Highly Allochthonous’s 2013 adventures

A post by Anne JeffersonA post by Chris Rowan With a few hours of the year to spare in our current time zone, here’s a quick look back at some of the places your Highly Allochthonous bloggers have found themselves in the last 12 months.

We started the year in England, visiting Chris’s family and friends. Anne shared a picture of the Thames at London, and here’s a picture of the River Welland and an old mill race at the market town of Stamford.

Two streams joining with a grassy area in the middle.

The River Welland at Stamford. The mill race to the right was cut by 1640, but a mill is recorded here in the Domesday Book of 1086.

Later in January, Anne participated in Science Online 2013. While the sessions were invigorating as always, the major highlight for Anne was a tour of the partially buried urban stream Pigeon House Creek, lead by Scott Huler. Sadly, Anne never managed to blog about the experience, though she has had a partial draft post written for months, and she used the experience during a lecture in her urban hydrology course.

A typical view inside the buried streams. Except, most of the time we didn't have any view of daylight, but the picture comes out better if I give you a glimpse of the light at the end of the tunnel.

A typical view inside the buried streams. Except, most of the time we didn’t have any view of daylight, but the picture comes out better if I give you a glimpse of the light at the end of the tunnel.

February and March saw Anne traveling a lot – to Wisconsin for a stream restoration conference, to an acid mine drainage site in Ohio, and to the flat and snowy Fargo, North Dakota. We also did some local explorations, introduced the third and youngest member of our blogging team, and added the high albedo geodog to the family. In April and May, we stayed close to home. GeoKid’s class toured the Kent State Geology Department, and we appreciated the beauty of spring in northeastern Ohio.

bookshelf made of rocks with reading nook. Purple flowers bloom above.

Fabulous sculpture on the Kent State campus, set off perfectly by the spring flowers. Photo by A. Jefferson, May 2013.

At the end of June, we set off on a megaventure that took us all of July and into early August. Over the course of 35 days, we went from Ohio-Minnesota-Oregon-Minnesota-UK-Minnesota-Ohio. We blogged about various bits of the trip, such as our drive across the flat midwestern US, appreciation of volcanoes and their water in Oregon (Mt. Hood and the Three Sisters area), historical beauty of Colchester, UK, and the amazing geologic features of Northern Island (Giants Causeway FTW!). We also had a brief foray into the Republic of Ireland to see the Brú na Bóinne world heritage site, and the spectacular passage tomb and stone art at Newgrange.

Triangles and spirals carved into a huge rock at the base of a wall with smaller rocks piled on top.

5000 year old art decorating the outside of the Newgrange passage tomb in Ireland. The inside, where no photos are allowed, is even more spectacular. Photo by A. Jefferson, July 2013.

By August, we were mostly just glad to be home. Anne reveled in watching two dams come down on the Cuyahoga River, and Chris took an exploratory trip to Shenandoah National Park and environs. Anne feels bad she never properly blogged the dam removals, and Chris waves a fist in frustration at the government shutdown that scuttled his class field trip to the sites he had scoped out.

In September, October and November, we enjoyed exploring autumn in northeastern Ohio, as Anne led her fluvial class on 5 field trips and we spent four consecutive weekends in and around Cuyahoga Valley National Park. This was a nice calm (travel-wise at least) period before a flurry of travel to wrap up the year.

fall colors and students in and around a gravel bed stream

Students survey the West Branch of the Mahoning River during a (luckily) warm early November afternoon. Photo by A. Jefferson.

In December, we were gone pretty much all month. We started with slightly overlapping trips to San Francisco to participate in AGU, while simultaneously giving and grading final exams. Then, a mere 48 hours after Chris got back from AGU, we left on our most far-flung adventure of the year. The Highly Allochthonous blogging team spent December 16-30th in Tierra del Fuego and Antarctica. If we have but one blogging resolution for the next year, it is to do a reasonable job sharing the spectacular landscapes we were so privileged to experience. But it’s going to take us some time to sort through the 30 GB of photos and video we collected on our trip. So for starters, here is a small teaser.

Glacier spilling into a fiord. Glimpses of steep bare rock in foreground and background.

Glacier at Neko Harbor on the Antarctic Peninsula. Photo by A. Jefferson, December 2013.

Adelie penguins on a bit of pack ice in the Antarctic Sound. Photo by A. Jefferson, December 2013.

Adelie penguins on a bit of pack ice in the Antarctic Sound. Photo by A. Jefferson, December 2013.

We’ve certainly had an amazing adventure-filled year, and we look forward to seeing what 2014 brings. To our readers, we wish you the happiest of new years.

Categories: geology, photos
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