Saturday, March 6, 2010

Geo 582 Field Trip & BBQ at Mischa's

Today I went on a field trip with my geo 582 class (Geomorphology of Forests and Streams) to the Coastal Range west of Eugene. I rode part way to Eugene with Jack who talked about his interest in ski mountaineering with me. Looks like I have a new buddy to ski and climb with! We drove into BLM land and looked at the extremely dissected landscape characteristic of the Coastal Range’s young age and wet environment as part of the active continental margin. We first stopped at a ridge overlook where we really got a feel for how steep the land was and how crazy it was for loggers (you know, those guys in the Discovery Channel Show “AX-MEN”) to rape the land of trees. Theoretically you are only supposed to log two tree lengths away from river and stream beds but in this landscape that would be nearly
impossible because of how steep and
short the hillslopes are above them. We could see a large logging operation at the top of a hill in the far distance.

We stopped a few times to satisfy our professors urge to hurl large boulders off the road down the steep embankments but most of them got caught up by trees before making it very far. We took several trips into the thick rainforest environment of the coastal range to check out debris flow initiation sites. We traversed super steep ridges and found ourselves clinging to ferns on steep slopes to stay upright and not tumble down hundreds of feet. Upon kicking up the dirt we discovered we were traveling over vast communities of millipedes as well. Upon
returning to the van we drove a little further before our professor decided to take us a quarter mile down a steep slope through a large debris flow to Knowles Creek below. The debris flow was actually pretty cool (just really hard to get through with a sore ankle after having rolled it in my first soccer game a few weeks ago with Watershed). It had displaced the flowing creek quite a ways and deposited a ton of material in it’s debris fan while also creating a virtual “resort” for a few beavers in the area who had shown a lot of recent activity of nibbling just before we got there. We were all happy to climb back out of the watershed though and return back to Corvallis.

Upon returning I took a quick shower to wash the mud off and then headed over to Mischa’s where Emily and others had BBQ’d after having lost another game in our Rec league! Mischa hadn’t played because he hurt his leg the week before in the game we lost then. Everyone was pretty lit when I got there but I was surprised to see Fausti and Pete out as I usually don’t see her outside of work. After Alexa was done watching Duke blow out UNC we ended the night playing a game of Asshole where it seemed the status of President got passed around pretty evenly. Highlights of the night were
Mischa slow-motion falling on Alexa and several quotes by Mischa as well.... ok... basically the highlight of the night was Mischa himself, period. Emily was pretty tired so we ended up leaving just before midnight. I hadn’t been to his house yet and I have to say it was pretty friggin’ awesome. German and Curtis had done a great job on it before selling it to him. Too bad he doesn’t live closer to us, Em and I have a great time hanging out with the guy.... outside of work that is :)

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