Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Library Days - Unfortunate Stuff

This is a tale that I wrote when I worked at the library. It's actually pretty gross now, but at the time I remember it being down right funny. Anyway, let's take a look....

I have a horrible sunburn. Or did, a few days ago. Now I'm at that wacky point where the sun-burnt skin peels off and goes on its way. This event is mildly disturbing, as one gets used to having their skin remain firmly fixed to their body. I was at a beach in Florida, and in one of my less brilliant moments I decided that it would be a good idea to remove my shirt. I shunned the use of this foolish "Sun-block", thinking that a real man like me wouldn't experience any negative effects from exposing my pasty body to the massive nuclear party that is our sun. Alas! I managed to obtain a sunburn on the entire backside of my body! I would have never believed that a condition of the skin could create pain that seemed to come from every internal organ contained within this strawberry red body.

That night as I was sleeping not so soundly on my stomach, I could hear a faint but constant humming sound. I convinced myself that this noise was coming from my horribly burnt skin, and it would be a lie to say that I didn't get really scared that I was going to join the elite club of people who had died from a sunburn. It turns out that the noise was actually just a fan that I didn't see in the corner of the room. I was relieved to discover this. The next day I inspected my usually sexy body for the first time since my tango with the sun. I laughed at first, cus, whoa, my body is a different color than it usually is. Laughing proved to be really painful, so it was replaced with a string of swears, which hurt was well, both physically and spiritually. So I went back to the laughing. The pain reminded me of how it must feel if you buy a belt sander, and just press it as hard as you can to your skin and go nuts with that sucker. And after you're done, you realize that you paid way too much for that belt sander, which makes the pain last for days after the original wound is inflicted.

Anyway, fast forward a few days to last Monday. I find myself hard at work at the library. The pain from the burn is gone, but I find myself in the afore mentioned stage of a sunburn where my skin is comically peeling off my body, leaving delightful little souvenirs of me all over the place. I figure that the quality service that I provide will more than make up for my leprosy-like tendencies. A fan behind me helps me keep my burnt hind-quarters cool. A nice older lady approaches the desk, and I inform her that I will need her card in order to allow her to flex her borrowing privileges. She mutters something under her breath and starts to fish around her purse for a card. I take this opportunity to give my back a reaallllly good itching. The process of peeling creates a horrible urge to scratch the affected areas frequently, and when scratching is complete, I find myself with the shivers for reasons that would fascinating to figure out should I ever have the time to do so. Anyway, unaware that my itching has dislodged a sizeable quantity of Scott-flakes, I let loose with a mighty shiver. In and instant, the air surrounding both myself and the nice old lady is filled with pure epidermal magic. For a second, I look on terrified as the lady tries to figure out what the devil was swirling around her head and entering her purse. Then she puts the puzzle together, and gives me a look that can only be described as the purest of terror and disgust. For a moment, we just stare at each other. She stutters something that I can't understand, to which I respond with "Uh, I, ummm, sunburn", and I point to my backside. This did precious little to improve the situation. By now, most of the skin has settled on both of us. She has the look that I would imagine the first person to ever have a monkey throw fecies on them had. They know that Something horrible has just happened, and they aren't quite sure if they want to continue being among the living.

Not quite sure what to do myself, I decide to just continue with the checkout, and I hand her the books that she wanted making sure to blow the remaining "bits" off her items. She takes the books with a horrible blank stare still upon her face. She doesn't move, so I pick up her card and hand it to her, hoping that she will realize that this is my way of telling her to just move along and try to put this disturbing event behind her. She put out her hand, and I put the card in it, realizing too late that firmly attached to the card was a 2 inch by 2 inch square of pure sunburnt skin goodness. She doesn’t seem to realize. Maybe she thought it was a post-it note. She again says something in a quiet quivering voice. I don't know what it was, and I have a feeling that in a second this lady is going to lose it. I have no idea what to do. My mind races through all my customer service training, but we never covered what you should do if you accidentally cover a patron in a cloud of your burnt skin. To my relief, the lady slowly turned and headed for the door, never stopping to put her items or her card in her purse. I decided that this was a good time to take a break.

And so I did.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Ghost town wednesday - Sulphurdale, Utah

Towns used to have great names back in the 1800’s. If you found silver in the hills nearby, you named your city Silver City. If you found gold in a nearby hill, then you named your city Gold Hill. I guess to be more accurate I mean towns used to have incredibly uncreative names. There are exceptions of course. Eureka is a great name for a town. Dragon is better still. Ophir is somewhat less great, but at least it’s creative.

