Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Road Trip

Yes, there is a bit more stitching done on Bad Hare Day, but not as much as I thought might be done. The visit from our friends took up way, way too much time that we should have spent organizing and packing. But we worked hard all Sunday afternoon and left at our scheduled time -- Monday morning at 7 am (or maybe 7:30 am, but when you are being aggressively early for a non-morning person, what's a few minutes more or less?) There was not too much traffic in Las Vegas, but the drive to Utah (through a piece of Arizona) was pretty boring. I don't mind if it is dark when when we drive it again on our return.

Starting in St. George, Utah, we saw more interesting geology. It helps to read out loud about the terrain you are covering from The Roadside Geology of Utah and The Roadside Geology of Colorado. Although I have been to Bryce and Zion and driven I-80 through Salt Lake City, I had never actually been in the middle part of Utah. I have to say that I-70 has to be some most beautiful and spectacular scenery along any interstate. Most of the distance from the western beginning of I-70 near Cove Fort to just past Rifle in Colorado is part of a unique geologic "bubble" called the Colorado Plateau. The entire area covering four states is geographically horizontal, but surrounded by folded and uplifted mountains. Here there are gorgeous sandstone mesas capped by basalt or other hard rocks with more fragile mudstones and sandstones partially eaten away by flowing water or just water freezing and thawing. Much of the sandstone has copper in it, creating the beautiful red and pink mesas. The picture above is from the Colorado National Monument, a park just outside of Grand Junction, Colorado. It has a 26 mile drive through it with numerous stopping points to admire the incredible canyons.

Just past Rifle, Colorado, the real Rocky Mountains begin. Here the land is uplifted (11,192 feet above sea level at the Continental Divide) and folded. But it is also much wetter, with more vegetation and trees (covering up the geology). Although beautiful in it's own way, I much prefer the lower elevations. We visited several lovely shops in Georgetown, Colorado (elevation 8530), but after an hour of sightseeing, I was winded and glad to get back in the car again. We drove on to Denver and checked into our hotel. We didn't even unpack, but went right over to the convention center to get our badges and check out the area. We saw some of our long time friends and shared a dinner of snacks.

This morning we both woke up early. James went to hang his art in the Art Show and went to work in Treasury. I went by Site Selection and helped them set up. At noon we started taking votes for the Worldcon in 2010 (Melbourne, Australia is uncontested but a vote now gives you a Supporting Membership and a discount on an Attending Membership). It was surprising to me how many of the voters I knew, even if just casually. I had a lot of fun talking to my Australian friends and discussing the function spaces that they will be using. Those of us who run conventions never tire of discussing function space usage and committee organization. I didn't see Ruth today, but I did get three books signed by John Scalzi and talked to several other authors I know. Tomorrow will be more of the same -- getting a book signed by Patrick Rothfuss and sitting site selection. We also have a dinner planned at a very good restaurant with some foodie friends of ours.

4 comments:

Sherry said...

What lovely country! I would like to go out west some day!

Anna van Schurman said...

My goodness, I felt like I was right back in geology class! What a beautiful drive.

Barbara said...

Oh, I miss that part of the country! It's been YEARS since I was down there, and I love it so ....

Ruth said...

Ok, Kathryn, apparently I keep hanging over the balcony looking for you at the wrong times. lol I left you a note on the voodoo board. I'll leave you another one tomorrow now that I'm in my real hotel.