile hike out, climbing approximately a mile or so in elevation out of the canyon, but it was a sight to remember. Indian Garden, in particular, was amazing to witness once more. My parents came to visit me this past weekend and we got to see the thrash metal band, Metallica, live! It was the best show I’ve ever been to, and it was nice spending quality time with my family. Now, I will be organizing and cleaning the midden (where we keep the supplies), and I will be checking out of my room tomorrow.
I look forward to seeing everyone in Colorado in a couple of days!