Having a great name becomes even more important the less desirable your town is. You could get away with naming you city Gold Hill because people don’t care what you call it as long as they get a chance to lower themselves into a hole with poor ventilation and look for gold. The problem is that not every mine is looking for something as romantic as gold or silver. Or even lead. No, some mines are looking for decidedly less pleasant minerals. You would think that such a place would need a really great name to attract residents, but some people never seem to figure that out. And so begins the story of the city of Sulfurdale.

Sulfur (or Sulphur) would be an agreeable mineral if it just didn’t have a couple of irritating personality flaws. Much like a teenager, it has a very distinct odor which is described as “eggy” at its best and “soul devouring” at its worst. Also like a teenager, it plays an important role in producing several toxic gasses and corrosive acids. Let's take a look at it....

Kennecott Copper Mine produces more sulfuric acid than it knows what to do with each year as a by-product of refining ore. And while there is a limited market for the stuff, humanity still doesn’t really have all that many uses for it. I don’t know where the rest goes. Check your backyard. But sulfur also has several important useful aspects. For example….

1) Matches use sulfur. Well, the colorful part of the match does. The rest is just wood.
2) Insecticides make use of the toxic properties of sulfur.
3) Gun powder has some sulfur in it.
4) Soap does too. Somehow.
5) Sugar refining requires sulfur for some reason.
6) Rubber, paper, paints, dyes, and gasoline also involve sulfur. I’m too lazy to list these individually.

So, as you can see, sulfur does have its uses, and as early as 1850 people were looking out for the stuff. I can’t imagine that you would have to look all that hard. You can smell sulfur long before you see it. It’s like a gassy ninja. As groups of brave souls started to explore the wild parts of Utah (which was most of it in 1850), they discovered outcrops of elemental sulfur sticking out of the rocks in around the city of Beaver. It’s around here…..

In a dramatically less inviting setting than the gold mining towns of the time, the good, sulfur-loving people of Sulphurdale settled in and started to set up shop. The town location was set up by a fella named Charles Dickart, which is a somewhat unfortunate name. Mr. Dickart was responsible for discovering the main sulfur body in 1870, which again, doesn’t seem like that big of an accomplishment. A fancy mill that could tear the sulfur from the rock was built in 1883. This mill….

It probably had a better roof 100 years ago. But it’s still standing, so I guess we can’t complain.
From 1890 to 1905 that crappy little shack turned out 1000 tons of sulfur a year. What’s weird is that there’s still sulfur in there. Just sitting in stinky piles all over the place. As things got a little more serious, the sulfur company built a company store…

A school house….

Check out that air conditioning! There were some stairs right in the middle of the building and I really wanted to go up them, but doing so would probably mean my death, so I didn’t. I like being alive.

And several old houses…

They're out there, somewhere.

Everyone lived the in magical little town of Sulphurdale. I don’t know who named it, but it shows the same creativity as the other towns of the time. Twice a week the wagon trains of Sulphurdale would haul their stinky cargo 30 miles to the nearest Union Pacific loading dock. The mine looks like this….

As you can see, mining was done by the open-pit method, which make for an even more attractive setting for a town. In 1918 the town got away from the name of Sulphurdale and turned to Morrissey (That is to say that the town name was Morrissey, they didn’t actually go to the singer Morrissey). I suppose this is an improvement over Sulphurdale, but what isn’t? Morrissey refers to the man who organized the mighty Utah Sulfur Industries which ran until 1949. At some point everyone went back to Sulphurdale though.

A surprising fact is that a new mill was built as late as 1951, but no sulfur was produced. It just sat there. Another new mill was built in 1961, and just as things were gearing up the owner of the mill up and died and the sulfur dream died with him. The plant shut down, and the town dwindled down to just the watchman. I suppose he lives in this little shack on the hill…

These houses were obviously newer, but they didn’t appear to be occupied. The front door blew open in the wind and a lot of the windows no longer held any glass. I drove up there and started to look around, but I got a really creepy feeling about the place. Maybe it was sulfur vapors getting to my brain, but I decided that if there was a haunted portion of Sulphurdale this was it. I kept my eye on this building the whole time I was there, half expecting a shotgun wielding prospector ghost to come flying out the door and shoo me off in a rain of lead buckshot. But that never happened. Which is good. If there IS supposed to be someone there, I hope someone checks up on them from time to time, because I think they are going to find something that smells worse than the sulfur when they do.

