Colorado Trip 2007

Colorado Springs/Denver GSA Trip: Oct. 26-Oct. 31, 2007

Eleven students joined Drs. Johnson and Griffing on our annual trip to the national  Geological Society of America conference.  All enjoyed the sunny weather of  Colorado while visiting the spectacular Front Range near Colorado Springs before the conference began. We again stayed at the Dillon Motel in Manitou Springs, where we met up with Denver area resident Steph Carr, Tucson resident Margaret Snyder and New Mexico resident Bobby Henry. Our first destination was Forissant Fossil Beds National Monument, where we saw petrified 35 million-year-old Sequoia stumps (below) and an amazing array of lakebed fossils. The nearby Castaways Restaurant provided the requisite TIKI mixed with a pirate-theme.

The following morning, we examined the unconformity between the Precambrian Pikes Peak Granite and overlying Cambrian sandstones. Then the group took a cog railway ride to the summit of Pikes Peak (14,110 ft. above SL) as seen below.

A sunny Sunday morning was a great time to visit the uplifted /overturned strata of Garden of the Gods Park.  Many students tried to show their support for Balance Rock (below).

Garden of the Gods provided a great destination for the  climbers and explorers in the group.  One might wonder how many students it takes to fill a small erosional notch within Pennsylvanian-age sandstones. Well...wonder no further (below).

Gateway Rocks were an awe-inspiring sight when in close proximity.  They become even more awesome when a rock climber provides scale (below). Can you find him on the far rock?

From Garden of the Gods, we traveled northward to Dinosaur Ridge, near Morrison, Colorado. There we examine Cretaceous footprints in the Dakota Sandstone (below) and Jurassic dinosaur bones in the Morrison Formation.

The students enjoyed exposure to cutting-edge science and a closer bond with the geologic community while at the Geological Society of America meeting, held at the Denver Convention Center.  Below, student pose with the new bear statue that dominates the from of the newly rennovated convention center.