A large part of the city was plowed under in the 80’s because they became too dangerous to live in. I guess they gave up on that policy, as the school is probably a good candidate nowadays.

Overall, there isn’t a whole lot left of Sulphurdale. I can’t see any sign of the two newer plants, and have to assume that they have been removed. Only the original plant still hangs out, still filled with sulfur. A geothermal power plant has been constructed just up the way from downtown Sulphurdale, and now it seems to be the only real game in town.

So what do we learn from the tragic tale of Sulphurdale? I’ll tell you what we learn. Sulfur is gross, and we should leave it be. Also that one house was totally haunted.

Monday, March 15, 2010

The Precambrian!

Perspective is everything. Without perspective, critics couldn’t tell us what movies were good, it would be impossible to form opinions about sporting events, and it would impossible to understand why some people found the idea of jumping into a community pool a thought so terrifying that it would be grounds for a cardiac arrest and why some people jump willingly into the murky biological hodge-podge. As you can see, perspective is important.

And so it is with geology. Without perspective we have no idea what we are dealing with. Geological time isn’t like the time you and me know. It’s all crazy and mixed up and stuff. To geology, an hour isn’t really any time at all. Nor is two hours. Or three hours. Hours are out. While we are at it, let’s throw out days, weeks, months and years. It takes a long time to turn a living trilobite into the stony novelty that we know today. To begin to get some perspective of what we are dealing with, I will give you a map of geological history...

What that tells us is that geology is vast. Well, the earth’s timeline is vast anyway. Way vasterer than we can imagine. What’s that? You say that you can handle it? You think you are tough enough to deal with the madness I’m about to spew out at you like an epileptic spitting cobra? Very well, try this on for size Junior. The earth is 4.5 billion years old. That’s right. Billion. That’s 4,500,000,000 years. If you are lucky, you will live to be 80 years (or more if you’re female!). That means the earth is only 4,499,999,920 years older than you. You and I are insignificant when you have the right perspective.

PRECAMBRIAN – (4.5 billion to 570 million years ago)

To start out with, the Earth wasn’t a very friendly place. We would hardly recognize it. Instead of beautiful oceans and Costcos, all you would see is a violent ball of molten rock being bombarded by space debris and ice and stuff. And you can forget about breathing. There was no oxygen, or at least not enough for you to work with. The best visual I can think of is as if you were inside a space-themed casino.

Then, approximately 4.45 billion years ago, space got serious. Out of the eternal darkness came a mars-sized planet that smacked right into the side of our molten casino. Debris flew everywhere, kittens were upset, and I’m betting things were down-right noisy for a while. Anyway, some of that debris flew out into space and became our moon. So remember when you see the moon you are looking at some pretty pissed off rock that wants nothing more than to smash back into us and get back where it belongs. When all was said and done, it was this collision that gave us our current planetary tilt and rotational speed. Maybe.

Their version:

My version:

And so things went. By 4.4 billion years ago, the heavy metals like iron and nickel settled near the center of the planet (cus they are heavy) and the lighter elements like silica, carbon, and the rest made for the surface. Water arrived via comets, which seems like a really neat way to get water. After a while, space worked out its issues and started to lighten up on the planet and its new little moon. An atmosphere began to show up, but instead of oxygen it had a bunch of other wierd stuff. Again, like a casino.

Here's a picture of what some people think this may have looked like....

It looks like the Earth was probably a lot more steamy than it is now. Than something weird happened. 3.2 billion years ago some of the stuff came to life. It wasn’t much, just a colorful little alga-like things and the Irish. Nobody knows why. Maybe you should ask your religious leader or baring that, read a bumper sticker.

As is probably not a surprise, no one really know what the planet looked like after the oceans formed and the earth stopped being pelted by space junk. All we have to work with are old rocks that have been cooked, crushed, melted and buried. What we know is that as of 3 billion years ago there were continents and they were in some sort of shape. Little creatures in the ocean figured out how to make photosynthisis happen, and this combined with volcanos lead to the sudden influx of oxygen. This is fortuitous for us, as we require oxygen to live.
We should also be glad that life is hardy, because things were about get rough for our little alga friends. Starting 2.2 billion years ago the earth kept freezing into a little ice ball like a freezer with a sticky thermostat. Everything was covered in ice. You, me, everyone else, covered in ice. Life persisted, but it probably wasn't all that it was cracked up to be. In utah, there is evidence of this icy goodness in a formation called the Mineral Fork Tillite. This formation appears to be remains of rocks and debris scraped up by glaciers as they wandered by. It's believed that volcanic activity was responsible for breaking up the the glaciers and giving us the much needed greenhouse gasses that warmed us up. Anyway, this happened several times. Maybe.

Near the end of the Precambrian, things kinda settled down and life started to take off. All sorts of stuff happened, but we don't really know a lot of it. Which is too bad because the Precambrian time accounts for 87% of the earthy history. That's like only seeing the last 3.9 minutes of a half-hour sitcom and trying to figure out what just happened. Somehow people have decided that as the Precambrian closed, most of the continents were located somewhat near the equator. Or possibly near the south pole. Somewhere in that area. Utah may have possibly looked like this maybe perhaps....

(Ron Blakey,2009)

Multicellular life (fancy alga) showed up about 600 million years ago, and quickly put the simpler lifeforms in their place, and as of 570 million years ago, some of these multicellular organisms started to look really wierd. But that's no longer any of the Precambrian's concern as the sun had set on this period of earth's history.


Saturday, March 13, 2010

Library Days - A true story

A few years back I used to work at the library. I actually worked there for 10 years. Think back to the last time you went to a library, even if it was just the one at your elementary school. Do you remember seeing a wierdo? Someone yelling at a book, or using the bathroom in the corner? Of course you do. Because that's what the library is for. It's a place for people to go and get all that pent-up anitsocial behavior out of their systems. Anyway, here's a tale from a partically odd encounter I once had while working at the library. For additional fun, I've written it as a play, so that you can reinact it at home if you wish...

The angry cat surprise; Or, There and back again, a library tale


[Enter Scott into the library. Time is approximatly 5:45 P.M. Scott crosses library, takes position behind check-out counter. There are FIVE people in line.]

Scott: "I can help whomever was next"

[Woman in her forties crosses floor, approaches desk. She is wearing dark sunglasses, and is holding an open unbrella over her head despite the complete lack of falling water. ]

Woman with umbrella: "Why do you do this?"

Scott: "Do what now?"

Woman with umbrella: "You know what you do"

[Scott fidgits, as he does whenever a crazy starts asking him questions]

Scott: "I....uh....I don't really know what I'm doing"

Woman with umbrella: "I will ask you again, why are you doing this?"

[Scott thinks she might be talking about "why do I work at the library". Decides to ask her if that is what she means.]

Scott: "You mean work at the library?"

Crazy Umbrella Woman: "NO" [Woman with umbrella pulls out a camera and takes picture of Scott. Scott is startled]

Scott: "I can smile if you would like."

[Woman with umbrella doesn't respond. Puts a large tartan bag up on the counter. She looks at the bag. Scott looks at bag. Both characters are looking at the bag]

Scott: "Uhhhh...nice bag. Looks strong. A nice strong bag."

[Woman with umbrella reaches up and opens bag. A large tabby cat is hidden inside. Woman with umbrella tips bag on side]

Large tabby cat in the tartan bag: "HISSSS!!!!"

[Scott is again startled, steps back from the desk. Woman with umbrella uprights bag and in the same motion, closes it]

Scott: "..........?"

[Woman with umbrella and Scott again look at bag for a few moments. Scott is puzzled.]

Scott: "Huh...well, Ok."

[Woman with umbrella picks up bag containing Tabby cat in a tartan bag. Both characters turn around briskly, and leave stage right. Scott is left alone for a few moments.]

Scott: "Have a good night."

[Scott exits stage left. Lights fade out slowly, until all is dark. END

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Wednesday, March 10, 2010


The majestic volcano. Few forces of the geologic realm are as destructive and awe-inspiring as the eruption of a mighty volcano. The reasons to fear the volcano are many. They produce hot toxic ash that can skeletonize a cow in seconds. They also produce burning hot bombs of molten death lava that rain down upon us like unearthly space visitors that totally suck. They produce rivers of steaming lava that can also probably skeletonize a cow pretty fast. Finally, I bet they are very noisy.

I, being the last of a long line of noble explorers (not verified), recently explored a volcano. You read that right dear blog viewer. I have taken it upon myself to risk life and limb and cow in order to find, approach, explore and pontificate (in that order) upon volcanoes so that we may lift the veil of ignorance that shadows so many of us. I will break the thin crust of the unknown, and dip us all in the gooey, boiling sauces of knowledge that lie just underneath! So gird your loins! Don your thickest mittens! Put your cattle in a safe, high-ground location! Let’s explore one of Utah’s most recent volcanoes.

The first step in finding a volcano is by trying to find an area that is likely to contain volcanos. This may seem obvious, but I can tell you stories about famous volcano-stalkers who spent their entire careers hunting for volcanoes in areas where there simply were no volcanoes to be found (I can't actually tell you any such stories). Luck for you, dear reader, I am far more experienced than most in the area of geologic showmanship. Look what I found on my first try!

Volcano country?! Where better to find a volcano than in volcano country! If you are looking for a nun, you go to nun country. If you are looking for a canoe, you go to canoe country. So the fact that I was in volcano country seemed like a good sign that I was in the right area to find a volcano. Plus it gave me a chance to sign up for the local turkey shoot! Apparently I was also in turkey shoot country. Sometimes a country can be several types of countries at once.

The second step in finding a volcano is learning to recognize the trail volcanoes leave behind. Like the wandering antelope or unquiet groundhog, volcanoes leave subtle signs of their recent visit. Now, we aren’t looking for little paw prints or little piles of feces. No, we are looking for something a little more lava-like. Namely, we are looking for lava.

Ah ha! We have found the lava! Piles and piles of it! It’s all over! I knew I was close by the sheer amount of lava that spread out before me like earthy butter on toast. Also someone had put up a sign that said that there was a volcano just a half mile away. But I didn’t need a man-made sign! I knew how to read the signs….OF THE EARTH! But the other sign was helpful too.

That view you are enjoying is of Snow Canyon, a relatively small but impressive canyon cut through the strata of the Navaho Sandstone near St. George Utah. As long as we are here, let’s take a second to look into the Navaho Sandstone. A good 208 million years ago Utah was covered by a vast desert. Or possibly an ocean. One of those two. There’s a debate about that. Anyway, instead of the lush, tropical wonderland that we know as Utah today, things were instead covered by massive sand dunes that spent their time moving about at the discretion of prevailing wind/ocean current directions. You see, those cursed Sierra Nevada Mountains had recently popped up, and have spent the last 208 million years blocking the moisture from the Pacific Ocean from reaching Utah. And so a desert formed. Over time Mother Nature lost interest in the Utah desert, and like a fickle toddler she covered them up and started over with something more interesting. Slowly, these buried sand dunes became petrified and became the massive mounds of what you and I know as the Navajo Sandstone. Sometimes it is red…..

And sometimes it is white…..

And sometimes it is both of those at once.

But regardless of color, it is really fun to climb on. Nowadays you have to pay $5 to get into Snow Canyon, which is kind of a bummer. They say it’s so they can protect the majestic desert tortoise from the traffic in the canyon. Depending on your views concerning the desert tortoise, this may be either a noble or unfortunate policy. I will leave that up to you to decide.

The trails of lava didn’t just end with random boulders strew around in a field. I bravely entered the desolation and found the mighty lava tube. From here the lava spewed forth like a motion-sick subway passenger. These tunnels formed as the lava flowed away from the as of yet undiscovered volcano. The outer layers of the lava flow would cool and form perfect little tunnels for the still warm lava to get to where it was going. Neat!

For fun, here’s a diagram! Everyone loves diagrams.

Take a look back at the volcano country sign. In addition to telling me that I was in the middle of volcano country, you'll note that the sign actually was for a little town named Veyo. Veyo, for those who are interested, is a small little community north of St. George. It is magical place where the pies flow like water, pipes are plentiful, and rusted tractors are the vehicle of choice….

Also my uncle once owned this gas station in Veyo.

Later I learned that he wasn’t really my uncle. I’m still not sure how that worked. Once at a family reunion he taught me how to catch a crawdad and twist its head off. The secret is to twist really hard.

Anyway, I keep getting distracted by family memories. Let’s get to the star of the show. I followed the geologic signs (and street signs) until I turned a corner and there in mist I saw it….

Some of you may recognize this for what it is. That, my friends is a volcano. Stately and silent, the volcano watches over the land like an enormous can of RC Cola. Surrounding it is evidence of the destructive force that the volcano can summon on a moment’s notice. The lava flows, the massive blocks of cinders, the inconveniently vertical hiking trails, these are but small displays of the vengeance that a volcano can reap upon the unsuspecting countryside. Others of you may simply see a mountainous lump of dirt. Oh how I hope you aren’t one of those people! How I weep for your cattle!

Now, finding a volcano is great, but you know what’s better? Finding TWO volcanoes! Both these gentle giants were grazing on the lush vegetation that they had so recently destroyed in a maelstrom of fiery incineration. Without a second thought, I grabbed my gear (raspberry doughnut) and readied myself for the potentially dangerous journey that awaited me. The fear I was feeling was a fear that only those who have sought to domesticate the wild volcano will understand. So in the name of science, off I went.

Obviously one of the main problems facing anyone who wishes to dominate a volcano is in discovering a way to the top. I chose this route…

Halfway up the volcano I began to question my skills as a pathfinder, as this was proving to be possibly the worst trail I have ever embarked upon. Ah well. As is considered good form in the scientific community, I documented my journey to the top with pictures. Here I am near the base of the mighty igneous behemoth.

And this is what it looks like if you look around a little bit.

That’s the other volcano over in the distance. You can climb that one if you want. Climbing volcanoes is hard. Here we are a little higher…

Let’s look at the trail ahead…

By now you are probably thinking that I must look like a glistening machine of muscle and determination. And you are right. I call this “Self Portrait of Man On Volcano”.

Here I am at what I’m calling Summit Camp Alpha. It was so named because it’s a totally cool name and because I fell down here and didn’t get up for a few minutes. It’s important to come up with cool names for different parts of a hike. And when hiking a volcano it’s not hard to come up with cool names (as you’ll see).

Here I am at a part of the mountain that I originally called Sideways-Hurts My Ankles Camp 1. I later called this area Vertical Vortex 2000X because that was waaaaay more awesome.

After several minutes, I found myself approaching the peak of the volcano. The very rocks around me began to change in both color and nature as if to warn me that I was entering a land best left unexplored. But for science, for science I continued. Instead of being nothing more than a pile of loose, sharp volcanic cinders that cut the knees as I had encountered for the first ¾ths of the hike, I was now encountering the very core of the mountain. Here, the cinders were still connected and formed opposing walls of charcoal-gray intimidation. For this reason I call this portion of the hike Incineration Canyon of Endless Intimidation.

So close, and yet so far away….

You may be noticing that the rocks got really red near the top. I don’t know why this is. All I know is that it still totally sucks to climb on them. Finally, I reached the summit. A lot of people don’t know what to expect to see when they gaze upon the most primal of earthly forces, the very heart of the gateway to the center of the angry planet on which we live. Well, here’s a hint….

You will see a hole. That’s what’s at the top of the volcano. As an interesting note, this volcano is not all that old. More of a volcano teenager, or even a volcanic preteen. Dating a volcanic eruption is tricky business, and like most things in geology there can be several millions of years of wiggle room. This particular volcano (as well as the other little guy you can see off in the distance) is a cinder cone that last erupted anywhere from 3 million years ago to little more than 2,000 years ago. This is actually disturbingly recent, and while they are certainly quiet and horribly difficult to climb now, there is no reason they couldn’t become active again. I bet climbing an erupting volcano would probably be pretty hard to do. Anyway, here's to geological timebombs! Cheers!

Anyway, I went through all the trouble of climbing this stupid thing, I’m going to post more pictures from the top.

Having conquered and slain my geological foe, I headed back for the relative safety of the freeway.

Climbing down a volcano requires a whole other set of skills that any good explorologist should have in reserve. Namely, it requires the ability to tolerate getting the worst wedgie that you have ever experienced as you slide down the mountainside on your butt.

DO NOT GO TO A PUBLIC PLACE AFTER HAVING SLID DOWN A VOLCANO! There will likely be holes in your pants, and in most communities it is considered bad taste to walk around with exposed buttocks. Finally I reached my truck and left volcano (and turkey shoot) country. There is yet another volcano a few miles further up the road from these two cinder cones. This guy….

This friendly little guy is slightly different show than the other two. First off, it is quite a bit larger and probably put on one heck of a show when it went off. Second, the lava from this volcano is more ropey and gooey than the blocky cinders that I saw and bravely slid down on during my visit to the first volcanoes. This would imply that the mechanics behind this volcano were somewhat different than the mechanics behind cinder cones, and likely involved more flowing lava and other classic volcano things. But seeing how this is a remedial level blog, let's just call it all magic.

So why are there volcanoes in Utah? This post is already a billion pages long, so I’m going to cover that in a different post. For now it will just have to suffice that there are volcanoes in Utah, and they have erupted within the era of people living here. Which is spooky to me.